Post Of The Week – Sunday 20th August, 2017

1) The Mind And The Brain

This episode of The Infinite Monkey Cage includes a discussion of mind and brain. Wide ranging and surprising.

 

2) And Also On The Radio ….

This programme takes what we think we know about Pavlov and challenges it.

 

3) Gender And The Brain

This article looks at arguments about gender and the brain arising from the controversy surrounding Google and the dismissal of an employee who challenged policies designed to promote gender equality. It argues that differences between males and females are more to do with context and expectation than innate difference, using ideas about brain plasticity.

 

4) Brain Myths

One of the ideas about doing Psychology as an academic subject is that you learn to distinguish fact from fiction about how and why we do the things we do. This article suggests that the message does not always get through even to people studying at quite high levels.

 

5) The Brain As A Computer

This article looks at the brain as a computer. It looks at the reciprocal relationship between engineering and neuroscience. How we think about the brain is a reflection of our technological understanding and how engineering develops is a reflection of what we understand about how the brain works.

 

6) Depression And The Immune System

This link takes you to a podcast about depression and the immune system. The key finding is that people with depression who also show heightened response of the immune system are resistant to the effect of antidepressants. This article from the University Of Cambridge explains the latest findings about the genetic basis of these differences. Depression, on this model, is not all in the mind.

 

7) E-cigarettes

An important argument about e-cigarettes is that they prevent people from smoking tobacco. This article challenges this argument. It suggests that adolescents who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try real cigarettes than those who don’t. This is a particularly  strong effect in those who do not have friends who smoke. This has important implications for how we understand risk factors in addiction and how we then address it.

 

8) Understanding Freud’s Legacy

It was a bit of a surprise when the psychodynamic approach and Freud’s theories came back into our course. This article, a review of a book critical of Freud, explains what critics get wrong about Freud and what we might gain from his approach.

 

 

 

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