1) Genes For OCD This research came out in October last year but I only just found it. There’s a brief article here. The problem with understanding OCD to this point is that the evidence has been fragmentary. We know about genes, brain areas and serotonin but don’t know how they fit together. By isolating […]

1) Educational Achievement And Genes When we study the nature-nurture debate, we look at the idea that the heritability of a trait depends on the quality of environment. In an environment with no food, genetic differences in vulnerability to obesity do not matter. In an educational environment where everyone has the support and the facilities […]

1) Steve Silberman On Autism Here is Steve Silberman writing powerfully about acceptance of autism. Along the way, he deals with issues of holism and reductionism.   2) Loneliness Study The BBC has been promoting an online study of loneliness. I did the survey on Friday. Here is the information screen. On a previous screen, there […]

1) Problem Gambling This extract of You And Yours on Radio 4 features Henrietta Bowden-Jones who also features in the audio on the gambling webpage. It focuses on a case of  a woman who lost a very large amount of money through online gambling. Three points emerge. Firstly, the personal account does not include reference […]

1) Genetic Basis Of Educational Achievement Here’s the latest from the IOPPN on genetics and educational achievement, looking ate differences in polygenic scores between students in different types of school. This should get us thinking about nature and nurture. Students, you won’t be surprised to hear, are different from each other.   2) Psychological Treatment […]

1) Stephen Reicher – Life Scientific In this programme, Stephen Reicher discusses social identity and crowds.   2) Addiction In Year 2, we have hit the idea of understanding addiction holistically. This article is from a couple of years ago but is highly relevant to this idea. It explicitly rejects the medical model of addiction […]

1) Neurogenesis When we study plasticity of the brain, we touch on the controversy of whether adults can develop new neurons. It was thought for many years that adults could not grow new neurons. 20 years ago, research began to emerge which suggested that the brain could produce new cells in the same way as […]

1) Genetic Basis Of Autism I’ve been working on the Biological Approach this week in preparation for the work we will do in Year 1. I’ve been looking in particular at the idea that with OCD, we cannot link a particular gene to a particular neurochemical abnormality in a particular part of the brain. This […]

1) Effectiveness Of Antidepressants A large scale study was published this week about the effectiveness of antidepressants. Here is the BBC story. There’s been a bit of debate about what this research actually means. The Mental Elf has something important to say here. This is very good from Neuroskeptic.   2) Test For Autism In […]

1) Implanting False Memories A crucial claim of Elizabeth Loftus’ research is that it is possible to manipulate testimony and to implant false memories. We look at some of her research here. A problem with this research is that the memories which are implanted and manipulated seem trivial in comparison with the court cases to […]