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Brain Size and Intelligence

I was recently asked about the relationship between brain size and intelligence. This is a question I get every now and then, because the relationship is not an obvious one. In this particular case, the questioner was curious about the fact that Neanderthals had a larger cranial capacity on average than modern Homo sapiens. For [...]

Halloween Special – Why Does the Brain Love a Scary Holiday?

Why is a holiday filled with creepy ghosts, goblins, and haunted houses so much fun? Research in neuroscience may provide some answers. The Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology recently teamed with the Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany, in an attempt to understand what happens in […]

Social psychology has lost its balance

The New Yorker has an interesting article about a lack of political diversity in social psychology and how that may be leading to a climate of bias against conservative researchers, ideas and the evidence that might support them. Some of the evidence for a bias against conservative thinking in social psychology goes back some years, […]

Homeopathy for Ebola

New Zealand Green MP, Steffan Browning, stepped in it recently when he signed a petition asking the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop and distribute homeopathic remedies to end the Ebola epidemic. Unfortunately this is not an Onion article. Browning later tried to do damage control by stating that his support of the petition was “unwise” [...]

Is It Sane To Agree That You’re Crazy?

Therapeutic reflection – the act of re-stating the client’s ideas using different words – represents an avenue towards mirroring the client’s internal state through therapeutic verbal interaction and the therapeutic stance of the person-centered therapist. Show More Summary

Fright Week: The Stranger in the Mirror

In the mirror we see our physical selves as we truly are, even though the image might not live up to what we want, or what we once were. But we recognize the image as “self”. In rare instances, however, this reality breaks down.In Black Swan, Natalie Portman plays Nina Sayers, a ballerina who auditions for the lead in Swan Lake. Show More Summary

Video: Michael Merzenich in Conversation with the Dalai Lama

Of all the neuroscientists in the world, who had the honor of sharing the stage with the Dalai Lama last week? Our co-founder and chief scientist, Dr. Michael Merzenich, was chosen for a very special on-stage discussion with His Holiness that took place this past weekend week at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Show More Summary

Quasi-stability

Yesterday, before I got here, my dad was trying to fix an invisible machine. By all accounts, he began working on the phantom device quite intently, but as his repairs began to involve the hospice bed and the tubes attached to his body, he was gently sedated, and he had to leave it, unresolved. This […]

What Americans Believe

Surveys are always problematic because they are subject to interpretation, the precise phrasing of questions, sampling bias, and perhaps hidden assumptions on the part of those taking the survey. The results of any single survey, therefore, should be taken with a grain of salt. Still, they can provide a useful snapshot (if done well) of the [...]

ROXI BLEWS: A History of Hollywood & Heroin

The media’s interest in addiction is not new. As far back as the silent era, HUMAN WRECKAGE (1923) portrayed the dangers of drug addiction. Later, we had the “Don’t Let This Happen To Your Child” cautionary tales, such as MARIJUANA: ASSASSIN OF YOUTH (1935) and the better-known camp classic, REEFER MADNESS [1938]. A decade later, […]

7 Propaganda Talking Points Against GMOs

After reading about genetically modified organisms for years, it seem pretty clear to me that the anti-GMO activist position is not an objective science-based position. Rather it has all the features of a political/marketing campaign. The campaign has talking points that are all spin and propaganda. Like a slick car commercial, it is selling a [...]

Psychotherapy for Paranoid Schizophrenia

Often psychotherapy is not considered to be effective with individuals dealing with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. But a cognitive-relational psychotherapy approach helps form a warm, trusting and detached relationship, conveys an...Show More Summary

Fright Week: The Waking Nightmare of Lord Voldemort

Nightmares can seem very real at times, but then we wake up and realize it was all a bad dream. Now imagine having a vivid nightmare with all the reality of waking life and then... it turns out you're actually awake through it all!This...Show More Summary

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 […]

A Rush of Blood to the Brain

An article from Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry that discusses the concept of ‘moral disability’ and brain trauma in Victorian times includes a fascinating section on what was presumably thought to be the science of ‘knocking some sense into the brain’. The piece is by medical historian Brandy Shillace who researches Victorian scientific ideas and how […]

The Many Interacting Worlds Hypothesis

Howard Wiseman, a theoretical quantum physicist at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, and his colleagues have come up with an entirely new theory to explain the weird behavior of particles at the quantum level. The idea is that quantum effects result from classical universes interacting with each other. Classical physics is essentially the physics of [...]

Lockheed Martin’s Fusion Reactor

Since I recently covered the new claims being made for the E-cat cold fusion device (which, in my opinion, is almost certainly bogus), I found it interesting that Lockheed Martin recently produced details for their research into a hot fusion reactor. Their research team, called the Skunk Works, have been working on a new design [...]

Exercise Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Physical activity is a holistic strategy for increasing overall health and lowering disease risk among a wide range of individuals, and people with neurological conditions can benefit from them too. The benefits of physical activity for individuals with, or at risk of, dementia are not particularly well known to the general public. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) […]

Can Brain Imaging Detect Risk Takers?

Risk-taking seems to come naturally for some people – from those who don’t hesitate asking for a new promotion, to those who don’t flinch before artfully diving off a cliff into the ocean below. Others play it safer. While upbringing may have some role in our risk-taking probabilities, there are plenty of cases where siblings […]

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