Friday, 21 September 2012
1. Why We Need to Study the Brain’s Evolution in Order to Understand the Modern Mind - a must-read essay by Ferris Jabr for Scientific American.
2. Naomi Wolf’s new book, Vagina: A Cultural History is attracting criticism for its distortion and over-simplification of the neuroscience of sexual desire. Maia Szalavitz for Time said the book "profoundly misrepresents how the brain works" before providing a corrective account of the literature (see also).
3. The winners of this year's Ig Nobels have been announced, including a prize for brain scanning a dead salmon and for research showing that leaning to the left makes the Eiffel Tower appear smaller.
4. Nature published an excellent news feature on just how busy the brain is when it's "resting" (see also).
5. To Russia with Jung. BBC Radio 4 programme now on iPlayer: "Psychoanalysis went underground in communist Russia - books were hidden, sessions held in secret. In St Petersburg, Chris Ledgard meets Catherine Crowther and Jan Wiener. The two therapists, trained at the Society of Analytical Psychology in London, are helping to re-introduce Jungian analysis to Russian society."
6. UK cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore's superb TED talk on the mysterious workings of the adolescent brain is now available on the TED website for viewing.
7. Alok Jha for the Guardian with a great overview and analysis of the recent fraud scandals in psychology and other sciences (see also).
8. The Neurocritic blog slams the UK writer and reviewer Steven Poole for his recent New Statesman article about the hyped reporting of neuroscience. This hype, and many attempts to correct it, have been around for years. "But" says Neurocritic, "you wouldn't guess it from reading Poole, who acts as if he's discovered this infectious plague all by himself." ... "Poole hasn't done his homework, which is unfortunate for someone who uses terms like 'intellectual pestilence' as a casual insult."
9. Scientists have created an atlas of the human brain that reveals the activity of genes across the entire organ.
10. Steve Pinker and Bill Gates discuss whether the world really is becoming less violent over time.
Post compiled by Christian Jarrett for the BPS Research Digest.