Spike activity 02-10-2015

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

The madness of Charlie Brown. The Lancet has a wonderful article on Lucy, Charlie Brown’s local psychiatrist.

The Atlantic has an excellent piece on new research showing neurons have different genomes.

Mexico’s 13-year-old psychologist is amazing, reports USA Today. Sí, es.

PLOS Neuro has an excellent in-depth piece about the neuroscience of sleep deprivation.

Boring cityscapes increase sadness, addiction and disease-related stress. Is urban design a matter of public health? asks Aeon.

The Wall Street Journal on why a new paper may show that the ‘hot hand’ effect in basketball may be real after all.

Pioneering dubstep DJ and producer Benga was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia last year. He speaks to The Guardian on mental health and his comeback.

The Psychologist has an excellent piece on whether the media be restricted in their reporting of mass shootings to prevent copycat killings.

There’s a good piece in Nature about the state of connectome research in neuroscience.

Spike activity 25-09-2015

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

Science has a fascinating piece on how cultures developed words for numbers – many languages don’t have words for numbers above five.

The majority illusion. The social illusion covered by Tech Review where something can seem socially common despite being rare in the overall group.

Wired has a thought-provoking piece on the potential role of the internet in hastening the demise of dying languages.

Researchers who reported a study on how oxytocin increases trust try and fail to replicate their own results. Good coverage from Neuroskeptic.

The LA Times has a good piece in light of the Hajj disaster that dispels some crowd behaviour myths.

There’s a brilliant piece from boxer Jerome Wilson on what it’s like to recover from a serious brain trauma in The Telegraph. Really, it’s great, go and read it.

The Guardian covers the news that a man completes a 3.5-metre course thanks to computer system that reroutes signals from his brain to electrodes on his knees.

DeepMind’s AI can now beat humans at 31 Atari 2600 arcade games, reports TechRepublic. Still thinks ET was rubbish.

Pacific Standard has a fascinating piece on how our understanding of Neanderthals has dramatically and rapidly shifted.

Guy puts cameras in his home to record every second of his new baby’s life to record his exposure to language and work out how new words emerge. Great study and findings covered in Science News.

AlterNet has a good piece critiquing the concept of ‘sex addiction‘.

Spike activity 18-09-2015

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

GlaxoSmithKline straight-up lied about teen suicide attempts in a trial that was used to convince regulators that Paxil was safe for kids. In-depth from the BMJ. Good summary from The Atlantic.

The New York Times on basically the same shit from Johnson & Johnson over Risperdal. Jaw-dropping punchline: the profits were worth more than any financial blow-back in fines and law suits.

Fascinating article on how the ability to deceive is being built into AI and robot interactions from Fusion. To the bunkers!

The Whitehouse, yes, President Obama, issues an executive order requiring all government services to use behavioural science nudges ‘to Better Serve the American People’. “Your neighbours believe that we have always been at war with Eastasia…”

The neuroscience of Donald Trump. I SHIT YOU NOT. A Salon piece that should be a warning to everyone not to write neuroscience articles while high on butane.

The head of the world’s biggest mental health science organisation, the NIMH, is leaving to join Google. Will be deleting YouTube videos that mention the DSM.

Wired reports on a new campaign to ban sex robots. It’s the date-that-drags-on robots I want to see the back of.

The big review paper on the lack of political diversity in social psychology is finally out. Heterodox Academy has links to the full text.

MyCentralJersey reports on Jason Lunden, an autistic neuroscientist who researches the neuroscience of autism.

There’s a brilliant piece in The Psychologist about Geel in Belgium, where for 700 years boarders with learning disabilities and mental health problems have lived with residents.

Spike activity 11-09-2015

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

Mental illness throughout the animal kingdom. Interesting piece from BBC Earth.

The Guardian has an excellent in-depth article on scorpion venom as a way of identifying brain tumours during neurosurgery.

There’s an excellent piece on the history of using deception in psychology studies over at Aeon.

The Covnersation has an excellent piece on how so much talk about ‘the brain’ in education is meaningless.

Psychology Should Aim For 100% Reproducibility. Some Grade A trolling from Neuroskeptic.

Robohub has an interesting piece on ‘morphological computation’ and the hidden superpower of soft-bodied robots.

Yet another ancient human / hominin species is discovered. Great coverage from The Atlantic. So where’d all our cousins go?

Spike activity 04-09-2015

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

Go get your gramophonic digital podcast player and listen to this amazing BBC Radio 4 programme on how the social discussion of dreams has changed through history.

The Atlantic on what Google’s trippy neural network-generated images tell us about the human mind.

Ignore the fact that this is yet another article on mental health that says this particular condition is much more common than you think, and you’ll find an interesting piece on depersonalisation in The Guardian.

Nature has a tribute and article collection in memory of Oliver Sacks.

Architecture’s brief love affair with psychology is overdue a revival. Good piece in The Conversation.

The New York Review of Books has Oliver Sacks’s last piece on Klüver-Bucy syndrome, the temporal lobes and unruly urges.

One of the great debates in neuroscience: are all neurodegenerative diseases caused by prions? Interesting post from Brainblogger.

Spike activity 28-08-2015

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

Vice has an excellent documentary about how skater Paul Alexander was affected by mental illness as he was turning pro.

The US Navy is working on AI that can predict a pirate attacks reports Science News. Apparently it uses Arrrrgh-tificial intelligence. I’m here all week folks.

The New York Times has a good piece on the case for teaching ignorance to help frame our understanding of science.

Yes, Men’s and Women’s Brains Do Function Differently — But The Difference is Small. Interesting piece on The Science of US.

Lots of junk reporting on the Reproducibility Project but these are some of the best we’ve not mentioned so far:
* Neuropsychologist Dorothy Bishop gives her take in The Guardian.
* The BPS Research Digest gives a good run-down of the results

Good video interview with philosopher Patricia Churchland on neuroscience for SeriousScience.

Spike activity 21-08-2015

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

Be wary of studies that link mental illness with creativity or high IQ. Good piece in The Guardian.

Nautilus has a piece on the lost dream journal of neuroscientist Santiago Ramon y Cajal.

Video games are tackling mental health with mixed results. Great piece in Engadget.

The Globe and Mail asks how we spot the next ‘lone wolf’ terrorist and looks at some of the latest research which has changed what people look for.

A third of young Americans say they aren’t 100% heterosexual according to a YouGov survey. 4% class themselves as ‘completely homosexual’, a further 3% as ‘predominantly homosexual’.

National Geographic reports on a study suggesting that three-quarters of handprints in ancient cave art were left by women.

Psychiatry is reinventing itself thanks to advances in biology says NIMH Chief Thomas Insel in New Scientist. Presumably a very slow reinvention that doesn’t seem to change treatment very much.

Wired report that IBM have a close-to-production neuromorphic chip. Big news.

Most people are resilient after trauma. Good piece in BBC Future.