Spike activity 30-01-2015

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

PLOS Neuroscience has an excellent interview on the strengths and limitations of fMRI.

There’s an excellent profile of clinical psychologist Andrea Letamendi and her interest in comics and mental health in The Atlantic.

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent piece on hikikomori – a syndrome of ultra withdrawal by Japanese youth.

The Hearing Voices Network as an alternative approach to supporting voice hearers is covered by a good article in The Independent.

Backchannel looks at the largest ‘virtual psychology lab’ in the world.

Does subliminal advertising actually work? asks BBC News.

BPS Research Digest covers a study finding that psychologists and psychiatrists rate patients less positively when their problems are explained biologically. Along the lines of several similar studies.

Spike activity 09-01-2015

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

Game theorists crack poker according to a fascinating report from Nature. First nuclear war, now poker. Whatever next!

Harvard Business Review has a genuinely interesting piece on the psychology of office politics.

Child mental health services have been secretly cut by £50m according to BBC News. What we need is some important politician to tell us how important mental health is to make this right again.

British Journal of Psychiatry puts a psychedelic portrait of the Shulgins on its front cover. Rumour has it that if you lick the pages your hallucinations disappear.

There’s an interesting piece in Wired about images specifically generated to mislead AI image recognition algorithms.

The New York Times has an extended and interesting profile of innovative neuroscientist Sebastian Seung.

Can deaf people hear hallucinated voices? An interesting piece in Mosaic tackles the issue.

Spike activity 19-12-2014

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

MIT Tech Review has an interesting piece about ‘troll hunters’ – a new wave of internet abuse vigilantes.

ABC All in the Mind has a good edition asking whether mirror neurons have been oversold. Spoiler alert: yes, they have.

The New York Magazine’s Science of Us section has an interesting piece on whether terrorists can be rehabilitated.

The LSE has an excellent interview with Nikolas Rose on the social implications of the Human Brain Project.

A new study covered by Neuroskeptic finds that head motion biases yet another area of neuroimaging – this time voxel-based morphometry.

Science magazine has an interesting piece on how ideas flow between languages.

There are some excellent extended video interviews with psychologist Gary Marcus on the ‘future of the brain’ over at Live Science.

Foreign Policy magazine has an extended article which perfectly captures the ‘global mental health’ approach to extending mental health services. Please note: other approaches are available.

There’s an extended post on the Skype site that explains the AI tech behind their real-time language translator software.

Spike activity 12-12-2014

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

The new trailer for upcoming Pixar movie Inside Out is very funny and has a remarkably accurate depiction of brain function.

Neurocritic covers hipster neuroscience.

Is the ‘bilingual advantage’ in cognitive performance a result of publication bias? Maybe, suggests the Science of Us.

The Economist asks whether behavioural economics could be a tool to tackle global poverty.

Why do friendly people usually lead happier lives? asks BPS Research Digest.

Fastcompany has an interesting piece on the curious results from an online lingerie company who use extensive A/B testing of model photos to see underwear.

The science of why torture makes for useless interrogation – in New Scientist.

Spike activity 05-12-2014

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

There’s a picture gallery from the abandoned Talgarth and Denbigh asylums at Wales Online.

The Guardian has a piece on psychologist William Marston, polyamory, feminism and the genesis of Wonder Woman. Doesn’t mention he also invented the polygraph.

The saga of the lost, maybe found, and probably destroyed lost brains of Texas University is covered by the New York Times.

Pacific Standard has an interesting piece on what sociologists can tell us about serial killing.

End of the Road for “Endophenotypes”? Neuroskeptic covers a provocative but not particularly well powered study on the highly cited psychiatric Lego blocks of the mind.

BBC News has an investigative piece on the ‘world’s most dangerous’ psychiatric hospital. Very disturbing indeed.

Excellent piece in BBC Future on common myths about PTSD.

For decades, the idea of a language instinct has dominated linguistics. It is simple, powerful and completely wrong, argues linguist Vyvyan Evans over at Aeon

Spike activity 28-11-2014

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

The Pentagon publishes their plan for future war and they seem to have ripped off the plot from 1980s Rogue Trooper story lines.

The Scientist has a basic guide to imaging white matter with diffusion MRI. Next week in The Scientist: Collar up or collar down? We explore the latest lab coat trends.

Neurons light up Times Square for Midnight Moment – and they look amazing. Photo in New Scientist.

xkcd wins the internet with this cartoon simply entitled fMRI. Don’t miss the mouseover.

US regulators move on thought-controlled prosthetics, reports Nature – as soon as they can relax enough move the cursor. Mind Hacks – your number one source for brain-computer interface gags. Don’t miss our Christmas selection.

Mosaic Science asks whether hospital design can affect our recovery. With some fascinating answers.

Retroreport has a good video report on Sybil and the multiple-personality disorder hysteria that swept America in the 1970s.

A group of historians are identifying and memorialising unmarked graves of patients from an abandoned asylum in the States. Touching article and video report from The New York Times.

Spike activity 21-11-2014

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

Wall Street Journal on The Future of AI: An Ubiquitous, Invisible, Smart Utility.

A list of the 100 most followed psychologists and neuroscientists on Twitter compiled by the BPS Research Digest. And a mixed bag it is too.

Student Science has a fantastic how-to on how to build a sensory homunculus based on data from your own body.

Is There a Link Between Mental Health and Gun Violence? asks The New Yorker. Next to bugger all, says the research.

Neuroskeptic has an interesting post on how brain structure – behaviour findings might not replicate in brain scanning. Lots of good comments.

Pavlov. What an asshole. The New Yorker covers the little known story behind a psychology legend.

When Bad Things Happen in Slow Motion. Is there more to our experience of time than the foibles of memory? asks Nautilus magazine.

Science reports on a new finding of a genetic link to male homosexuality.

Interesting New Scientist piece on how altering the auditory feedback from our contact with the environment can shape perception of ourselves.

Spike activity 14-11-2014

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

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an excellent piece arguing for more focus on developing good theories of the brain amid the cascade of cash for neuroscience methods.

Moving Beyond Left Brain, Right Brain, Neuroskeptic goes in-depth with Michael Corballis. More neuronerd goodness from PLOS Neuro.

Nature magazine has a special open-access special on depression.

The Air Loom is short film based on the madness of James Tilly Matthews.

Neuroskeptic has some more wonderful etymological maps of the brain.

When we lie to children, are we teaching them to be dishonest? Interesting piece from the BPS Research Digest.

BBC News reports on a colour blind artist who had a camera implanted in his skull to allow him to hear colours.

There’s a good post on Providentia on Barnum statements and the psychology of vague complements.

Spike activity 07-11-2014

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

The odd beauty of 60-Year-old preserved brains from the Texas State Mental Hospital. Photo series from the Washington Post.

The Concourse has an interesting piece by an ex-con who discusses violence as a social currency in the US prison system. Interesting contrast between forensic treatment and inmate views of how violence works.

The latest series of BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind has just started and has hit the wires.

‘Taboo’ sexual fantasies are surprisingly common according to a study covered by Pacific Standard – see also the epidemiology of internet pornography.

The Scientist has an interesting and extensive piece on advances in face perception research.

Robots for the brain and neuroprosethics for the mind. Interesting Olaf Blanke talk.

Excellent retrospective of 50 years of methadone in Washington Monthly.

We’re Sexist Toward Robots. Sounds trivial but stay with it, actually quite an interesting piece in Motherboard.

Reddit AMA with Vanessa Tolosa – neuroscientist who develops implantable neural devices.

Fascinating BBC News article on the prehistoric population of Europe and the mystery group who brought farming with them.

Spike activity 31-10-2014

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

Nautilus has an interesting piece on how artificial intelligence systems are getting better at strategy.

Two neuroscientists explain why zombies have so much trouble walking in Slate

Vice magazine talks to a psychologist working in the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.

Neuroscientists manage to get past the blood-brain barrier for the first time potentially opening the way for getting new sorts of drugs to the brain. Covered in New Scientist.

The Neurocritic has an excellent piece on neuropsychological disorders involving mirrors.

The British are born to be miserable, according to a dreadful science story published in The Indepedent. Please note: The fact the conclusion happens to be true doesn’t mean it’s automatically good science.

Spike activity 24-10-2014

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

A Victorian lunatic asylum begins to reveal its secrets. The Wellcome Library now has the first of many digitised asylum records online.

Narratively has an excellent piece on legendary San Francisco eccentric Emperor Norton.

The marketers latest fad – make it seem it’s a feminist social campaign – has been taken on as an attempt to sell a rejected antidepressant as a treatment for the invented ‘female sexual dysfunction’. In-depth and important article in the BMJ.

Time magazine has a special features that looks inside the quasi-legal science-free world of medical marijuana for children.

Russian artist cuts off earlobe to protest use of forced psychiatry on dissidents reports The Guardian.

BBC Radio 3 has an interesting doco called Como Songs about families’ experience of having a loved-one in a coma or coma-like state.

Decades of lie detection research has been unrealistic. Interesting piece from the BPS Research Digest.

IEEE Spectrum magazine has an interview with machine learning ninja Michael Jordan who grit blasts the hype off big data and deep learning.

The latest RadioLab is on the wonderful vagaries of translation / traducción / tradução.

Spike activity 05-10-2014

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

Dropping science: neuroscientists throw down epic / excruciating rap battle on Twitter. Bring the line noise.

The New Yorker has an interesting piece on the neuroscientific legacy of the Vietnam War. In neuroscience terms, it was America’s World War One.

The latest edition of Nature NeuroPod is particularly good: psychosis, detecting animacy, network theory for brains.

Livescience covers an interesting study finding that the uncanny valley effect is affected by loneliness.

The US Government spend $300 million on BRAIN initiative projects and the news coverage is remarkably poor. Here’s the best of a bad bunch: reporting from MIT Tech Review.

Nautilus has some postcards from the edge of consciousness. On the science of sensory deprivation.

Guy breaks captcha on Silk Road 2.0 and scrapes the site for trends in the dark net drug trade.

Slate covers ‘Sluggish cognitive tempo’ – another in a long-line of vague and unhelpful psychiatric disorder-hopefuls to sell medication for.

A peculiar prevalence of p-values below p=.05 in Psych Science? Not so fast. Great piece from Daniel Lakens blog.

Most People With Addiction Simply Grow Out of It: Why Is This Widely Denied? Excellent piece in Substance.

This week in bad neuroscience reporting: beer and curry ‘heal the brain’. Next week: wanking and funfairs cure Parkinson’s disease.

Spike activity 26-09-2014

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

Why most scientists don’t take Susan Greenfield seriously. A serious rebuttal for some poor scientific claims over at BishopBlog.

The Guardian has a good profile of food and flavour scientist Charles Spence who specialises in sensory integration.

Couvade syndrome: some men develop signs of pregnancy when their partners are pregnant. The Conversation has a piece on a genuinely intriguing condition.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an interesting piece on Why Freud Still Haunts Us.

‘GCHQ employs more than 100 dyslexic and dyspraxic spies’ according to some covert recruiting PR slipped out as news in The Telegraph.

The New York Times has a retrospective on the life and times of Prozac.

There’s an excellent concise introduction to RDoC in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia that is essential reading if you’re interesting in the future of psychiatric neuroscience.

Rewriting the Rules has an interesting reflection from relationship psychologist Meg Barker on 10 years of researching open relationships and non-monogamy.

Pipe-wielding philosopher of mind Pete Mandik occasionally puts out great educational videos. This on Daniel Dennett’s ‘multiple drafts’ theory of consciousness is excellent.

Spike activity 12-09-2014

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

New Scientist reports that sleeping brains can process and respond to words. Forward directly to boss.

“Cyranoids” – Stanley Milgram’s Creepiest Experiment. Neuroskeptic covers the science behind a little known Milgram experiment and a curiously common TV trope.

The Neurocritic reports on a case of mistakenly garnishing your dish with hallucinogenic flowers.

America’s New Bedlam. Genuinely disturbing BBC Radio Assignment documentary on mental illness in US prisons. Podcast at this mp3 link.

Science News reports on the lack of research on the science of potty training.

Well, what do you know. The Fix reports that anti-marijuana academics are being paid by makers of prescription opiates.

io9 reports on a woman with no cerebellum – one of the few known cases on congenital cerebellar agenesis.

Brain surgeon Henry Marsh, who has had a long relationship with Ukraine, writes in The Guardian of his experience of being there during the recent upheaval.

Spike activity 15-08-2014

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

An important editorial in Nature describes the pressing problem of how research is not being turned into practice for treating children with mental health problems caused by armed conflict.

Not Exactly Rocket Science covers a swarm of self-organising autonomous robots that have the potential to rise up, rise up and threaten humanity with their evil buzzing. To the bunkers!

A Malaysian language names odors as precisely as English does colors. Interesting finding covered by Discover Magazine.

New York Magazine has a piece on the social psychology of how the presence of militarised police can increase aggression.

The Demographics of Genocide: Who Commits Mass Murder? Interesting piece in The Atlantic.

The Neurocritic has a fascinating interview with Jan Kalbitzer, the man behind the ‘Twitter psychosis’ case study, who discusses the media reverberations of the article.

Excellent Wired profile of Yann LeCun, AI guru begind Facebook’s, tweaked deep learning revolution.

Science News has an interesting piece on how the explosion of baby monitoring technology feeds ‘paranoia parenting’.

The new president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists gives his first interview in The Guardian and lays down some hard truths about mental health treatment.

Spike activity 11-07-2014

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

Your Brain Is On the Brink of Chaos. Nautilus has an interesting piece on chaos the and the brain.

Neuroskeptic has a good Q&A with Zach Mainen, one of the originators of the NeuroFuture open letter demanding reform of the Human Brain Project.

There’s an open-access special issue on epilepsy in the latest edition of Nature.

The New York Times has a good piece on developments towards brain implants for cognitive enhancement.

Phantom limb pain tortures amputees and puzzles scientists. A man in Cambodia cycles round the country and treats it with mirrors. Excellent Mosaic Science piece.

Practical Ethics has an excellent piece on ‘tidying up psychiatry’.

Searching for the “Free Will” Neuron. Interesting piece from MIT Tech Review.

PLOS has launched a neuroscience channel.

Adults, like children, have a tendency to think vision is more informative than it is. Interesting piece on our understanding of what we understanding though looking from the BPS Research Digest

The Toast has what seems to be the first ever first-person account of Cotard’s delusion, the belief that you’re dead, in someone who experienced intense psychosis.