Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news:
12% of women have eyes with four colour-detecting cone cells instead of three. Why don’t they all have superhuman colour vision? Fascinating piece from great new blog Neurosphere.
The BMJ has a genuine but wonderfully sarcastic fMRI study on a Christmas spirit network in the brain. “Further research is necessary to understand this and other potential holiday circuits in the brain”
In a mass of tissue as densely packed and hard-working as the brain, even the holes among the structural elements have jobs to do. Good piece from American Scientist.
The Maudsley Psychedelic Society launched this week with an inaugural lecture by Professor David Nutt. Visuals are suitably blurry in places but great talk.
Trying to simulate the human brain is a waste of time and energy. Critical piece in Aeon.
The Atlantic has an excellent piece on the emotional impact of working with traumatised patients if you’re a therapist. Ignore the daft headline on ‘PTSD being contagious’.
Good piece in MIT Tech Review. Can This Man Make AI More Human? One cognitive scientist thinks the leading approach to machine learning can be improved by ideas gleaned from studying children.
The Lancet has an excellent piece on hallucinated voices, identity, and meaning-making.
A Brief History of New York City’s Heroin Scene. Excellent Vice article from someone who was there.
Neurocritic covers ‘This Week in Neuroblunders: fMRI Edition’.
Why human sleep is an evolutionary anomaly. Fascinating piece in The New York Times.