Spike activity 03-07-2015

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

It is Time to Temper Our Artificial Intelligence Hysteria says PSFK

Oxford academic warns humanity runs the risk of creating super intelligent computers that eventually destroy us all in The Telegraph.

Fusion reports on how artificial intelligence is evolving to recognise porn.

BBC Radio 4’s The Life Scientific featured neurosurgeon Henry Marsh.

Counterpunch has an extended, detailed piece on ‘The Rise and Fall of the Human Terrain System’ – the US Army’s group of ‘war on terror’ weaponised anthropologists.

What kind of a person volunteers for a free brain scan? asks BPS Research Digest.

Neurocritic has an interesting ethical angle on the BRAIN Initiative’s aim to develop brain implants. Do we have the funding or expertise to actually use the medical technology if it is developed?

BBC Radio 4’s The Report has a documentary on chemsex (extended shagging while high) in London’s gay scene.

Mosaic has an interesting piece on being homesick in the modern world.

Wrinkled brain mimics crumpled paper. I know the feeling. Science News with the story.

Spike activity 26-06-2015

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

Picture This? Some Just Can’t. The New York Times covers a new study on people without visual imagery – that science writer Carl Zimmer helped discover.

New Republic on how the Romans understood hallucinations. “They did not have a single concept of ‘hallucination’ until very late on”.

Science of the pornocalypse. Aeon has an excellent piece that looks at the evidence for benefits and harms of pornography.

Pacific Stand has an important piece on copy number variant genetic mutations and intellectual disabilities.

Neuroscience and Politics: Do Not Hold Your Breath. Good critical piece in E-International Relations on how neuroscience is being used and abused to understand political views.

The Guardian has a reflective piece on inter-generational fathering and child psychology.

There’s a good piece over at Neurocritic about one of the many mouse studies spun by the media in folk psychology terms.

Spike activity 12-06-2015

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

The New York Times has a fascinating piece about the three waves of ancient peoples who arrived in Europe to found the modern population.

I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that the UK Government are deliberately side-lining their own scientific advisors to implement an unworkable ban on psychoactive substances. Reported by BBC News.

Narratively has a gallery from a photographer covering an innovative treatment program for violent offenders to reintegrate into society.

Injectable electronics holds promise for basic neuroscience, treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases. Coverage from PhysOrg.

Motherboard have had an excellent week of special articles on neuroscience.

The British police are deploying face recognition technology to scan festival crowds for matches to their mugshot database, according to the hacks at The Register.

Head quarters covers the dodgy popularity of online quizes to test if you’re a psychopath.

A short history of medicalising stress. Good piece in The FT.

Nature reports on The Pentagon’s focus on brain implants, bionic limbs and combat exoskeletons. Sounds sinister but they’re just tooling up humans for when the robot war comes. To the bunkers fellow cyborgs!

A new big budget fantasy video game has a hero who experiences psychosis. Motherboard has a piece on what could be a groundbreaking moment for mental health, or could be a soulbreaking moment for mental health stigma.

Aeon has an interesting piece on the work of a ‘metaphor designer‘ to use in PR campaigns.

Spike activity 05-06-2015

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

Fusion has an oddly fascinating piece on the AI of dick pic detection which turns out to be a surprisingly hard problem (matron).

Uber poaches 40 people from Carnegie Mellon’s robotics researcher community wanting to boost their autonomous car technology according to the Market Watch.

Brain Metrics has an excellent primer on a key neuroscience technique: What does MEG measure?

There’s an excellent in-depth article in The New York Times on pregnancy and depression by writer Andrew Solomon.

MIT Tech Review covers AI’s first cheating scandal. Apparently, some of the puny humans it was trying to wipe out were already critically ill to start with.

Interesting piece in The Guardian. “My son has autism. That’s why I won’t be finishing Norman Doidge’s book.” My condolences for starting.

BBC Future has a fascinating piece on highly multilingual people.

There’s a good profile of behavioural economist Richard Thaler in Bloomberg.

Discover has a fascinating short piece on ‘phantom eye syndrome’ – like a phantom limb limb after eye removal: “symptoms included pain, visual sensations, or the impression of actually seeing with the missing eye”.

This looks excellent: trailer for an upcoming six-part documentary series on neuroscience called The Brain. Hosted by neuroscientist David Eagleman.

Essential Forbes piece on the almost approved ‘female Viagra’ flibanserin: 0.7 extra sexually satisfying events per month, no effect on sexual desire, “very significant side effects” and promoted by an astroturfed ‘equality’ campaign. Progress people!

Spike activity 29-05-2015

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

The Psychologist has a great piece by leading neurosurgeon Henry Marsh on mistakes, mystery and the mind.

When Does Consciousness Begin and End? Interesting piece from PBS.

The Lancet Psychiatry has a great piece on a unique suicide crisis resolution house in London.

Who Are You Now? Brilliant site from Headway East London on life stories of brain injury survivors.

The Dana Foundation discusses research on how ‘cognitive peaks‘ happen at different ages for different abilities.

Cavemen didn’t live in caves. Why we see early humans through modern humans’ eyes. Good article in Nautilus.

BBC Radio 4 has the first part of a two-part documentary on psychology and the origins of the Satanic ritual abuse panic.

Hacking the nervous system through the vagus nerve. Excellent piece in Mosaic Science.

Spike activity 12-05-2015

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

No, there is no evidence for a link between video games and Alzheimer’s disease, reports HeadQuarters after recent media bungles. We’re still waiting to hear on SimCity and Parkinson’s disease though.

The American Psychiatric Association has a new corporate video that looks like a Viagra advert.

BPS Research Digest reports on a fascinating study that gives a preliminary taxonomy of the voices inside your head.

What does fMRI measure? Essential piece from the Brain Box blog that gives an excellent guide to fMRI.

New Republic has an excellent piece on the proliferation of ‘trigger warnings’ and puts them in context of the history of PTSD, war and society.

Someone freeze-framed the movie Ex Machina and ran the code displayed on one of the monitors. Here’s what it does.

Atlas Obscura has a series of photos originally taken by pioneering neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing to document the early days of brain surgery.

What Can “Lived Experience” Teach Neuroscientists? asks Neuroskeptic. On why so many of these debates assume scientists are not people with mental health problems.

Reuters reports that a clinical psychologist has been put in charge of one of American’s largest prisons. “When a third of your population is mentally ill, you sure as heck better have someone who understands that at the top”.

Brain implants in the parietal lobe let paralyzed man move robotic arm reports Science News

Spike activity 15-05-2015

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

What does fMRI measure? Excellent fMRI primer on the Brain Box blog.

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent profile of neuroscientist Sophie Scott and her research understanding laughter.

Time has a piece on how rappers are de-stigmatising mental illness.

A brilliant review of neurosurgeon Henry Marsh’s book ‘Do No Harm’ from The New Yorker also works as a wonderful stand-alone article.

APA Monitor has a great interview with cognitive psychology pioneer Jerome Bruner as he approaches his 100th birthday.

The Brighter Side of Rabies. The New Yorker on how one of the world’s most deadly pathogens is revolutionising brain science.

The Verge has a piece on the ‘engineers of addiction’. Slot machine designers perfected compulsive play now tech wants their tricks.

The first scientific studies have attempted to understand the blue and black / white and gold dress phenomenon and are covered in The New York Times.

The New Yorker has a great non-hagiographic review of Oliver Sacks’ new biography.

Oddly, I’ve been quoted in a trailer for Ex Machina although my name has been spelt wrong which proves that machines aren’t invincible and humans will triumph in the coming robot war.

Spike activity 08-05-2015

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

An autonomous truck has been cleared to drive on US roads for the first time according to New Scientist. Robot mudflap girl still being designed.

Backchannel covers the recent Facebook filter bubble study. Rare helpful write-up.

Surge in US ‘brain-reading‘ patents reports BBC News. Most of which are junk, concludes article.

Science magazine has an article by NIMH head saying ‘mental disorders’ are really ‘brain disorders’ and fails to understand that different levels of explanation are not mutually exclusive.

A Better Way to Build Brain-Inspired Chips. MIT Tech Review on the memrister.

The Lab Lunch has a piece arguing against the computational view of mind and brain function.

An audio interview with a researcher who spent four years with the internet’s worst trolls is up on Motherboard. Lots of preamble but interview starts eventually.

Science News reports on a fascinating study about the genetics of emotional vividness.

Human trials for bionic eye with ‘wireless brain chip’ to start next year, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. I’ll have two.

The Economist has an extended article on excessive AI fear and the state of the technology.

The ‘immature teen brain’ defense and the Boston Bomber trial. The Washington Post tackles the neuroscience behind the courtroom claims.

BBC Radio 4 had a streaming only documentary on the language of pain.

Spike activity 01-05-2015

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

IT News reports on a serious proposal to have Australian kids exams marked by artificial intelligence.

First results from psychology’s largest reproducibility project according to Nature. Maybe bad news, maybe not-so-bad news – read the full piece for the devil and the detail.

The New York Times covers on a new report by ethical psychology campaigners that says that the American Psychological Association collaborated with the CIA on the justification for torture.

Can social unrest be predicted with social media? asks Science Insider

The Lancet Psychiatry on the history of cutting the body to cure the mind.

Why we laugh. Wonderful TED talk from neuroscientist Sophie Scott.

The Lay Scientist has an interesting network analysis of porn data: visualising fetish space. SFW. Unless your boss is offended by graph theory.

Ants Swarm Like Brains Think: A neuroscientist studies ant colonies to understand feedback in the brain in Nautilus.

Spike activity 24-04-2015

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

Prospect Magazine has a good article on early psychosis and young people who hear voices.

The cost of fame. The Message discusses the nefarious social effects of fame.

Neuroskeptic asks Where Are The Big Ideas in Neuroscience?

Emotional Intelligence Doesn’t Translate Across Borders. Essential piece from the Harvard Business Review.

The New Yorker has an excellent Oliver Sacks post-traumatic brain biography of actor Spalding Gray.

Can the Static-99 save us from sex offenders? BuzzFeed has an extended article on a widely used but perhaps over-trusted risk prediction tool in forensic psychology.

Neuroconscience has an excellent piece on current big trends in neuroscience.

Ritual cannibalism occurred in England 14,700 years ago reports Science News.

Spike activity 17-04-2015

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

The latest instalment of ‘the seductive allure of neuroscience’ has been released (aka the force awakens) – a solid study suggest spurious neuroscience adds weight to explanations. Great coverage from the BPS Research Digest.

Aeon asks an interesting question: throughout evolutionary history, we never saw anything like a montage. So why do we hardly notice the cuts in movies?

There’s an excellent Motherboard documentary on the contested future of autonomous military robots you can watch online. To the bunkers!

Should I train to be a psychologist? asks The Telegraph “Clinical psychologist: pick this if you’re non-judgmental, thick-skinned and empathetic”. Cardigans, Telegraphs, you failed to mention cardigans.

Harvard Business Review has a good piece on how artificial intelligence is almost ready for business.

There’s a fascinating piece in The New York Times about how deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s might have its effect.

Pacific Standard covers an interesting study on how school counsellors improve school performance.

Did Neurons Evolve Twice? asks Quanta Magazine. I’m not sure either of mine have common ancestors to be honest.

Narratively has a great profile of the only psychiatrist in Sadr City, Iraq.

Sex and relationship researchers write an open letter to the NSPCC to protest their use of a PR survey to claim a tenth of 12-13 year olds believe they are addicted to porn.

MIT Tech Review has a great interview on why seemingly ‘obvious’ technological interventions for poverty fail. Culture, culture, culture.

Spike activity 10-04-2015

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

A new series of BBC Radio 4’s mind and brain magazine programme All in the Mind has just kicked off.

The New York Times has an excellent piece on America’s mental illness fuelled, jail and treatment revolving door: For Mentally Ill Inmates, a Cycle of Jail and Hospitals.

One of the few good, balanced pieces on the recent ‘genetics of sex offending’ study appeared in The Independent. Full open-access paper here if you want the original source.

MIT Tech Review reports an example of how the newly cloudified IBM AI system Watson will likely be applied more widely: focussed but free-form information provision at the human level. In this case, a museum tour guide that answers any question thrown at it.

A special documentary on Artificial Intelligence and Cinema was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. You can listen online, streamed only, because the BBC know that mp3s can kill.

New Scientist reports that a baboon bone has been found in the famous Lucy skeleton.

The pseudonymous and excellent neuroscience blogger Neuroskeptic is interviewed at Blogginheads.tv and we finally get to see his real face.

Spike activity 06-03-2015

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

The strange world of felt presences. Great piece in The Guardian.

Nature reports that the Human Brain Project has voted for a change of leadership. But read carefully, it’s not clear how much will change in practice.

Surely the worst ‘neuroscience of’ article ever written? “The Neuroscience of ISIS” from The Daily Beast. Ruthlessly, it’s the first in a series.

Project Syndicate on why social science needs to be on the front-line of the fight against drug-resistant diseases.

Psychiatry is More Complex than Either its Proponents or its Critics Seem Able to Admit. Insightful piece on Mental Health Chat.

iDigitalTimes on what DeepMind’s computer game playing AI tells us where artificial intelligence falls short.

No link found between psychosis and use of ‘classic’ psychedelics LSD, psilocybin and mescaline in two large studies, reports Nature.

Beautiful online exhibition of the work of surreal optical illusion photographer Erik Johansson over at Twisted Sifter.

Spike activity 28-02-2015

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

Nautilus magazine has a good piece on behavioural economics and rethinking ‘nudges’. Although the rethink is really just another form of standard ‘nudge’.

The biggest hedge fund in the world, the $165 billion Bridgewater, starts an AI team to help give it the edge on investments reports Bloomberg. Well, they couldn’t get much worse than humans.

Gizmodo reports that a neuroscientist says he’ll do a head transplant ‘real soon now’. Hungover neuroscientist reads Gizmodo, thinks ‘I said what!?!’

The UK’s Post Office head of marketing has clearly been taken in by neuromarketing who thinks it will help them “better understand” their customers. Just like the stamp while we scan your brain…

The New York Times reports on pharma company Shire doing the old ‘disease marketing by the way I have a pill for that’ trick with DSM-5 newcomer binge eating disorder.

Hard Feelings: Science’s Struggle to Define Emotions. Good piece in The Atlantic.

The Human Brain Project is to be reorganised after a bit of a fuss (Americans: a significant crisis).

Being a asshole boss is bad for team performance. Interesting piece in Harvard Business Review.

Spike activity 20-02-2015

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

Interesting social mapping using subway journey data from Beijing reproted in New Scientist.

BPS Research Digest has compiled a comprehensive list of mind, brain and behaviour podcasts.

That study finding a surge of p values just below 0.05 in psychology, probably not a sign of bad science, reports Daniel Lakens with a new analysis.

The Toronto Star reports that psychologists terminated a study on implanting false crime memories early due to over-effectiveness.

Why do mirrors seem to reverse left and right but not up or down? Clear explanation in a great video from Physics Girl.

Vice has an interesting piece on public reactions to celebrities who become psychotic or begin to display unusual behaviour.

Science News has a map of ambient noisyness is America.

There’s an interesting interview with Facebook AI director Yann LeCun in IEEE Spectrum magazine.

Spike activity 13-02-2015

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

US Governor proposes that welfare recipients should be drug screened and have negative results as a condition for a payment. A fascinating Washington Post piece looks at past data on similar schemes.

BPS Research Digest launches the PsychCrunch podcast. First episode: evidence-based dating.

The brain, interrupted: neurodevelopment and the pre-term baby. Excellent Nature piece.

Fusion has a great piece on *how* we should worry about artificial intelligence.

“The world’s first hotel staffed entirely by robots is set to open in Japan” reports the International Business Times. Clearly they’ve never visited a Travelodge.

Forbes reports on the ‘coming boom in brain medicines’. Personally, I won’t be holding my breath.

There’s an excellent update on new psychoactive substances and synthetics drugs over at Addiction Inbox.

The Scientific 23 is a great site that interviews scientists and there are lots of cognitive scientists discussing their work.