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Real Data Are Messy

Over at the sometimes i'm wrong blog, psychologist Michael Inzlicht tells A Tale of Two Papers. Inzlicht describes how, as associate editor at the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, he rejected a certain manuscript. He did so despite the fact that the peer review reports had been very positive. Show More Summary

There is no Right to Experimental Treatments

From time to time courts are called upon to determine whether or not desperate patients have a right to experimental treatments. In the US we are also currently in the middle of the spread of “right to try” laws from state to state. The issue has recently come up in Brazil over patient access to [...]

Best & Worst in Psychology & Psychiatry – October 2015

Usually, we provide the top 5 best and top 5 worst findings coming from topical psychology and psychiatry research publications. However, this October there was an overwhelming number of good news findings worth shouting about. So this month’s roundup is a little different. Below there are 7 best findings. The bad news, for once, is […]

HINTS Exam – Eliminating False Negatives for Posterior Strokes

If you were to suddenly be hit with serious symptoms of vertigo, nausea or vomiting – you would likely make your way to the emergency room. If you live in the United States, you would be one among 2.6 million patients who visit the emergency room every year for the exact set of same symptoms. […]

Is There an Association Between Brain Size and Intelligence?

There is a commonly expressed view that mental abilities are linked to brain size in humans. Such a view is partially supported by gradual increase of brain size in the course of human evolution. But does this mean that people with larger brains are smarter? To answer this question, we have to provide a clear […]

Best and Worst of Health and Healthcare – October 2015

October brought us some new examples of how our lifestyle negatively impacts our health, be it stress, diet, or our sleep patterns. But it also revealed some new therapeutic targets in a number of brain-related pathologies. Here are the best and worst news I came across in October. THE BEST Cholesterol-lowering medication may improve the […]

Neural Basis of Multitasking

Multitasking – the ability to perform two or more different tasks at once – is viewed by many as a very useful skill, important for succeeding in professional development. Some people are better in handling several tasks at once, while others are not. But the reason for this difference is not that clear. Why some […]

Nurturing The Brain, Part 7 – Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have been highly hyped as being tremendously beneficial to our health. And indeed they are essential for human health. They are found in high quantities in certain fish, particularly fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring and halibut; they are also abundant in certain nuts, namely walnuts, and in whole […]

We Now Know How Leptin Controls Body Fat

Fat is our body’s energy reserve. Fat (adipose) tissue constitutes 20 to 25% of our body mass. There are two types of adipose tissue in our body: white adipose tissue is the one that stores energy, whereas brown adipose tissue generates body heat. White adipose tissue is made up of adipose cells, or adipocytes, that […]

Do We Need A Neuroscience of Terrorism?

In the Boston Herald, we read that Little is currently known about the neurological pathways of terrorism - the inner workings of a brain that can justify random violence to promote an abstract, extreme belief... there has been no neuroimaging...Show More Summary

Was independent peer review of the PACE trial articles possible?

I ponder this question guided by Le Chavalier C. Auguste Dupin, the first fictional detective, before anyone was called “detective.” Articles reporting the PACE trial have extraordinary numbers of authors, acknowledgments, and institutional affiliations. A

Scientific Consensus and Corporate Influence

A new study published in PNAS explores the messaging of organizations commenting on climate change and their relationship to corporate funding. The sole author, Justin Farrell, finds that those organizations who received corporate funding were likely to network their messaging together, and to engage in a campaign of casting doubt on the scientific consensus. There [...]

Health Advice from the 1950s

One of the pillars of alternative medicine propaganda is historical revisionism. Proponents often claim that they were ahead of the curve on diet and exercise advice, while the medical establishment lagged behind. They go as far as to take credit for the entire field of nutrition by labeling it “alternative.” The fact is, the disparity [...]

Happiness Is a Large Precuneus

What is happiness, and how do we find it? There are 93,290 books on happiness at Happiness is Life's Most Important Skill, an Advantage and a Project and a Hypothesis that we can Stumble On and Hard-Wire in 21 Days.The Pursuit...Show More Summary

The Problem of Selective Skepticism

What does it mean to be a skeptic? Can one be skeptical about one thing, and a true believer in something else? Or is selective skepticism not really skepticism at all? This is an issue that has been worrying me. As my pseudonym suggests, I try to treat neuroscience skeptically. Show More Summary

Spike activity 20-11-2015

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Wired has a good brief piece on the history of biodigital brain implants. Why are conspiracy theories so attractive? Good discussion on the Science Weekly podcast. The Wilson Quarterly has a piece on the mystery behind Japan’s high child suicide rate. The Dream Life […]

Multiple Personalities, Blindness and the Brain

A new paper reports the fascinating and perplexing case of a woman who reported that she was host to multiple personalities - some of whom were completely blind. The paper is called Sight and blindness in the same person: gating in the visual system, authored by German psychologists Hans Strasburger and Bruno Waldvogel. The patient in this case, "B. Show More Summary

Vitastiq – Indiegogo Pseudoscience

Crowdfunding is an excellent application of social media and the web. Anyone with a great idea, who can sell their idea, can get funding from the public. You don’t necessarily need big investors. But of course, any tool or application that can be used for good can also be used for ill. Crowdfunding sites have [...]

Gene Editing Humans

A Chinese team of researchers recently announced that they attempted to edit the genes in human embryos with the genetic disease beta-thalassemia. They used the CRISPR-Cas9 technology, which they said was not successful enough in this application to be used. Some of the embryos resulted in mosaics, with only some of the cells being fixed, and other [...]

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