Post Of The Week – Sunday 18th March 2018

1) Stephen Reicher – Life Scientific

In this programme, Stephen Reicher discusses social identity and crowds.


2) Addiction

In Year 2, we have hit the idea of understanding addiction holistically. This article is from a couple of years ago but is highly relevant to this idea. It explicitly rejects the medical model of addiction and simple accounts of addiction based on conditioning.


3) Neurogenesis

As a follow on to a couple of links from last week, here is an abstract from a research paper which casts doubt on the production of new neurons past early childhood in one area of the hippocampus.


4) False Belief Tasks

The Sally-Ann procedure in Baron-Cohen et al (1985) is a false belief task. It is used to establish whether children have a theory of mind. Children can normally complete these tasks at about the age of 4. This research from MIT moves the story one stage on. It suggests that children are beginning to develop the brain networks for completing these tasks a bit earlier. It represents a breakthrough in that it uses findings from fMRI for younger children. It opens up the possibility of understanding what is different in the brains of autistic children. Here’s a piece of research which does something similar, in this case using eye tracking and EEG.


5)  Working Memory

When we look at working memory, we consider its application to classroom environments. This research tests children’s working memory and their use of finger counting on addition tasks. There was a significant correlation between finger counting and better performance for the easier and harder sums and also between finger counting and higher working memory ability. The challenge therefore with the students with weaker performance is to teach them better strategies for finger counting.


6) Sleep

Here’s a piece about current research into sleep. Here’s something about sleep and its social context.


7) Brain Plasticity

This from The Guardian covers many aspects relevant to our course on functional recovery and plasticity.



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