No post last week due to the mocks.
1) Charlotte Church – Inside My Brain
This is very good from the BBC. Charlotte Church explores what is known about the biological basis, with a focus on some cutting edge therapy. She also speaks to her mum about the experience of bipolar disorder. There is a particularly powerful exploration of PTSD with illustration of a new approach to therapy. There is reference to brain organoids in the programme which are further explored in this TED-Ed video.
This article looks at research into the relationship between chemical circuits and depression.
2) How Does Your Body Know When You Are Full?
This TED Ed video refers to some of the neural mechanisms we study when we look at eating behaviour. It’s a useful summary.
3) Gender And Autism
We use diagnosis of autism as an example of beta bias. Girls and boys experience autism differently, with girls less likely to display repetitive behaviour but the diagnostic criteria used for girls and boys are the same. This article explores this in some depth, mixing stories of women and girls with autism with an explanation of how these differences are being researched. The article states,
“Because autism is at least three times as common in boys as in girls, scientists routinely include only boys in their research. The result is that we know shockingly little about whether and how autism might be different in girls and boys.”
4) The Basal Ganglia And OCD
When we study OCD, we look at the role of the basal ganglia in filtering unwanted thoughts. This article goes into detail on this process.
5) Localisation Of Function
We learn in our course which area of the brain does what: localisation of function. This article explains both how this idea came about early in the history of neuroscience and what is wrong with this idea. Think of the brain as a giant bag of cells, wired together. We still need to know the anatomy of the brain though. This is excellent for this purpose. You can see Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area.
6) What You Can Do To Avoid Jet Lag
This from the BBC Trust Me I’m A Doctor series looks at jet lag and what we know about endogenous pacemakers.
7) Psychotherapy Across The World
This abstract suggests that psychotherapies developed in western countries can be effective in many cultural settings. Given that depression will represent a major global disease burden, this is good news.
8) Back To Depression
There’s been extensive coverage of the claims of Johann Hari about the limitations of anti-depressants and the medical model of disease. This is a very sensible critique.