Post Of The Week – Sunday 3rd September 2017

1) More On Gender

This article looks at how researchers argue about male and female brains. In our course, we understand that alpha bias involves exaggerating differences between the genders while beta bias involves diminishing them. From a feminist perspective, differences have been exaggerated while some neuroscientists maintain that male and female brains are structurally different. The article explains why this is important and how advances in our understanding of the plasticity and complexity of the brain might develop the debate further.

 

2) Before Babies Understand Words, They Understand Tones Of Voice

This article follows on from the one last week on number. It suggests that babies can understand tones of voice within the first few months of life. It is a development of work by Baillargeon which investigates children’s abilities by making inferences based on findings from controlled, laboratory procedures.

 

3) The End Of Schizophrenia

We don’t cover schizophrenia as part of our course but the issues which this article raises apply to many of the things we cover. Thinking about schizophrenia as a single condition goes against what the neuroscience is now saying and may not be the most helpful way of deciding on treatment.

 

4) Music And Memory

Memory, as we keep saying, is a complex process of construction depending on many different areas of the brain. This article reflects on how music can move us and remind us.

 

5) No More Boys And Girls

This series is still available on iPlayer. It looks at what happened when a psychologist worked with a group of primary children to challenge gender stereotypes. There is a review of this series here.

 

6) Antidepressants Work

That is the conclusion from a large scale review of evidence discussed in this article. Our course focuses on cognitive explanations and treatments for depression. This article reminds us that there is a biological narrative which we need to understand as well.

 

7) Understanding Movement

When we study localisation of the brain, we look at how movement is controlled by the motor cortex. This article looks at research in mice. It shows how far we have got in understanding that there is much more to movement than a signal from one part of the brain. The basal ganglia, which we look at in the context of OCD, are also involved.

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