2010-07-23 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news:

Newsweek has an excellent series on the psychology and culture of beauty.

‘A single brief electrical pulse to the hippocampus caused momentary amnesia’. Neuroskeptic covers a fascinating human study.

AP News has an interesting piece on whether mind-bending movies set in mental space are the new Westerns.

You all know the top drawer neuroscience blog The Frontal Cortex has just moved to Wired? A great piece on why money doesn’t make us happy breaks in the new digs.

New Scientist says “If you thought depression was caused by low serotonin levels, think again”. Nope, can’t say I did. If you ignore the premise taken from drug company adverts, its a good article on serotonin and depression.

The study, and indeed, the concept, of prejudice and its psychological basis is traced back by an excellent piece from the BPS Research Digest.

Wired Science covers a study finding a gene associated with drinking more booze when with friends. Now you get to blame it on your genes and your mates. Evidence based excuses are the future.

A series of posts on the psychology and neuroscience of eroticism and disgust makes for fascinating reading over at The Neurocritic.

New Scientist has an excellent special feature on the social dynamics of laughter. ‘Contagious chortling’ is a lovely phrase.

There’s a fantastic piece on how people without language think and reason over at Neuroanthropology.

Science News covers the recent study finding a link between body shape and mental performance in older women.

Like cranking up the volume in an irony chamber. In the News covers a new study that found that watching Fox’s TV fictional series on the science of lying makes people worse at detecting lies. Genius.

Nature News discusses why music is good for you. Doesn’t mention air guitar. Otherwise a good piece.

Depressed people see less colour contrast in the world, according to a fascinating study covered by Neurophilosophy.

The LA Times has a piece by a medical anthropologist discussing the stark reality behind the reality TV show where families hold an ‘intervention‘ for their drug addicted relatives. No, I’m not making this up. More background on Somatosphere.

You guys know that the no-holds-barred neuroscience blog Developing Intelligence has sprung back into life?

Newsweek covers the trouble with using undergraduates for research and the W.E.I.R.D. problem.

There’s a great review of ‘Methland’, a book on the speed industry in rural America, over at Addiction Inbox.

The Guardian asks ‘Why is the Hollywood portrayal of mental illness stuck in the dark ages?’

The behavioural psychology of drowning and why its not like the on-screen depiction is discussed in a fascinating Boing Boing post.

The New York Times covers an interesting finding that even without swallowing, a simple mouth rinse with carbohydrate solution tricks the brain into physical stamina mode.

There are ten freaky, funny, and fantastical dream sequences from the movies over at FlavorWire.

TED has a demo of the Emotiv consumer EEG headset. Mainly a sales pitch but a good preview.

Why do we cry? Eight half-baked ideas are discussed over at Mark Changizi’s blog. No one really knows.

Time magazine has a great piece on the complex link between marijuana and schizophrenia.

Do women who remove their pubic hair have better sexual function? Some evidence-based minky trimming from Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

New Scientist has an excellent piece by straight thinking neuroscientist Lise Elliot on science, sexism and gender myths.

“Sarcasm is a way of being nasty without leaving a paper trail” according to a good piece on the invention of sarcasm on the Cheap Talk blog.

The Fortean Times has an excellent piece on the history of physiognomy and ‘why ugly people are more likely to break the law’.

Neuromarketing company NeuroFocus are just trolling us now: have ‘launched a 3D virtual reality tool, N-Matrix 3D, that it claims will bring digital technology ‚Äúon a par with Avatar‚Äù’

The Psychologist are looking for new voices to bloom as writers in their pages. Want to develop your writing and get published? See here.

There is continuing coverage of the ongoing debate about the UK regulation of psychotherapists over at the Mental Nurse blog. The best coverage I’ve seen anywhere so far.

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