Post Of The Week – Saturday 25th February 2017

1) Common Misconceptions About Evolution

This SciShow video has some useful things to say about evolution and more generally about what we mean by the word theory.

SciShow say that they are going to set up a channel specifically for Psychology. Here’s a sample.


2) Ways Of Studying The Brain

The video behind this link explains the next generation of scanning techniques. The work is mostly on non-human animals but the video explains what the applications to humans might be. Here’s a link to a Guardian podcast on fMRI.


3) Diagnosing Autism In Babies

There has been some excitement this week about a paper which has reported success in early diagnosis of babies with autism using brain scans. Here is a blog post from the NIH in the US explaining the findings and their significance. This article by Jon Brock in the Guardian offers excellent, balanced commentary. It emphasises the statistical limits of what has been discovered so far and stresses the importance of replication. This week, in working on some studies in Year 1, we have been thinking about how Psychology studies change direction as they go. The commentary here on the twists and turns of an exploratory study is relevant to this.


4) Using Technology To Deliver Healthcare

This video explains something about the developments at a research centre in Sheffield.

I caught a bit of this radio programme earlier today. These items do not concentrate specifically on mental health but they could have done.


5) English And Romanian Adoptees Study

I’d not been able to find recent material on this study and assumed that they had run out of money. It is therefore great to find this new paper based on the latest research into the Romanian adoptees. The research is explained in this news report and in much more detail on this page from Kings College IPPN. As much as anything else, it’s a great story about how research develops. The current focus is on genetic analysis of the people adopted after 6 months who have reached their mid-twenties without any mental health problems and on understanding how this is reflected in brain structure and epigenetics. Great stuff.


6) A Couple On OCD

This article looks at some of the latest findings about OCD as a biological disorder while this article  looks more specifically at compulsions.


7) NNT

This article explains the concept of NNT – Number Needing Treatment – in the context of debate about the efficacy of drugs.


8) Plain Packaging

This article explains where research into plain packaging of tobacco has got to, particularly in Australia. It is a good news story about the effectiveness of psychological research in promoting public health.


9) Connected Brains

This article challenges the idea of right brain being the seat of creativity. Creativity depends on connections across the brain. It challenges accounts which localise traits such as creativity in one place or in one system.


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