Waking Dreams And Phantom Kicks: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

Keyboard for ideaOur weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web

In an attempt to tackle the replication crisis, hundreds of psychology labs around the world are collaborating to repeat experiments at a large scale. And now this network, known as the Psychological Science Accelerator, has its first results. Dalmeet Singh Chawla reports on their findings at Undark.

The psychedelic drug DMT produces brain activity that looks like a “waking dream”, reports Ryan F. Mandelbaum at Gizmodo. After participants received an intravenous injection of the drug, EEG recordings showed a drop in alpha and beta activity — normally seen during wakefulness — and spikes of delta and theta activity, associated with sleep and dreaming.

Positive psychology promises to help people live better, more fulfilling lives — but some say the movement has become almost like a religion. Happiness researcher Joseph Smith explores some of the criticisms at Vox.

“Nature and nurture are traditionally set in opposition to each other. But in truth, the effects of environment and experience often tend to amplify our innate predispositions.” At The Conversation, Kevin Mitchell and Uta Frith explain why we should stop thinking of nature and nurture as “adversaries”.

Many women feel “phantom” fetal kicks long after they’ve given birth, reports Grace Browne at New Scientist. Researchers in Australia found that 40% of women surveyed had experienced these kicks, which continued for around 7 years on average.

After childhood surgery to remove one side of the brain, many patients recover surprisingly well — and now scientists have a better idea why.  Researchers found that patients who’d had a hemispherectomy — which is performed to treat rare neurological conditions — showed stronger connectivity within brain networks than controls, writes Knvul Sheikh at The New York Times. The study suggests that these surviving brain regions are compensating for the parts that have been removed.

Finally, if you recoil when you see bubbling batter or an empty wasps’ nest, perhaps you have trypophobia — the fear of clusters of holes and cracks. But is it a “proper” phobia? Or is the experience better described as a manifestation of disgust, or even a “social contagion”? Chrissie Giles has the answers at The Guardian.

Compiled by Matthew Warren (@MattbWarren), Editor of BPS Research Digest