Post Of The Week – Sunday 29th January 2017

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 end but this is a suitable and interesting exploration of some important psychology.

 

2) Treating Cognitive Deficits In Depression

When we look at the cognitive explanation and treatment of depression, we look at evidence that negative thinking precedes the onset of the condition. There’s also the problem that cognitive impairment continues after other symptoms have been addressed. This article explains how a drug used to treat narcolepsy, Modafinil, is being used to treat this cognitive impairment. It’s a small trial but results are promising.

 

3) Sex, Lies And Brain Scans

This is the title of a new book about fMRI. This review sums up well what the book tells us about how much we really can learn from fMRI about how the brain works.

 

4) Eastern And Western Thinking

We have in Psychology for a long time used the idea that western thinking is individualistic and eastern collectivistic. Ethnocentrism occurs when a western way of thinking informs research which is looking at behaviour on other cultures. This article explains how the simple idea that western thinking is individualistic and eastern is collectivistic is being challenged. There is more to it than that.

 

5) Talking Therapy Changes The Wiring Of The Brain

We are used to thinking of biological therapy as changing the way the brain works and psychological therapy as changing our minds. This is essentially a false dichotomy: the way we think is a product of physical activity within the brain. This article looks at a piece of research into the effects of CBT for people with psychosis. It demonstrates changes in brain function as a result of CBT. This suggests that we need to think about the effects of therapy holistically.

 

6) Excitation And Inhibition

We deal with these two ideas as fundamental to the structure and function of neurons: just something to learn. This article explains how understanding better the balance between excitation and inhibition may be the key to understanding the fitness of the brain.

 

7) A Bit Of Nature-Nurture

This article describes research into the heritability of online behaviour. We tend to assume that we are shaped by our experience of media: that is certainly the message from social learning theory. However, this research from Robert Palomino’s team at the Institute Of Psychiatry contradicts this, suggesting that our genes shape the type of media which we consume.

 

8) BPS Digest

As ever, the BPS Digest has a series of great links. Here is this week’s menu.

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