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 this understanding can be applied to education. This article explains some of the issues.
While on the subject of applications to education, here is a news article about Philosophy For Children.
I first came across Philosophy For Children 20 years ago when I was doing my degree. The claims here are startling. Crucially, as the link below makes clear, these claims are based on a randomised controlled trial.
2) Stigma And Stereotype
There’s been some fine work already this year on attitudes to mental illness. Some work by students in 12D has got me looking at how stigma associated with male stereotyping is being addressed. This work from Australia is impressive and evolving.
Andrew Flintoff talks about his experience of illness about 20 minutes into Desert Island Discs. Listen here.
3) Dorothy Bishop
Here is Dorothy Bishop talking on The Life Scientific. She is a developmental psychologist, focusing on language development.
Here she is on her blog writing about replication. http://deevybee.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/publishing-replication-failures-some.html
With data coming in from projects, issues of replicability and significance are right at the front of my mind. Her comments here are balanced and wise.
4) The Brain’s Filing System
Next year’s AS will require us to study more aspects of memory than the current AS. The concepts which it covers were first investigated using behavioural research in the 1960s. Since then, neuroscience has taken us inside the brain to see how the processes the theories proposed actually work. Here is a summary from the BBC.
5) Internet Based Interventions For Depression
We have got interested in the way in which CBT can be delivered online as a method to treat depression. However, just because something is online does not mean that people will use it. This study investigates what happens when people are encouraged to access online therapy using a motivational video.
Still a long way to go.
6) A New Brain Atlas
Much of what we know about the brain is based on fMRI. This focuses on grey matter and on structures. What we know less about is how these different structures communicate with each other, in particular the white matter which connects cells together.
This represents a step forward.
7) CBT Losing Efficacy
I wrote about this a little while ago. Here is Vaughan Bell explaining why this isn’t just an issue for CBT.
The implication for us is that text books which use studies from 20 years ago as evidence for the effectiveness of therapies may be overstating their case.
8) Separated Twins In Columbia
This is a crazy story but also fascinating.
You can read the full story here.
9) CIA And APA
I assume everyone knows what the CIA is. The APA is the American Psychological Association. There has been concern for a while about the involvement of psychologists in the interrogation of prisoners.
What’s becoming clear is that collusion in this process was more widespread than first thought. The role of Philip Zimbardo is increasingly coming under scrutiny, as this blog post shows.