Post Of The Week – Saturday 4th March 2016

1) Optogenetics

People sometimes wonder why we focus on Biopsychology. The material we cover in our course provides a basis for understanding the rapid advances being made in studying and understanding the brain.

This video explains one such advance, optogenetics. This article explains one advance in studying the brain.


2) Neuroscience And The Law

This article explains the link between neuroscience and the law. Understanding more about why someone commits an act might be seen as a way of excusing the act. This article challenges this by looking at what research currently tells us about consciousness and intent.


3) How Technology Gets Us Hooked

This article explains some of the psychology behind slot machines and other forms of gaming. The experiments on variable reinforcement which are at the heart of learning accounts of gambling go back to the 1970s.


4) Karen Ersche

We use Karen Ersche’s work on siblings and inhibition as an example of genotype and phenotype. In this latest piece of research, the focus is on the distribution of iron in the brain. Iron distribution may turn out to be an important biomarker for the development of addiction.


5) Brain Plasticity In Astronauts

Space provides a radically different environment to which the brain has to adapt. This article explains what has been found about how the brain changes in space.


6) Video Games Cause Violence

This article looks at the evidence for this claim,  questioning a commonly held view. As an example of exposing gaps in research methods, this is excellent.


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