2005-01-28 Spike activity

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


A study finds significant differences in the structure of male and female brains related to IQ. However, an insightful article from the NYT seems to cut through a lot of the crap and looks at the implications and (mis)interpretation of such findings in the age old debate about male-female psychological differences.

‘Bad driving’ may be related to hormones. Best read with the previous link in mind.

Developments in ‘gene chip‘ technology look likely to push forward the understanding of genetic influences on brain development.

Recent brain scanning work has examined the brain functions responsible for looking someone in the eye. Studying this simple action may result in a better understanding of how volutary actions are controlled by the brain.

More research on the contentious area of the genetic contribution to homosexuality has just been published. Don’t be fooled by the title of the article though. Anything which claims that the “gene(s) for x have been identified”, where x is a complex behaviour, is almost certainly marketing or bad journalism rather than informed scientific conclusion.

2005-01-21 Spike activity

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


More news on developments in ‘lie detector’ technology – a mix of informed journalism and wild speculation.

A journalist’s personal experience of synaesthesia, the experience of having information in one sense, cross over to another (tasting words, for example).

A recent study suggests a drink a day seems to be protective against mental decline in older women.

Howard Rheingold on the psychology of texting.

Ones to watch

Two blogs I’ve just discovered and will be keeping an eye on are <a href="http://mixingmemory.blogspot.com/
“>Mixing Memory (who has recently done an excellent post on time perception, in two parts!) and Circadiana who has just started and promises:

‘This blog will be dedicated to tracking and commeting on the advances in the study of biological time, mainly circadian rhythms, but also other aspects of temporal biology, e.g., developmental timing.’

And to wet your appetite is this post Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sleep (But Were Too Afraid To Ask)

Spike activity

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


More on the proposed project to study the pain-killing effect of religion – a continuation of the research on the pain-reducing effect of soft porn perhaps ? Only seems to work for men though, sorry girls.

Lovers are worse at spotting other people in love. Truly, love is blind.

fMRI study shows that the brain is connected as a small-world network. Like actors, mathematicians and even the internet.

Exploding the self-esteem myth – a critical article on the concept of self-esteem from Scientific American.

Research shows passive smoking can have significant negative effects on reading, math, and logic and reasoning, in children and adolescents.