1) Genetic Basis Of Autism
I’ve been working on the Biological Approach this week in preparation for the work we will do in Year 1. I’ve been looking in particular at the idea that with OCD, we cannot link a particular gene to a particular neurochemical abnormality in a particular part of the brain. This research from Cambridge is therefore worth looking at. It looks at how abnormalities in the thickness of the cortex are related to differences in genotype between autistic and non-autistic children. The next stage in the research is to understand why these particular variations in genotype should be related to autism.
2) Who Am I? The Brain and Personality
I’ve only managed to listen to a little bit of this BBC Radio programme but it’s interesting, looking at the connection between memory and the self. It’s a good example of holism in Psychology: understanding human behaviour as an indivisible system.
3) Adolescent Risk Takers
We watched a bit of Sarah-Jayne Blakemore’s TED Talk in Year 1 last week in order to introduce cognitive neuroscience. Here she is talking more about adolescent risk taking.
4) Ethics And Consumer Research
I often tell people that a Psychology degree does not just enable someone to qualify as a clinical or forensic psychologist. Psychology graduates work in a wide range of contexts, often employing the knowledge and skills they have developed during their degrees. This leads to a problem with ethics which this article explores. Good research in a commercial setting follows the ethical guidelines of the BPS but too much research does not.
Again as part of Year 1 and the biological approach, I have been thinking about stigma. This piece by Mandy Stevens explains how she went from clinical director of mental health services to service user and back again. The penultimate paragraph speaks powerfully of the role of stigma in this process.
As a follow on from the study published last week about the effectiveness of antidepressants, this link explains the findings of a large scale study about the safety of antidepressants, specifically about the risk of suicide. This article takes as its starting point the increase in the prescription of antidepressants, suggesting that we need to look more at what people eat in order to treat mental disorders.