Post Of The Week – Saturday 29th February 2020

1) Laura Schulz – The Surprisingly Logical Minds Of Babies

Following on from Baillargeon’s work on infant cognition we have been doing in Year 2, here is a TED Talk from four years ago about the reasoning of 15 month old children. Schulz has something powerful to say about human cognition and thinking based on this work.

 

2) Why Your Brain Is Not A Computer

We’re thinking about the cognitive approach and computer models in Year 1 at the moment. This article looks at why computer models cannot capture what the brain does. It looks at controversies in this area.

 

3) Television And Perceptions Of Attractiveness

Here is a BPS Research digest account of some research from Nicaragua. I posted about this a little while ago.

 

4) Personalised Diets

Here is a link to an article and podcast about personalised diets. It explores the idea that by knowing more about an individual’s genome, it should be possible to give them a diet which helps them eat more healthily.

 

5) Early Riser Or Night Owl?

Here’s a piece from Francis Collins on circadian rhythms.

 

6) Daily Dose Of Nature

When the weather improves, we’ll get our practical on the effects of green space and mindfulness done in Year 1. Here’s a piece from the BBC on why this might be important.

 

7) Eugenics

We treat in our course the nature-nurture and the reductionism-holism debates as academic exercises. However, increasingly these have contemporary political relevance. Here’s a piece about eugenics. It states towards the end, “But even if our ethical analysis should deem such new genetic technologies permissible, it would be disingenuous to present these technological advances as “solutions” to complex problems such as poverty, unemployment, or poor physical or mental health. We should be wary of biological determinist narratives that blame various forms of disadvantage on individual traits, without acknowledging the importance of social and political factors.” That should make us stop and think.

 

8) Frequency Of Therapy

We’ll be thinking about CBT for depression in our Year 1 course fairly soon. This article suggests that how frequently people receive therapy is another factor to consider in assessing appropriateness and effectiveness.

 

9) Learning difficulties due to poor connectivity, not specific brain regions, study shows.

This piece has some relevance to the work we are doing in Year 2 on autism at the moment.

 

10) Asylums

A few years ago, I was involved in a project on the history of asylums. Here is an interesting take on this from Joanna Moncrieff.

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