Post Of The Week – Sunday 19th February 2017

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 bias in psychology exaggerates differences between males and females. Claims are often made about male and female brains. In this article, Tom Stafford seeks to set the record straight by quoting some figures.

 

3) Life Scientific – Simon Wessely

Professor Sir Simon Wessely is President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Here, he talks about his life in science.

 

4) Meta-Analysis

Here’s a brief overview of how meta-analysis works. It is worth noticing that the growth of meta-analysis is relatively recent.

 

5) Peer Review

Peer review is an essential element of the scientific process. I’ve written at least one exam question recently which makes this point. The flaws in peer review highlighted by this article are therefore surprising and troubling.

 

6) Addiction As A Brain Disease

Biological explanations of addiction, for example in relation to nicotine, view addiction as a disorder of the brain. Dealing with addiction therefore means either finding drugs to counteract the effects of the addictive substance or preventing exposure to the substance in the first place. In this article,  Carl L. Hart explains what is wrong with that. Ignoring psycho-social factors means that we end up with punitive drugs policies which target particular communities and ethnic groups.

 

7) Santiago Ramon y Cajal

Our understanding of neurons goes back to the pioneering work of Santiago Ramon y Cajal in the late nineteenth century. This article explains just how good he was.

 

8) Art Improves A Mental Health Ward

The environments into which we put people with mental illness tell us much about our attitudes to mental illness. This article explains how artists and service users have worked together to make over a mental health ward in a secure unit.

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