1) Food Advertising The way in which food is advertised and packaged gets a mention as a factor influencing attitudes to food and a factor influencing obesity. This article suggests that in addition to bans on television advertising, measures need to be taken to restrict billboard advertising and other forms of marketing. https://theconversation.com/advertising-has-the-power-to-make-children-fat-and-this-needs-to-stop-58899 As with […]

1) John Oliver On Science This is late night American cable TV. Please do not watch this if you are likely to be offended by occasional references to sex and by swearing. It does however say s0me important and intelligent things about how science works and our understanding of it.   2) Rational Choice We have […]

1) Google And Health Data In thinking about classification and diagnosis during lessons, we have had on the horizon for a while the idea that diagnoses of mental illness will be made on the basis of biomarkers measured via mobile devices. The data these devices generate has to be held somewhere. Stories have emerged this […]

1) Willem Kuyken on Mindfulness Based CBT A study has come out this week which shows that MCBT is effective in preventing relapse in people suffering multiple episodes of depression. You can read about that here. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy can prevent recurrent depression Kuyken gives an extended interview about this study and other issues connected […]

1) Global Disease Burden I keep hearing myself say in lessons that by 2030, mental illness will represent the main burden of preventable disease across the planet. http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/apr/12/50-million-years-work-lost-anxiety-depression-world-health-organisation-who This study puts some of the detail on this, explaining what the cost of not treating people might be. This is a good example of the economic […]

1) Some Commentary On Addiction We’re about to finish Addictive Behaviour in A2. I’ve been reworking some of the webpages to bring them up to date. Here are three links which illustrate some of the things I have been thinking about. Drugs used to treat nicotine addiction could also be used to treat sugar addiction […]

1) Romanian Orphanages The English And Romanian Adoptees study is central for our understanding of the effects of institutionalisation and more generally understanding the importance of attachment. The oldest child in this study was 3 and a half years old. Some children however were left in the orphanages for much longer before they were adopted. […]

1) Nature And Nurture The debate has rumbled on this week. Here is a piece of research which has been reported about depressed rats in a couple of places. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/depression-not-governed-by-genes-and-environment-is-a-major-factor-when-it-comes-to-being-happy-a6958686.html and, more briefly, How Family History of Depression Affects Chance of Mental Illness The best thing I have read continues to be Marcus Munafo’s piece […]

1) Brain Training When we study working memory, we look at the claim that it is possible to train people to have more effective working memory. The key concept is transfer. People might improve their scores on a brain training game but they are unable to transfer success from these to other tasks. This is […]

1) Grid Cells One of the videos on the Types Of Memory webpage shows a lecture by Eleanor Maguire. It explains the significance of grid cells. These enable mice to navigate around simple mazes. They are the first example thinking recorded as brain activity. We can infer what the mouse is thinking directly from patterns […]

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