Post Of The Week – Sunday 17th March, 2019

1) Brain Stimulation For OCD

When we study OCD, we look at the effect of deep brain stimulation. This study shows how that research moves on. Two specific areas deep within the brain are named.


2) Rorschach

This video relates to ideas within the psychodynamic approach which we explore in Year 2.


3) Two Minute Neuroscience

This is a useful set of videos on YouTube.

Here are two good ones: acetylcholine which is relevant to nicotine addiction, and Wernicke’s area which is relevant to Year 2 Biopsychology.



4) Libet’s Experiment

When we study free will, we look at Libet’s study which suggests that brain activity leading to an action precedes our conscious awareness of that action. Here is an updated version of it.


5) Pim Cuijpers

Pim Cuijpers is an important researcher whose work we use in relation to depression. Here, he talks about how to prevent depression.


6) Why Am I Shy?

This BBC World Service programme sounds interesting.


7) Marginally Significant

It is always a bit of a problem when we get results in practicals which are close to the p=0.05 threshold but don’t quite get there. There is something, it seems, going on but the results are not strong enough to be called significant. Psychologists get round this by describing such results as “marginally significant”. They really shouldn’t. This article explains more.


8) Why Your Memories Can’t Be Trusted

Here’s some video from The Guardian, tackling in particular the idea of memory working in the brain as in a computer. Elizabeth Loftus appears.


9) Ketamine

Research has been going on into the antidepressant effect of ketamine. Here, Hank Green has something sensible to say about this.


10) Sex Differences In Depression

When we look at gender bias in Year 2, we consider the effect of beta bias on the diagnosis of autism. This piece explores the same issue in relation to depression.


11) The Effects Of Violent Video Games

Not as bad as we thought, according to this paper.


One comment

  1. Experiments by Benjamin Libet and others reveal that there is unconscious brain activity that precedes one’s awareness of choosing in some very simple decisions, such as deciding when to push a button. The fact that the choice is being made prior to conscious awareness is used to suggest that our unconscious mind is in the driver’s seat, and that our conscious mind is just along for the ride.

    Those making such claims seem to forget that, prior to that unconscious activity, the experimenter had to explain to the subject what to do and the subject had to interpret and internalize these instructions before they could perform the task. Both the explaining and the interpreting required conscious awareness.

    After that, it didn’t really matter whether the conscious or unconscious areas of the subject’s brain were determining when to push the button. Both parts were serving the same person and the same conscious purpose.

    Neuroscience helps us to understand how the mind operates as a physical process running upon the infrastructure of the central nervous system. It helps to explain what we are and how we work. But it cannot suggest that something other than us, other than our own brain, our own memories, our own thoughts, and our own feelings is controlling what we do and what we choose. The hardware, the software, and the running process are us.

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