1) Cases Of Amnesia I am in the middle of planning the Memory topic for AS next year. Here is a case of amnesia which has defied explanation. http://www.spring.org.uk/2015/07/memory-loss-man-baffles-psychologists-weve-never-seen-anything-like-this-before.php Amnesia cases are both useful for illustrating the principles by which we understand memory but also for exposing the limitations of what we understand. 2) Computerised […]

1) Tax Sugary Drinks A tax on sugary drinks is now being backed by the British Medical Association. Part of the proposal is to use the money to subsidise more healthy food. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33479118 I first used a BBC World Service report on the proposal for sugar tax in New York City in early 2010. It […]

1) Neuroscience In Education Our course includes a section on applications of theories of cognitive development to education. We consider the influence of the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky. Since these theories became popular 40 years ago, neuroscience has developed our understanding of so many aspects of the brain. The question arises as to whether […]

1)¬†Improving response inhibition systems in frontotemporal dementia with citalopram This is interesting in lots of ways. We frequently refer to the role of the pre-frontal cortex in the inhibition of risky or socially unacceptable behaviour. Our main focus is how this develops in adolescence. There is another side to this. When people develop dementia in […]

1) Addictive Personality In the A2 course, we consider how the idea of an addictive personality is challenged by current psychological research. This article makes several persuasive points. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v522/n7557_supp/full/522S48a.html There’s a very good piece of video on modifying memories of addiction which you can see¬†on this page. http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1 2) Can The Bacteria In Your Gut […]

1) Autism And Perfect Pitch I have been in choirs of one sort or another for most of my life. Occasionally, I have come across people with perfect pitch. If you ask them to sing a B flat, they can. Most people who sing can’t do that. They rely on relative pitch, understanding where one […]

1) Zimbardo’s Prison Study Reassessed I was pleased to see Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment disappear from the A Level specification and a bit disappointed when I heard it was coming back. This article does a superb job at highlighting some of the issues with it. http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/the-real-lesson-of-the-stanford-prison-experiment I read somewhere once that the study had never […]

1) The Dopamine Theory Of Addiction This article reviews what is known about dopamine and the process of addiction. For some time, it has been thought that addiction is a consequence of the release of dopamine. Dopamine on this account is a “pleasure chemical”. http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v16/n5/pdf/nrn3939.pdf?WT.ec_id=NRN-201505 The article explains that it is much more complex than […]

1) The Talking Cure Here is a well made programme about talking therapies, interspersing interviews with critical commentary. There is a really good section on psychoanalysis which I was going to use for the A Level course until I realised that there is no reference to psychoanalysis in the specification. There is however a section […]

1) Age As A Risk Factor In Alcohol Addiction You need to wind 32 minutes into this programme. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05wdfhk/horizon-20142015-12-is-binge-drinking-really-that-bad It features Valerie Voon from Cambridge talking about the neurobiology of addiction. She explains that there are two reasons why people in late adolescence and early adulthood are vulnerable to addiction to alcohol. There are basically […]

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