Spike activity 27-06-2014

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

Slate has a piece on developmental psychology’s WEIRD problem. Most kids in child psychology studies are from very restricted social groups – rich, educated families.

Facebook manipulated stories in users’ newsfeeds to conduct experiments on emotional contagion. Don’t remember signing the consent form for the study that appeared in PNAS?

Time covers the massive prevalence of PTSD among US veterans. The Pentagon’s PTSD treatments “appear to be local, ad hoc, incremental, and crisis-driven” with no effective evaluation.

Excellent analysis of a new study: FDA’s antidepressant warning didn’t actually backfired and cause more suicides. Neuroskeptic on the case.

Time magazine has an interesting piece on the under-reported problem of violence in women.

Interesting National Geographic piece about how new finds of human skull bones show even more complexity in the evolution of human and hominid species.

Slate has a piece on how that a lot of zoo animals are on antipsychotics because they become mentally ill when enclosed.

Spike activity 20-06-2014

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

OK Go’s new music video is like standing naked under a waterfall of optical illusions while wearing hipster spectacles.

The mighty Neurocritic looks at advances in physical brain tweaking and the possible rebirth of paradise engineering.

The Dana Foundation has an excellent piece on how to make sense of those ‘gene for’ behavioural genetics stories in the media.

Slow news day: The New York Times reports my killer robot opinions. Sadly the key quote (“To the bunkers if you want any chance of saving yourselves from the coming robotocalypse. RUN, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!”) was omitted.

PsyPost reports on a new study finding that the ‘trophy wife’ stereotype is largely a myth, because not even good looks can break the class barrier.

Watching porn won’t shrink your brain. Just makes you a bit sore. Brain Watch comments on a widely misreported recent study.

The Atlantic has a great piece on five neurology patients who changed the way we think about the brain.

There’s an excellent article about maternal mental health in The New York Times.

Simon says Psychosis! is an excellent new mini-documentary on the first experience of psychosis and early intervention services.

The ever-interesting neuroscientist Molly Crockett is featured in this Wellcome Trust focus on scientists’ working days.

Spike activity 06-06-2014

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

Psychedelic chemist, godfather of Ecstasy, and lover of phenethylamines, Alexander Shulgin, has left the building. PhysOrg has an obituary.

New Republic looks back at 50 years of the landmark account of psychosis ‘I Never Promised You a Rose Garden’.

The US Secret Service wants a sarcasm detection tool for Twitter reports The Telegraph. Their irony detection tool is apparently still switched off.

Aeon Magazine has a piece on how artificial intelligence is being used to develop the first generation of sex robots. Voight-Kampff plugin for Tinder coming soon.

British folk: Now that BBC Future is available to people in the country it is based in, do check out its large cache of excellent psychology and neuroscience articles.

Mosaic has an extensive article on the US Military’s interest in boosting the brain by passing small electrical currents through it.

Go check out this excellent piece on ‘mirror neurons’ and what they’re likely to be actually doing from Nautilus magazine.

Advances in the History of Psychology blog has an interesting piece on how Little Albert may not have been correctly identified after all.

How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher of Mind Daniel Dennett brings some wisdom and describes the four steps to arguing intelligently over at Brain Pickings.

The Economist has a great interview with risk psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer.

Spike activity 30-05-2014

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

If you’ve not been keeping up with the internet, there’s been a replication crisis hoedown and everyone’s had a go on the violin.

Political Science Replication had a good summary. Schnall’s reply, the rise of ‘negative psychology’ and a pointed response.

Military Plans To Test Brain Implants To Fight Mental Disorders reports NPR. If only there was some way to avoid traumatising people…

The BPS Research Digest has been hosting some amazing guest mind and brain writers and here’s an index to all their articles.

The Myth of Einstein’s Brain. Neuroskeptic has an excellent piece about how studies of his kidnapped brain don’t actually tell us much.

The Best Illusion of the Year contest has just announced it’s 2014 winners.

Spacetimemind is a new podcast with some good philosophy of mind material.

Neuroscientists win 2014 Kavli Prize in neuroscience: Brenda Milner, John O’Keefe, and Marcus Raichle

The Blind Woman Who Sees Rain, But Not Her Daughter’s Smile. Another fascinating piece from NPR.

Brain Watch asks ‘what happens if you apply electricity to the brain of a corpse?’ Don’t try this at home.

Philosopher fight in the New York Review of Books: Patricia Churchland and Colin McGinn on brains and minds and retorts like only philosophers can manage.

Spike activity 16-05-2014

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

Motherboard on a legal rights framework for biohacking the brain. Caveat hax0r no?

There Is a Doppelganger Inside All Our Heads. Interesting piece in Nautilus.

Discover Magazine covers the latest study on using electrical stimulation to increase the chance of lucid dreaming.

The seductive allure of a brain scanner made out of an old hair dryer. The mighty Neurocritic covers a curious study.

BPS Research Digest covers an interesting study on sex lives following lower limb amputation.

Turns out there are interesting financial interests behind the ‘neuroscience in the classroom’ movement. Coverage by the Headquarters blog.

Mosaic has an excellent piece on one person’s quest to understand an existence dominated by the bleakest, darkest moods.

Study linking brain cancer and mobiles inconclusive. NHS Choices covers study widely reported as “We’re doomed. Doomed, I tell you!”

Why We Took Cocaine Out of Soda. Mainly racism as it turns out. Article in The Atlantic.

Elder statesfolk of cognitive neuroscience Uta and Chris Frith have started an excellent blog called Social Minds.

Daily News on American politicians throwing neuropsychological insults around. I’ll vote for the first one who gets a basal ganglia dig in.

There’s an interesting piece on ‘supertaskers‘ – the 2% of people who can multitask without dropping their performance level over at The New Yorker.

Spike activity 09-05-2014

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

Slate has an in-depth piece on the ‘real story’ of Phineas Gage. Perhaps not such a revelation to some but beautifully told nonetheless.

There’s an extensive piece on the latest developments with neuromorphic chips in MIT Tech Review.

Foreign Policy magazine has ‘The Case Against Killer Robots‘. Wasn’t this made way back in the early 80s?

Things You Cannot Unsee (and What That Says About Your Brain). Nice piece on visual perception and scence interpretation in the brain from The Atlantic.

Wired takes us Inside the Strange New World of DIY Brain Stimulation.

Fascinating piece on BPS Research Digest: The enigma of dyslexic musicians.

New Scientist has a piece on RDoC ‘psychiatry’s scientific reboot’ but don’t miss BishopBlog with a more critical take.

A short history of game panics. Reason magazine takes us on a trip through history.

Neuroskeptic discusses a new study on how fMRI studies could be confounded by the pattern of the participants’ breathing.

Spike activity 02-05-2014

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

All the amazing Dwayne Goodwin and Jorge Cham brain comics are collated in this one fantastic tumblr.

Not Exactly Rocket Science covers a fascinating study on how randomly distributed initial benefits can lead to long-term gains.

You Neanderthal! Why thank you madam. New Scientist on how there’s no good evidence that Neanderthals were any less intelligent than us.

The Lancet Psychiatry journal launches today. Which you probably mostly missed because it is locked behind a paywall picket fence. It does, however, have a freely available podcast that looks great.

The mythconception of the mad genius. Good article in Frontiers in Psychology challenging the idea that creativity and madness are linked.

Scientific American Mind on surprising connections between words and the sense of motion through space. Which is why I always sound like a drunk salsa dancer when I talk.

The trouble with sex. ABC Radio National’s Philosopher’s Zone asks why philosophy has a hot and cold relationship to sex.

Forbes cover the FDA crackdown on autism quackery.

Spike activity 25-04-2014

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

Induced hallucination turns doctors into pizza chefs. New Scientist on a recent brain stimulation study that sadly didn’t actually get doctors to make pizza.

The Telelgraph has an interesting piece on human vision and its impossibilities.

There’s an excellent piece in The Guardian asking whether misused developmental neuroscience is defining early years and child protection policy.

New Republic has a fascinating piece on how different personality traits are in expressed when multi-linguals speak in different languages.

Drama in the teenage brain! The excellent science journal for kids – Frontiers for Young Minds – covers how the brain develops during adolescence.

TV Needs to Stop Treating Mental Illness as a Superpower says New Republic. It’s a step-up from treating it as a horror but still a poor cliché.

Nautilus has a fascinating piece on the quest to build the perfect painkiller – which doesn’t get you addicted.

Could the menstrual cycle have shaped the evolution of music? asks Science News.

Emotion Review has a meta-analysis of menstrual cycle effects on women’s mate preferences and finds little except publication bias.

The Face Recognition Algorithm That Finally Outperforms Humans. The Physics arXiv Blog covers the latest advance in face recognition AI.

Spike activity 18-04-2014

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

Wired has a fascinating interview with psychopath researcher Kent Kiehl. He of the mobile brain scanner.

Scanning brain energy could help predict who will wake from vegetative state. Interesting piece on preliminary research covered by The Conversation

Contrary to news stories, a recent study did not tell us that smoking weed damages your brain, reports The Daily Beast.

Gay genes? Yeah, but no, well kind of… but, so what? Excellent piece from Wiring the Brain. You guys all read Wiring the Brain right?

The Association for Psychological Science has an archive of interviews with legends of psychological science. Harlow’s wire monkey, the Bobo doll, Mischel’s uneaten marshmallow…

In Search of Ourselves: A History of Psychology and the Mind. An extensive 25-part radio series on the history of psychology kicks off on Monday 21st April on BBC Radio 4.

The United Nations release a report that has everything you ever wanted to know about your chance of being murdered. Pro-tip: don’t be male.

The evolutionary psychology of facial furniture. Scicurious on the behavioural science of beards.

Scientific American Mind reports on highlights from the recent Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting.

Irrationality ninja Dan Ariely has a kickstarter to make a documentary on dishonesty. 20 days left, a few more backers and it could make it. Looks fascinating.

Bloomberg on the booming business in behavioral finance. Although why not apply it to bankers rather than consumers to stop them fucking the economy? You can put the economics Nobel in the post.

A fascinating piece on the social and biopolitical role of bleach in a Nicaraguan community from the ever excellent Somatosphere.

Spike activity 11-04-2014

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

Things I’ve learned since being sectioned. Good piece on the appropriately named Sectioned blog.

The New York Times covers the latest in rising fads in proposed psychiatric diagnoses: sluggish cognitive tempo.

Don’t Throw Out The Baby With The Dead Salmon. Neuroskeptic discusses critiques of fMRI.

Slate has a eulogy to a man with amnesia taught us how memories become personal through scientific studies where he was known as ‘KC’ – now known to be Kent Cochrane.

Suspect in the disturbingly weird ‘selling stolen human brains on eBay’ case faces new charges, reports The Courier Journal.

The Independent reports on the recent release of new 3D maps of genes expression and pathways in the… yes, yes, you can just check the pretty pictures.

Here’s How Neuroscientists in the 1800s Studied Blood Flow in the Brain. Clever, clever study covered by The Smithsonian Magazine.

Aeon Magazine has an excellent piece on soldiers, guilt and post-deployment trauma.

‘Brain cells linked to autism’ reports the Star Tribune who should fire their headline writer.

Gizmodo has an excellent new visual illusion.

Creativity and the Brain: What We Can Learn From Jazz Musicians? asks KQED. Practice, collaborate and stay off the smack?

Spike activity 28-03-2014

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

Can charisma and leadership be taught? Matter looks at the history of ‘charm consultants’.

Mental health stigma: where’s my cheesecake? A piece on the Brain Flapping discusses how people react when you’re depressed.

Science News has an odd story about how 1 in 68 American 8-year-olds are diagnosed with autism and this shows how diagnosis is ‘working well’. No mention of diagnostic inflation.

The inimitable Ed Yong does a fantastic TED talk on mind-controlling parasites.

The New Yorker discusses how artificial intelligence is being applied to the board game Go.

You can’t dismiss brain imaging as just an academic gimmick. A sterling defence of fMRI in The Conversation.

The BBC has an excellent piece on the legacy of the treatment of ‘shell shock’ during the First World War on mental health.

What does it mean to say that your mind and brain are ‘at rest‘? Interesting piece in The Guardian.

Digital Trends discusses a tiny implanted brain chip for brain-computer interfaces.

Why Light Inspires Ritual. Interesting anthropological piece in Nautilus.

Spike activity 21-03-2014

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

The thrill of cutting into a human brain says The Spectator, who have clearly never tried to operate on themselves after reading a HOWTO on the internet.

The Loom has collected some brain visualisation fly-throughs and give the low-down and what they’re about.

It turns out the Daily Mail is obsessed with brain tumours – to quite a weird extent.

Time magazine reports that after having pharmaceutical companies refuse to provide drugs for lethal injection, Texas announces it has found a new supply of execution drugs but won’t say from where.

fMRI – through the medium of song. Neurocritic finds a musical number on brain imaging.

Science News has an interesting interview on the science of unconsciousness.

Does the brain speak the truth of the self? Somatosphere with a wordy but rewarding essay.

Nature reports that the US BRAIN initiative and European Human Brain Project are to join forces. Rebel neuroscientists, striking from a hidden base…

Spike activity 14-03-2014

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

The Conversation has an excellent piece on how the study of brain injury, not brain scans, have told us the most about how the brain works.

How light affects the brain. Only Human discusses a fascinating study on how a recently discovered form of human light receptor affects cognitive function.

Retraction Watch covers how the researcher behind discredited findings on the link between chronic fatigue and the XMRV virus has written a book, and has rewritten history in the process. Negative findings you say? Pifflebuymybook.

The New York Times has an excellent retrospective report about the trial that unleashed hysteria over child abuse and a thousand false memories.

Is religion good for your brain? asks Discovery News before writing an article that seems to have been thought through while huffing butane.

Science News take a critical look at studies on the link between good looks and enhanced abilities. Sadly, still no studies on the link between irresistible allure and an in-depth knowledge of early 90s PC operating systems. Cognitive scientists, you know where to find me.

Aeon magazine has an interesting piece on the relentless pre-march of humanoid robots into society.

Modern life damaging infant brains, according to some evidence-free hand-wringers contacted by BBC News. Quotes the “Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology”. Pro-tip for faux neurocampaigners: choose a name which doesn’t immediately announce I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE BRAIN.

New Scientist report on early research suggesting D-cycloserine might enhance psychotherapy for anxiety disorders.

Spike activity 07-03-2014

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

Drug dependence has two faces — as a chronic disease and a temporary failure to cope. Interesting piece from Science News.

Friend of Mind Hacks Christian Jarrett bids a fond farewell to the BPS Research Digest at 11 years at the helm.

Matter has an excellent piece about rebel psychologist Roy Baumeister and the myths of self-esteem.

Mighty anthropology blog Somatosphere has an excellent piece on the DSM diagnostic manual and its place in culture.

Neuroskeptic discusses a curious new paper on hormones and women voters as a very modern scientific controversy.

What Really Happened The Night Kitty Genovese Was Murdered? The facts behind a classic psychology study examined by NPR.

The Washington Post asks why chronic pain patients are not included in the debate about addiction to prescription opioids.

Why do some languages sound more beautiful than others? Fascinating piece from The Smart Set.

The New York Times has an piece on the philosophy of the movie ‘Her’ – looking at consciousness, AI and disembodied cognition.

Spike activity 28-02-2014

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

Can Baby Brain Scans Predict Later Cognitive Development? asks Neuroskeptic.

The Economist debates the difference between a dialect and a language.

Love with Robots. An interesting piece of graphic novel-esque reporting from Narratively about intimacy with digital beings and robots.

Interesting new neuroscience blog by computational neuroscientist Gabriela Tavares.

The Times Educational Supplement discusses whether brain scans will help the classroom teacher. Quick answer: they won’t, unless you are teaching about brain scans.

New Scientist has a piece on how the science of the chilli’s burn may be opening doors to understanding neuroreceptors and heat regulation.

Two species of human ancestors are found at an archaeology dig in the nation of Georgia as reported by Science News

The Independent has a piece on the curious and tragic phenomenon of ‘self-bullying’.

Internet trolls are also real-life trolls. The Headquarters blog on a study of internet bottom feeders.

2004-02-14 Spike activity

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

Cocaine use increases stroke risk in young people reports Science News. Risk of being a giant knob-end already well established.

The New York Times has an interesting piece on how musical hallucinations are giving researchers clues about the workings of the brain.

For the first time, a baby is born to a brain-dead woman kept viable on life-support to be able to give birth. Reported by the Otago Daily Times.

Brain Watch has an excellent explainer on brain death for those wanting some background.

Focussed ultrasound to stimulate the brain. The mighty Neuroskeptic has a look at this new neurostimulatory technique.

New Scientist advises us to fall for a robot to fend off heartache and explores the robot relationship subculture.

A dozen of the craziest romance-related studies ever featured on Seriously Science. Sex apparently burns 3.6 calories a minute. A minute? I barely make 30 seconds.

NHS Choices takes a level-headed look at the ‘male and female brains are different sizes’ story which has gone all shades of wibble-wibble-daft in the media.

The origins of the F-word. A brilliant post from the historians of language at So Long As It’s Words… traces it’s history. Also features John Le Fucker from 1286.