1) MRI We make frequent reference to the use of fMRI, functional magnetic resonance imaging,  as a method of studying the brain during our course. The man who invented MRI, on which fMRI is based, died last week. This article explains a bit about him and his invention.   2) Sex Differences In Cognition Alpha […]

1) Two Long Reads About Memory Both of these come from the BPS Digest for this week. The first is about the loss of memory following a stroke. It uses concepts we study in our course to explain what it is like to lose and then regain memory: short term memory, episodic memory, semantic memory, procedural […]

1) Split Brains This article introduces some recent research involving split brain patients which on the face of it challenges the way in which we think of these patients. Its findings suggest that their consciousness is less divided than is suggested by the research of Sperry and Gazzaniga. In the end, there may be a […]

A two week break due to the mocks. 1) Ruby Wax And David Baddiel On Mindfulness The podcast you need is currently at the top of this list. Ruby Wax and David Baddiel discuss their experience of mental illness and therapy. Ruby Wax has just written a book about mindfulness. There’s an f word towards the […]

1) Mindset We’ve been thinking a lot about research methods over the past couple of weeks. This article looks at the popularity of growth mindset and at the research which underlies it. The central claim is that the evidence is not as strong as you’d think it would be. Peer review, significance, replicability and objectivity […]

1) How Do Connectomes Contribute to Human Cognition? The answer to this question is explained in this brief article from Scientific American. It sums up neatly how we understand structure and plasticity within the brain.   2) Eating Disorders In Males We quote the figure of 9:1 for the ratio of female to male diagnosis of […]

1) A Little Bit OCD This article explores the presentation of OCD in HBO’s “Girls”. It explains how it moves away from depicting OCD as being tidy and fastidious to explore the anxiety and misery at the heart of the condition. This article gives a fuller overview of how OCD is defined and understood.   […]

1) The Predictive Power Of Attachment Is Overrated That is the claim of this article. At a time when attachment is being promoted as a way of understanding later difficulties, the article questions what we know about the influence of attachment. The article makes some important points. People tend to confuse insecure attachment with no […]

1) Depression And Cardiac Arrest This article explains how depression following a heart attack is treated. There’s a bias towards giving people drugs for this, in part because they are already receiving drugs for  their heart condition and in part because in Canada, as in many other countries, access to a psychiatrist who prescribes the tablets […]

1) Epigenetics And Addiction Some research from King’s College, London and from Bristol was reported in two places this week, here and here. Changes in the expression of genes have been found amongst participants whose parents smoke. These participants go on to be at greater risk of developing addiction. The challenge now for researchers is […]