Spike activity 29-04-2016

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

This is how it feels to learn your memories are fiction. Good BBC Future piece on confabulation from an event with the fantastic Headway East London. However, not rare as the strap line claims.

Neuroskeptic covers an interesting study on the neural precursors of spontaneous thoughts.

Who Will Debunk The Debunkers? Good FiveThirtyEight piece on why debunking memes can be myth and rumour.

Psychological Science in the Public Interest has a long, detailed impressive review article on the causes of differences in sexual orientation.

Good piece in Gizmodo on why the brain’s ‘pain matrix’ probably isn’t a ‘pain matrix’. Ignore the headline, has nothing at all to do with how pain is ‘diagnosed’.

PrimeMind has an excellent piece on the false dream of less sleep and why you can almost never win against sleep deprivation.

Science probably does advance one funeral at a time, reports Vox, covering an intriguing study.

The Atlantic reports on a new meta-analysis suggesting the harmful effects of spanking children based on correlative evidence. Should we be doing RCTs of controversial social interventions? asked Ben Goldacre last year.

The impressive ‘dictionary in the brain study’ has been fairly badly reported – lots of mention of words ‘located’ in the brain and brain area’s lighting up. Stat has a short but appropriate critique.

2 thoughts on “Spike activity 29-04-2016”

  1. Simply: thanks. I deeply appreciate the hours of trawling through the mind-field and producing this entertaining in itself synopsis.

  2. I think I know how Matthew feels.

    In 1972 I saw my boyfriend die in a road accident. During a psychotherapy session on 3rd March 2011 I broke through a blockage in my mind that maybe I didn’t see him die. I have proved to myself that he didn’t die at that time.
    I had found out that my memory of his death was a false one that I had believed completely for nearly 40 years.

    In 1972, at the time I saw him die, I was in a mental hospital was being ‘cured’ of my disease of being a homosexual by being given very painful electric shock aversion therapy. The doctors were trying to stop me loving my boyfriend. My love for my boyfriend was stronger than the pain I was receiving. To my young teenage mind at the time the only way out of this dilemma was to invent the death of my boyfriend to escape further pain. It worked, the aversion therapy stopped. What was the point of continuing the treatment as the person at the centre was dead?

    Is this a form of confabulation? I have searched online for research about false memories that have been made in the way I have experienced them but all I could find was false memories being invented in the present about what happened in the past.

    Can anyone point me in the direction of where I can find help to understand how my mind works?

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