Category: Feast

Link feast

Our editor’s pick of this week’s 10 best psychology and neuroscience links:

Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator
Amusing and highly insightful new TED talk from Tim Urban of the Wait But Why blog.

The Silent Companions
Ben Alderson-Day at The Psychologist considers explanations for “feelings of presence”.

The Eternal Appeal of the Underdog
A New York Times op-ed column from L. Jon Wertheim, the executive editor of Sports Illustrated, and Sam Sommers, an associate professor of psychology at Tufts University.

Forensic Psychology – Witness Investigation
In this free online course from Future Learn and the Open University, discover how psychology can help obtain evidence from eyewitnesses in police investigations and prevent miscarriages of justice.

The Enormous Power of the Unconscious Brain
A lot of the things we do in everyday life don’t need to involve our conscious mind. In many cases, the more we use it, the less effective we become, writes Chris Baraniuk for BBC Future.

Who Killed Murder?
At The Spectator, a detective writer lines up the suspects on the mysterious worldwide decline of murder and robbery.

How to Beat Writer’s Block
There are four species of writer who suffer writer’s block, explains the gifted writer Monica Konnikova at the New Yorker.

In Our Time: Bedlam
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the early years of Bedlam, the name commonly used for the London hospital of St Mary of Bethlehem outside Bishopsgate, which was the first hospital in Europe to specialise in the treatment of people with mental illness.

Brain Stimulation in Sport: Is It Fair?
A company called Halo Neuroscience is now selling a tDCS product called Halo Sport, which promises to enhance athletic performance. Nick Davies at The Conversation reflects on the ethical implications.

The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind
Remarkable first-hand account of the effects of brain cancer on a neuroscientist’s mind and personality, by Barbara K. Lipska for the New York Times.

(Link Feast will return after the Easter break).
Post written by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.

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Link feast

Our editor’s pick of the 10 best psychology and neuroscience links from the last week or so:

Replication: Is the glass half full, half empty, or irrelevant?
Is psychology research in crisis or not? The question is back on the agenda thanks to a new comment piece in the journal Science. Ella Rhodes at The Psychologist brings you the low down. Or if you haven’t got much time, she sums things up: “It’s possible the paper that said ‘paper that said that psychology isn’t reliable isn’t reliable’, isn’t reliable”.

Most Popular Theories of Consciousness Are Worse Than Wrong
They play to our intuitions, but don’t actually explain anything, writes Michael Graziano at The Atlantic.

On Genetics Oliver James Is On a Different Planet to The Rest of Us
At Spectator Health, University of Edinburgh psychologist Stuart Ritchie reviews James’ new book Not In Your Genes.

What’s Wrong (and Right) About Evolutionary Psychology?
A new free ebook from the Evolution Institute.

Intelligent Birds: What Does Their Behaviour Mean, And Are We Just Anthropomorphising?
The latest from Sofia Deleniv’s blog The Neurosphere.

The Medical Approach To Mental Illness Has Been A Success
Guardian readers respond to an article by psychologist Richard Bentall in which he criticised the BBC for presenting an overly biological view of mental health.

Words and Meaning
This is the first contribution by Tim Lomas for his new occasional column at The Psychologist magazine: “I have long been interested in how language carves up the flux of our phenomenological world,” he begins.

Here’s A Technique The Most Productive People Use To Stay Focused
A trick suggested by Charles Duhigg in his new book Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business.

Doing a TED Talk: The Full Story
Tim Urban of the Wait But Why Blog (where he writes about procrastination among other things) was asked to give a TED talk. This is the amusing story of what happened.

Everything Is Crumbling
An influential psychological theory, borne out in hundreds of experiments, may have just been debunked. How can so many scientists have been so wrong, asks Daniel Engber at Slate.

Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.

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Link feast

Our editor’s pick of this week’s 10 best psychology and neuroscience links:

All in the Brain? (open letter)
British psychologist Richard Bentall has written an open letter to Stephen Fry, asking him to stop describing his mental illness as a purely biomedical problem when speaking about it to the public.

Psychology’s Replication Crisis Has a Silver Lining (opinion)
Harvard psychologist Paul Bloom argues at The Atlantic that it’s an opportunity for the field to lead.

Angela Duckworth on Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (podcast)
The US psychologist appeared on the latest episode of The Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman (see also).

Standardized Testing is Not The Enemy (opinion)
Writing at the Boston Globe, two psychologists defend the use of standardised tests in schools.

Columbine: A killer in The Family (BBC documentary)
For the first time, Sue Klebold, the mother of one of the Columbine High School shooters, talks about trying to come to terms with what happened and her efforts to raise awareness about children’s mental health issues.

No Monkeying Around: Toddlers as Inventive As Wild Apes at Using Tools (research news)
Whether digging for insects or cracking nuts, children, like apes, work out how to use tools to solve problems without learning from others, reports Ian Sample at The Guardian.

Why the A-level Psychology Exam is Already Out of Date (opinion)
Two university professors writing at The Conversation say the new syllabus is too focused on problems in individuals rather than society at large.

Does Mental Illness Enhance Creativity? (research overview)
It’s widely held that it does – but what does the evidence say? asks Claudia Hammond at BBC Future.

Four Neuromyths That Are Still Prevalent in Schools – Debunked (plea)
It’s not true that you only use 10% of your brain, nor can you categorise students by ‘learning styles’ – let’s cut this nonsense from classrooms, writes Bradley Busch at The Guardian [Ed: if you’re interested in more on this, I heard there’s a good book on brain myths].

The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of Our Ordinary Lives (book review)
“When James Douglas, a 31 year old doctor and researcher, set out to collect details about all the babies born in the week of 3-9 March 1946, he didn’t know he was beginning a cohort study.” The Independent reviews a new book about a British study that has tracked the lives of six generations.
Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.

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Link feast

Our editor’s pick of this week’s 10 best psychology and neuroscience links:

Introducing The Psychologist App (new resource)
The Psychologist, the monthly publication of the British Psychological Society, has launched a new app. “It is free to download, and it will provide our readers with an improved way of accessing our content on devices (Apple and Android, smartphone and tablet). Our monthly edition will be joined by the occasional ‘special’. Users will be able to download editions for offline reading, search, share, and add content to a personal scrapbook.”

How Do You Keep Mentally Strong? (short video)
As part of the BBC’s In The Mind series, people have been sharing their tips for coping with mental ill health.

Is Pain an Emotion? (radio show)
On BBC World Service, Claudia Hammond speaks to pain researcher Irene Tracy for Exchanges at the Frontier. Prof Tracy’s work demonstrates how simple pain can develop into chronic pain, how our emotions can override the effect of pain killers and what anaesthesia can tell us about consciousness.

The Superhero of Artificial Intelligence: Can This Genius Keep it in Check?
Guardian profile of AI expert and entrepreneur Demis Cassabas whose London-based company DeepMind is leading Google’s project to build software more powerful than the human brain.

Why Your Brain Actually Works Better in Winter
Over at New York’s Science of Us, I looked at some new and old research findings that seem to debunk the myth of the winter blues.

Altered States
Can the new science of neurogastronomy – and one very creative chef – convince us that healthy food is delicious? Maria Konnikova at the New Republic meets Heston Blumenthal.

The Brain May Be Able To Repair Itself – With Help (video)
Newly released TED talk by Jocelyn Bloch. She and her colleagues may have found the key to neural repair: Doublecortin-positive cells. Similar to stem cells, they are extremely adaptable and, when extracted from a brain, cultured and then re-injected in a lesioned area of the same brain, they can help repair and rebuild it.

A First-Aid Class for Mental Health
Most people know how to help someone with a cut or a scrape. But what about a panic attack? Megan Morris reports for The Atlantic.

Why Brains and Airports Have a Lot in Common
At BBC online, Ed Bellumore, head of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge reflects on the beautiful intricacy of the brain’s collections.

All In The Mind? How Research is Proving The True Healing Power of the Placebo
Jo Marchant, author of Cure, explains at The Observer why the mind’s ability to heal the body is now being taken seriously by scientists who question alternative medicine
Post written by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.

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Link feast

Our editor’s pick of this week’s 10 best psychology and neuroscience links:

How the Fight Over Transgender Kids Got a Leading Sex Researcher Fired (long-form article)
An in-depth investigation by Jesse Singal at New York’s Science of Us uncovers the truth about the seemingly scandalous dismissal of a gender dysphoria researcher in Canada.

What Is Reality? (radio show)
The neuroscientists David Eagleman and Sophie Scott were among the guests on a recent episode of The Infinite Monkey Cage on BBC Radio 4.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Can Change Your Brain Structure In Just a Few Weeks (news)
After nine weeks of CBT, socially anxious patients showed reductions in volume and activity in the amygdala, a brain structure involved in emotional process, reports The Spectator.

What Does a Psychologist Think of Kanye West’s Twitter Feed? (gossip)
The BBC cuts through to the waffle to the most important issues of the day.

We Asked People To Tell Us Their Biggest Regrets — But What They All Had In Common Was Heartbreaking (video)
For one day a blackboard stood in the middle of New York City asking passersby to write down their biggest regrets.

People Are Animals, Too (essay)
The human brain is special. Just not that special. To understand animal minds, and our own place in the living world, we should remove ourselves from centre stage, argues Peter Aldhous at Mosaic.

New Frontiers of Family (magazine article)
At The Psychologist, Naomi Moller and Victoria Clarke explore embryo donation and voluntary childlessness, ahead of their British Psychological Society seminar series.

Feeling Sleepy? You Might Be at Risk of Falsely Confessing To a Crime You Did Not Commit (blog post)
Elizabeth Loftus and her colleagues discuss their new finding for The Conversation.

Why Contemplating Death Changes How You Think (research overview)
Reading this article could temporarily change your politics, biases and decision-making. Why? The very idea of death changes our thoughts in profound ways, writes Jonathan Jong at BBC Future.

Why You’ll Never Buy the Perfect Ring, and Other Valentine’s Day Stories (podcast)
The latest instalment of NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast hosted by Shankar Vedanta (and check out our own Valentine’s podcast from last year).

Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.

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Link feast

Our editor’s pick of this week’s 10 best psychology and neuroscience links:

Why We Should Talk to The Humans
Transcript of an inspiring talk by Dan Gilbert on why it is important for psychologists to engage with the public.

How to Have a Good Day (video)
In this recent talk at the RSA in London, Caroline Webb (author of the new book How to Have a Good Day) shows us how to use findings from behavioural economics, psychology, and neuroscience to transform our approach to everyday working life.

Neuroscience and Free Will Are Rethinking Their Divorce
A new finding I covered for New York’s Science of Us casts an old one in a very different, more free-will-friendly light.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts (new podcast)
Susan Cain, bestselling author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” hosts this new ten-part weekly series on parenting and teaching introverted children.

We Need to Rewrite the Textbook on How to Teach Teachers
At his Neurobonkers blog Simon Oxenham has the low down on a new report that “describes a vast and severe failure of teacher-training courses and the textbooks that accompany them to convey evidence-based practices; while delivering unsupported anecdotal evidence and well-debunked myths in spades”.

Neuro-hit or Neuro-myth?
A new resource from the Centre for Educational Neuroscience and supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Innovations In Mental Health (audio)
From Fitbits that monitor the sleep patterns of patients with schizophrenia to apps that help you manage your mood, tech is increasingly being seen as a viable alternative to traditional health and wellbeing techniques. Is it too good to be true, asks the latest edition of The Guardian’s Tech Weekly podcast, presented by Nathalie Nahai.

What Little Babies See That You No Longer Can
Before developing perceptual constancy, three- to four-month-old babies have a striking ability to see image differences that are invisible to adults,” writes  Susana Martinez-Conde at Scientific American. They lose this superior skill around the age of five months.

A Simple Way To Break A Bad Habit (video)
Newly released TED talk by Judson Brewer.

The Wonder and Fragility of Our Internal Lives
The Psychologist previews the new States of Mind Exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London.

Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.

Our free fortnightly email will keep you up-to-date with all the psychology research we digest: Sign up!

Link feast

Our editor’s pick of this week’s 10 best psychology and neuroscience links:

Why Are Some People Habitually Late?
There’s no single root cause, but over-politeness, optimism, multitasking, and a range of other factors can contribute, writes Rick Paulas at the Pacific Standard.

The Countries Where People Are the Most Emotionally Complex
Why cultures that value interdependence, like Japan, win at being deep. Julie Beck reports for The Atlantic.

The Logic Behind Conspiracy Theories
Who’s “smugger,” really— the theorists or the anti-theorists? The antis should not be so quick to assert their superiority says this LA Times op-ed.

A Mother’s Love
Kate Johnstone at The Psychologist reviews “Room” the new film version of the best-selling novel by Emma Donoghue.

Amy Cuddy with Susan Cain: On Presence and Power (video)
Psychologist and TED-talk star Amy Cuddy in conversation with Susan Cain (author of Quiet) about her new book Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.

“Cat-gras Delusion” – The Man Who Saw His Cat As An Impostor
NeuroSkeptic describes the case of a man who believed that his cat was in fact a different cat.

The Con Man Who Pulled Off History’s Most Audacious Scam
BBC Future publishes an excerpt from Maria Konnikova’s new book on the psychology of con artists and being conned.

The Problem with Human Head Transplants
Contrary to the impression given by some excitable media reports, human head transplants are not yet a realistic possibility, argues Andrew Jackson at The Conversation.

How Unhealthy Food Pulls You Toward It
It has an almost ghostly attraction, according to a new study I covered for New York’s Science of Us.

Computer Beats “Go” Champion for First Time
Annie Sneed at Scientific American has the story on a new milestone for Artificial Intelligence.
Post written by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.

Our free fortnightly email will keep you up-to-date with all the psychology research we digest: Sign up!

Link feast

Our editor’s pick of this week’s 10 best psychology and neuroscience links:

The Brain With David Eagleman (TV show)
New BBC Four series in which neuroscientist David Eagleman explores how the brain, locked in silence and darkness without direct access to the world, conjures up the rich and beautiful world we all take for granted.

Can a Brain Scan Uncover Your Morals?
“Brain images are becoming standard evidence in some of the country’s most controversial and disturbing death penalty trials – including the case of Steven Worthington,” writes Kamala Kelkar at The Guardian.

23 Messages for Anyone Considering Suicide, From People Who’ve Been There
Quotes compiled by The Mighty website.

We Should Teach Parents About How Babies Develop, Not How To Be Parents
“I’m not saying that parenting isn’t important for children’s development,” writes developmental psychologist Elizabeth Meins at The Conversation, “… but this scaremongering about early parenting having the potential to damage your baby’s brain development … really isn’t helpful.” (On a related note, check out The Psychologist’s guide to You and Your Baby).

Dr. Elaine Aron on the Highly Sensitive Person (podcast)
Roughly 20 per cent of the population can be classified as highly sensitive, so all of us likely know someone (or are someone) with this trait. Find out more in this new episode of The Psychology Podcast with host Scott Barry Kaufman.

Science is “Other-Correcting”
On his blog, neuropsychologist Keith Laws tells the sorry tale of what happened when he and his colleagues raised concerns about serious errors in a recent journal paper about CBT for psychosis.

What Personality Tests Really Reveal
There are a lot of personality tests claiming to tell you how to work best, writes psychologist Art Markman at FastCompany. Here’s how to make sense of them all.

13 Charts That Will Make Total Sense To People With Impostor Syndrome
Impostor syndrome says Kristin Chirico at BuzzFeed: that sinking feeling where you’re afraid you’re not good enough, and everyone is going to find out about it (more on Impostor Syndrome).

Speed Reading Promises Are Too Good to Be True, Scientists Find
A new report in Psychological Science in The Public Interest shows that that there are no magic shortcuts when it comes to reading more quickly while still fully understanding what we’ve read.

The Brain Show (Live tour)
Neuroscience-based standup comedy show with Robert Newman is on a tour around England (review and Newman interview in The Psychologist).
Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.

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Link feast

Our editor’s pick of this week’s 10 best psychology and neuroscience links:

Memories of Glyn W. Humphreys
Psychology is mourning the sudden loss of a hugely influential researcher, teacher and kind man.

The Stanford Professor Who Pioneered Praising Kids For Effort Says We’ve Totally Missed The Point
Rather than saying “Not everybody is a good at math. Just do your best,” a teacher or parent should say “When you learn how to do a new math problem, it grows your brain.” Jenny Anderson for Quartz.

Where Are We Now? – David Bowie and Psychosis
Bowie’s experiences of psychosis influenced his art, and his art in turn has influenced the manifestation of psychosis in others. Vaughan Bell reports for Mind Hacks.

Why Boredom Is Anything But Boring
“Implicated in everything from traumatic brain injury to learning ability, boredom has become extremely interesting to scientists,” writes Maggie Koerth-Baker at Nature.

The Joy of Psyching Myself Out­
Musings from Maria Konnikova at the New York Times on the similarities and (supposed) differences of seeing the world as a writer and psychologist.

Does Cannabis Really Lower Your IQ?
My recent research has shown that differences other than cannabis use might be causing the much-discussed disparities in cognitive function, writes PhD student Claire Mokrysz for the Guardian.

From Riots to Crowd Safety
In the first of a new occasional series at The Psychologist, social psychologist John Drury describes how he became fascinated by the psychology of crowds.

The Secret to Making Anxiety Work in Your Favour
In this excerpt from her new book Presence, psychologist Amy Cuddy explains we may not be able to extinguish anxiety but we can learn to interpret it differently.

Does Reading Cognitive Bias Research Distort the Mind?
Sam McNerney warns that reading about research into cognitive biases may end up distorting your mind further (check out Sam’s guest posts for the Digest).

In 2016, Think Really Hard About Why You Might Be Wrong
“Even as we feel our most closely held beliefs couldn’t possibly be disproven,” writes Jesse Singal at New York’s Science of Us, “we know that human history is nothing but closely held beliefs being disproven.”

Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.

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Link feast

Happy new year and welcome to the first Link Feast of 2016 – the weekly post where our editor lists his favourite recent psychology and neuroscience links:

Lumosity to Pay $2 Million to Settle FTC Deceptive Advertising
The creators and marketers of the Lumosity “brain training” program have agreed to settle US Federal Trade Commission charges alleging that they deceived consumers with unfounded claims that Lumosity games can help users perform better at work and in school, and reduce or delay cognitive impairment associated with age and other serious health conditions. [more on brain training]

How Expressing Gratitude Might Change Your Brain
A new study I covered at New York’s Science of Us suggests that even just an hour of focusing on gratitude might have long-lasting neurological effects.

Therapy Wars: The Revenge of Freud
Cheap and effective, CBT became the dominant form of therapy, consigning Freud to psychology’s dingy basement, writes The Guardian’s Oliver Burkeman. But new studies have cast doubt on its supremacy – and shown dramatic results for psychoanalysis. Is it time to get back on the couch?

Trivers’ Pursuit
Renegade scientist Robert Trivers is lauded as one of our greatest thinkers—despite irking academia with blunt talk and bad manners. Profile by Matthew Hutson in Psychology Today.

Debate Rages over Whether Speaking a Second Language Improves Cognition
Some studies show that the purported “bilingual advantage” may be only a myth. Simon Makin reports for Scientific American.

Why Demography Needs Psychologists
At The Psychologist, Gillian Pepper, Lisa McAllister and Rebecca Sear look for psychological answers to questions about fertility and population dynamics.

The Age of Loneliness (video)
In this BBC documentary, people from all walks of life talk honestly about their experiences with loneliness, from a 19-year-old student to a 100-year-old woman [more on loneliness].

The Surprising Perks of Being Easily Embarrassed
Feeling foolish and awkward can be good for you in unexpected ways, boosting your sex appeal, social status and more. David Robson reports for BBC Future [read David’s guest posts for the Digest].

New Study Indicates Existence of Eight Conservative Social Psychologists
Jonathan Haidt takes a look at more evidence for the massive under-representation of politically right-leaning individuals in social psychology.

How We Learn Fairness
In the latest of her superb psychology columns at the New Yorker Maria Konnikova covers research on how humans develop a sense of fairness and whether that quality is innate or learned socially.
Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.

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