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Forgetting Names? Go to Sleep!

Can’t remember where you keep things? Seem to forget names and appointments more often than before? Don’t blame your failing memory on age. It is more likely that you are not getting your quota of beauty sleep. In an age of distractions (read: smartphone, social media, and TV) and trying to get too many things […]

Stigma Towards Mental Health Stigma Impacts Vocation

Freud stated that the components of happiness are love and work. Yet, it’s interesting that people in our society tend to accept, almost unconsciously, the idea that mentally ill people are not suitable for either of these activities. This idea seems to pervade, especially in the minds of people who adhere to conventional modes of […]

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 […]

Evidence for "Unconscious Learning" Questioned

Can we learn without being aware of what we're learning? Many psychologists say that 'unconscious', or implicit, learning exists. But in a new paper, London-based psychologists Vadillo, Konstantinidis, and Shanks call the evidence for this into question. Vadillo et al. Show More Summary

School Bullying – Forgive, Ignore or Revenge?

Giving your child the best advice when they are being bullied is a challenge for many parents. While some parents sign their kids up for kickboxing or karate lessons in a bid to boost confidence and give them the tools to fight back; others strive for non-physical resolutions such as ignoring and avoiding bullies; and […]

A Quick Logic Lesson

Try your hand at this quick puzzle, then come back and read the rest of this post. How did you do? This is a great little test with a very important lesson. The discussion that follows the puzzle is a fairly good explanation of confirmation bias, which is a partial explanation for why people might [...]

The 5th INS/ASSBI Pacific Rim Conference Underway

The 5th INS/ASSBI Pacific Rim Neuropsychology Conference is underway. Here is the conference homepage. Follow the action on Twitter at the hashtag #insassbi2015.

Crisis of Masculinity

Is he man enough for the challenge? Do you have your man pants on? Man up or go home! These kind of very sexist phrases are an inherent part of many of our day-to-day language. While mainstream society is moving towards redefining our collective definition of what femininity means, what about masculinity? Do men feel […]

AAIC15: Alzheimer's Association International Conference (18-23 July 2015, Washington, DC)

The homepage for the AAIC15 conference: (includes attendee information, program, abstracts and more).

For argument’s sake

I have (self) published an ebook For argument’s sake: evidence that reason can change minds. It is the collection of two essays that were originally published on Contributoria and The Conversation. I have revised and expanded these, and added a guide to further reading on the topic. There are bespoke illustrations inspired by Goya (of […]

The Neurology of Anxiety in Times of Critical Decision-Making

Scientists have identified the specific neural circuitry that triggers anxiety in individuals when confronted with critical decisions. Our brains can actually gauge how critical a decision is and trigger anxiety in us accordingly! Do you freak out when you have to decide if you want to order pizza or a tub of fried chicken for […]

Pope returns to cocaine

According to a report from BBC News the Pope ‘plans to chew coca leaves’ during his visit to Bolivia. Although portrayed as a radical encounter, this is really a return to cocaine use after a long period of abstinence in the papal office. Although the leaves are a traditional, mild stimulant that have been used […]

Advocating CBT for Psychosis: “Ultimately it is all political.”

Political… Or just cynical? Paul Salkovskis and his colleagues organized a lively, thought-provoking conference at University of Bath “Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia: How well do we understand and what should we do to improve how we help?” A number of … Continue reading »

The Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease – An Overview

Dementia is characterized by a progressive and debilitating decline in cognition, function and behavior. Its numbers are staggering: according to the World Health Organization, the total number of people with dementia worldwide in 2010 was estimated at 35.6 million and predicted to nearly double every 20 years, to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million […]

Lessons From GM Wheat Failure

So-called “whiffy wheat” was genetically modified to release a pheromone that repels aphids. The obvious purpose of this modification was to reduce pests without the need for insecticides, and thereby reduce insecticide use. The trait worked well in the lab. The wheat released sufficient amounts of a warning pheromone that aphids release when attacked. The [...]

Did Parkinson's Disease Influence Hitler?

A new paper from a group of American neurologists makes the case that Hitler suffered from Parkinson's disease for much of his life, and that some of his most fateful decisions were influenced by the neurological disorder. The article...Show More Summary

Sex Bias In Autism Spectrum Disorders – Is It Real?

An intriguing observation in the epidemiology of autism is the marked sex bias in its prevalence, with a commonly reported ratio of five males to one female. Age of diagnosis also differs between males and females, being on average later in the latter. Despite the consistent documentation of such a difference, there is a surprisingly […]

Drinking the “Integrative” Kool-Aid at the Atlantic

A recent article at the Atlantic by Jennie Rothenberg Gritzi demonstrates just how thoroughly the alternative medicine movement (I will refer to this as CAM) has been able to influence the cultural conversation over the practice of medicine.  This is great evidence of how successful a persistent marketing campaign can be. Gritzi relates early on in [...]

Pharma Make The Most of A Negative Result

A misleading piece of statistical rhetoric has appeared in a paper about an experimental antidepressant treatment. The study is published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. JAD is a respectable mid-ranked psychiatry journal - yet...Show More Summary

Neuronal Transplantation May Restore Brain Functionality

Artificial limbs let receivers lead more productive and fulfilling lives. Organ transplantations give new life to people. Science has advanced so far that it can even tinker with the workings of the brain to explore ways in which lost brain functions can be revived. Experiments are already underway to determine if neuronal transplantation can replace […]

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