Flashing Lights And Near-Death Experiences: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

Researchers are investigating whether flashing lights could be used to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease, David Robson writes at BBC Future. People with Alzheimer’s seem to have weak gamma brainwaves, and animal studies suggest that directly inducing brain activity at these frequencies can kick-start the brain’s immune cells. Now researchers are looking at whether inducing these waves non-invasively, through flickering lights or sounds, could help patients.

We hear a lot about failed replications — so here’s some good news. Prospect theory, a key tenet of behavioural economics, has passed a large replication attempt that involved more than 4,000 participants, writes Cathleen O’Grady at Ars Technica.

What’s going on in the brain during a near-death experience? Such experiences are difficult to study from a neuroscientific perspective — but Christof Koch explores the possibilities at Scientific American.

In many parts of the world, professional sports leagues are beginning to return to action — but they’re playing to empty stadiums. So how will this affect the behaviour of players and referees? It’s going to be an interesting time for sports psychologists, writes Eric Niiler at Wired.

As the government relaxes some lockdown measures, people may experience anxiety when faced with the prospect of going back to work or school. At The Conversation, mental health researcher Olivia Remes has some advice about dealing with these worries and feelings of uncertainty.

And while humans may be feeling more fearful than before, the opposite is true for many other animals. Our sudden absence from many public spaces has changed animals’ “landscape of fear”, writes Jason G. Goldman at Scientific American — which is why you see videos of goats taking over empty streets in Wales.

Finally, Aeon has just launched a new digital magazine about the human condition called Psyche. There’s already a load of great stuff on there — and did we mention that the senior editor is none other than Christian Jarrett, founding editor of Research Digest? Check it out!

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