Post Of The Week – Sunday 25th February 2018

1) Effectiveness Of Antidepressants

A large scale study was published this week about the effectiveness of antidepressants. Here is the BBC story. There’s been a bit of debate about what this research actually means. The Mental Elf has something important to say here. This is very good from Neuroskeptic.


2) Test For Autism

In a similar way, this story about tests for autism gained some media attention this week. The BBC treatment of this in the news story linked here is measured and responsible. This release from NHS Choices explains how much work still needs to be done. One small detail in these stories is that the age at which children receive diagnosis is gradually reducing even without a physical test. Many children are now diagnosed at age 2: 4 or 5 used to be the minimum age.


3) Milgram And The Agentic State

Reicher and Haslam’s research challenge Milgram’s view about the agentic state. They have developed the idea of engaged followership to describe the behaviour of participants in Milgram’s study. Rather than mindlessly rejecting any sense of responsibility, participants act consciously in support of the scientific aims of the study. This has been challenged by research based on the transcripts of interviews with participants where the value of science is barely mentioned. Reicher and Haslam’s response is here. It’s behind a pay wall but you can at least read the abstract.


4) Nature And Nurture

Here’s an interesting piece of research about how nature and nurture are commonly perceived. Nature and nurture continues to be an issue in relation to education. This podcast from Kathryn Asbury says some sensible and interesting things.


5) Mindlessly Mapping The Brain

If you want to convince yourself that we know scarily little about the brain, this is very good indeed. We’ve struggled a bit in Biopsychology to understand how to write about excitation and inhibition. That is because it is a deeply complex process, as is explained towards the end of this article. It raises the possibility that in the process of summing excitatory and inhibitory signals, each neuron acts as its own little computer.


6) Plasticity And Rewiring The Brain

This article looks at how drug treatments might enhance functional recovery following a stroke.


7) Girls On The Edge

I’ve not watched this and it clearly comes with the usual advice about where to go for help. It looks however like a serious attempt to explore problems of adolescent mental health.

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