2010-09-24 Spike activity

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

The Guardian has a great piece on the attempts to create a brain-wave-based criminal-catching lie detector and why the technology hasn’t yet matched the hype.

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the excellent NeuroShrink blog recently. The latest post explores the link between Viagra and a transient but poorly understood form of amnesia.

Wired UK has a brief piece on how ‘scientists can read your face like a data-filled book’. In other words, slowly and only when asked to by the lab boss.

Fascinating cases of ‘sociopathic dementia‘ and their neurological explanations are discussed by the ever-excellent Neuroskeptic.

Scientific American has a great piece on the the neuroscience of selfhood that riffs on some of the unusual neurological cases of self-distortion we touch on recently.

There’s an in-depth but rewarding discussion on Child’s Play that challenges the orthodoxy that learning theories can’t explain how children acquire language because kids are often not corrected when they talk incorrectly.

Discover Magazine has an excellent article about how problems with understanding the spatial layout of the outside world after brain injury are helping us understand the neuroscience of space perception.

There odd and frankly stomach churning experiments of neurologist Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard are described in an eye-opening piece from Oscillatory Thoughts.

Seed Magazine looks at the popularity of the concept of the soul and how it relates to what we know about the neuroscience of integrated experience.

A professor of forensic psychology specialising in violence rails against a new proposed US law to restrict violent video games as a “waste of taxpayer money.” In the News covers his statement with a nice summary of the science.

The Atlantic asks ‘Where does music come from?’ and discusses possible reasons behind the existence of one of humankind’s more puzzling inventions.

JFK was killed by a neurotoxin deployed with a rocket launching umbrella, at least according to a theory published in the eccentric uncle of the science world – Medical Hypotheses. The Neurocritic covers the novel and unusually illustrated theory.

Salon has an amazing interview with someone who believed they had a ‘recovered memory’ of childhood abuse but later came to realise they’d falsely accused their father.

A great resource for films on medical anthropology available online is published on Somatosphere.

Scientific American’s Bering in Mind discusses the psychoactive effects of human semen. Insert your own ‘mind blowing’ jokes at will.

The excellent Wired the Brain blog has a great piece on the ancient origins of the cerebral cortex and the evolution of the brain.

The Guardian has a funny article on how the author almost got jailed for cocaine smuggling, why tests need to control for false positives, and why drug testing children is a bad idea.

Denglish, the German version of Spanglish, is covered in a delightful post over at LanguageLog.

The Sydney Morning Herald has an excellent interview with neuroscientist Olivier Oullier on emotion, rationality and decision-making.

How can we cultivate a positive attitude to homework in children? Evidence Based Mummy reviews the research that has directly tackled the question.

The Guardian covers the conviction of US-trained Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui. Who disappeared for years only to reappear in American custody. Her case raises more questions than answers.

There is a brief but excellent interview with Derren Brown on appearance and reality over at Philosophy Bites video.

Nature News covers a brilliantly conceived study where self-touch altered illusory pain owing to changes in body representation.

The man who animated the madness for the upcoming film about Ginsberg’s Howl is interview over at NeuroTribes.

Scientific American has a short piece on why we are less trusting of words said in a foreign accent.

By what age do children recognise that plagiarism is wrong? By the time they start school, it turns out, from a study covered by BPS Research Digest.

The Atlantic has a fantastic piece on the anthropology of hackers.

Philosopher and blogger Peter Mandik from Brain Hammer designs the cover for philosopher and blogger Eric Schwitzgebels’s new book on consciousness. Cool.

BBC World Service kicks off a promising new series on mysteries of the brain.

What are the ethical implications for the possible creation of a device to indicate whether someone is conscious or not? Neuron Culture picks up the baton.

All in the Mind from ABC Radio National had a brilliant interview with a philosopher of mind who has experienced psychosis.

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