Quirkology

Professor Richard Wiseman explores psychology and magic in a fun way.  Watch the videos learn about psychology and enjoy.

http://www.cli.nsw.edu.au/cli/sciencetalk/lo/6439/6439_00.htm

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Some Social Skills May Be Genetic

Wired magazine has an article which highlights genetic aspects of cognition.

“The findings suggest that face-recognition and other cognitive skills may be separate from each other, and independent of general intelligence”

Read More http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/01/face-recognition/#ixzz0d5uQFroK

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Morphine May Reduce PTSD

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20071700

Pub Med has published a paper from theNaval Health Research Center on how morphine may reduce PTSD.

“findings suggest that the use of morphine during trauma care may reduce the risk of subsequent development of PTSD after serious injury”

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The Americanization of Mental Illness

This article form the New York Times argues that mental illness is dependent on the culture you live and that the U.S.A has been setting the standard for the world in what is a “legitimate mental illness”.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/magazine/10psyche-t.html?pagewanted=all

“We might think of the culture as possessing a ‘symptom repertoire’ — a range of physical symptoms available to the unconscious mind for the physical expression of psychological conflict,” Edward Shorter

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Gadgets for Getting in Shape

As we all know body fitness and mental health are closely linked.  So the MIT Review has rounded up some gadgets to help.  Some are available and some are coming over the next few years, but it looks like it will be getting easier to keep fit and healthy in the body and mind.

http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/24342/?a=f

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Software Listens for Hints of Depression

MIT Review has published a story on how patient voices could be monitored for changes as an indication of depression.

“the software could be a valuable tool in managing patients with chronic diseases, which often lead to depression”

http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/23856/

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Why is it hard to stop persistent thoughts?

Trying to stop thinking of something can be hard. A story from NewScientist.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427392.100-footinmouth-syndrome-pitfalls-of-the-party-season.html

“It works something like this. Say we’ve given up chocolate or cigarettes, and want to block all thoughts of them. We do this by filling our conscious mind with distracting thoughts – anything but chocolate or cigarettes. At the same time, though, our unconscious mind remains alert for any signs of the unwanted thought, the better to help us chase it away. “Some part of the mind has to know what it is we don’t want to think about and to monitor for that,”

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More dangerous for the brain: rollercoaster or pillow fight?

A question we have all been asking and the Neurocritic puts the evidence together.

http://neurocritic.blogspot.com/2010/01/roller-coasters-can-be-such-headache.html



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VS Ramachandran: The neurons that shaped civilization

A talk from TED on mirror neurons

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