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308 posts · 237,331 views

Comments on neurobiology, neuroimaging, and psychiatry from a skeptical neuroscientist.

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  • March 3, 2013
  • 05:48 AM

Windfarms, Wifi and Self-Fulfilling Myths

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Modern life is toxic. …allegedly. It’s not. But a lot of people think so. Driven by media and online coverage of the idea, many believe that things like wifi and cell-phone signals are making them ill. There’s no good evidence that such ‘electrosmog‘ causes health problems. From what we know of physics, it’s most unlikely [...]... Read more »

  • February 25, 2013
  • 04:17 PM

Vladimir Lenin’s Stoney Brain

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about Einstein’s brain. Less well-known, but equally fascinating, is the case of Lenin‘s cerebrum – for just like Albert, the founder of the Soviet Union was fated to end up as a series of preserved slices. Lenin died of a series of strokes at the young age of [...]... Read more »

  • February 24, 2013
  • 08:21 AM

“Know Thyself” Is A Lot To Ask

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

I’ve written before about the limitations of self-report measures in psychiatry. It’s an issue that’s been recognized for decades but, unfortunately, self-report seems to be more popular than ever. I suspect that this is because it’s far and away the easiest and cheapest way of getting data, and hence publications, in a great many fields [...]... Read more »

Miller RM, Haws NA, Murphy-Tafiti JL, Hubner CD, Curtis TD, Rupp ZW, Smart TA, & Thompson LM. (2013) Are Self-Ratings of Functional Difficulties Objective or Subjective?. Applied neuropsychology. Adult. PMID: 23383984  

  • February 20, 2013
  • 01:40 PM

The World’s Most Problematic Videogames

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Is ‘video game addiction’ a useful concept? Some people certainly play an awful lot of games, and therefore have little of a life outside of them; but that doesn’t in itself mean that games are harming them. Maybe that’s just how they prefer to live. Maybe games are just filling a void that would otherwise [...]... Read more »

  • February 19, 2013
  • 03:06 PM

Better Journals… Worse Statistics?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Some of the world’s leading scientific journals are worryingly lax in ensuring that their papers contain adequate statistical details. So say Italian researchers Tressoldi and colleagues in a provocative paper just out: High Impact = High Statistical Standards? Not Necessarily So They considered all articles published in 2011, that concerned any kind of psychological or [...]... Read more »

Tressoldi PE, Giofré D, Sella F, & Cumming G. (2013) High Impact . PLoS ONE, 8(2). PMID: 23418533  

  • February 6, 2013
  • 04:23 PM

Still ‘Profiteering From Anxiety’

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Late last year, the excellent Neurobonkers blog covered a case of ‘Profiteering from anxiety’. It seems one Nader Amir has applied for a patent on the psychological technique of ‘Attentional Retraining’, a method designed to treat anxiety and other emotional problems by conditioning the mind to unconsciously pay more attention to positive things and ignore [...]... Read more »

Amir, N., & Taylor, C. (2013) Correction to Amir and Taylor (2012). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81(1), 74-74. DOI: 10.1037/a0031156  

Amir, N., Taylor, C., & Donohue, M. (2013) Correction to Amir et al. (2011). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81(1), 112-112. DOI: 10.1037/a0031157  

  • January 28, 2013
  • 02:22 PM

Another Scuffle In The Coma Ward

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

It’s not been a good few weeks for Adrian Owen and his team of Canadian neurologists. Over the past few years, Owen’s made numerous waves, thanks to his claim that some patients thought to be in a vegetative state may, in fact, be at least somewhat conscious, and able to respond to commands. Remarkable if [...]... Read more »

  • January 27, 2013
  • 04:46 AM

Is This How Memory Works?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

We know quite a bit about how long-term memory is formed in the brain – it’s all about strengthening of synaptic connections between neurons. But what about remembering something over the course of just a few seconds? Like how you (hopefully) still recall what that last sentence as about? Short-term memory is formed and lost [...]... Read more »

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