When we study plasticity of the brain, we touch on the controversy of whether adults can develop new neurons. It was thought for many years that adults could not grow new neurons. 20 years ago, research began to emerge which suggested that the brain could produce new cells in the same way as many other cells in the human body. However, recent research suggests that this may not be the case. These articles by Ed Yong and Mo Costandi lay out the evidence for and against.
2) Laura Schultz On Infant Abilities
In this TED Talk, Laura Schultz explains and illustrates some of her research into the logical abilities of infants. The infants are older than in Baillargeon’s research but the results are as surprising. This tells us something important about how we do science and about how we think of specifically human abilities. This link takes you to an article which explains how as children’s sensory and motor skills develop, their perception of the world becomes more sophisticated and provides a basis for developing thinking.
3) Social Jet Lag
This article explains the negative effect of going to bed and getting up late at the weekends. Even if you get the same amount of sleep as normal, the disruption to the circadian rhythm is significant.
4) John Cacioppo
John Cacioppo was a pioneer of social neuroscience. He died this week. Here is an article from the BPS Digest about his work on loneliness. Here he is in a superb TEDx talk.
For those of you do Business or Economics, here is a piece from the Harvard Business Review.
5) Localisation Of Function
We define areas of the brain according to the behaviours with which they are associated. The problem with this is that any one behaviour is linked to more than one area of the brain and each area of the brain is associated with more than one behaviour. This article proposes one way of solving this contradiction.
6) Cultural Variations
Cultural variations have been studied in Psychology for a long time. We come across them in relation to conformity and attachment. This article shows how influential cultural differences are in a variety of contexts.
7) This Child Of Mine
Follow this link to see a video presentation about having a child with Asperger’s Syndrome. This article uses the poem as a starting point to explore the problems people diagnosed with autism in adulthood have with accessing services and support.