The Neural Basis of Watching “Memento”

By Neuroskeptic | February 13, 2018 8:25 am

Memento (2000) is a complex psychological thriller about a man unable to form long-term memories. The movie is popular among neuroscientists for its accurate depiction of amnesia. Now, in a wonderfully “meta” paper, a group of neuroscientists report that they scanned the brains of people watching Memento in order to study memory processes.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, movies, select, Top Posts

Hostile Questions at Scientific Meetings

By Neuroskeptic | February 9, 2018 8:45 am

A brief letter in Nature got me thinking this week: Don’t belittle junior researchers in meetings

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ethics, science, select, Top Posts

What Is “Social Priming”?

By Neuroskeptic | January 26, 2018 12:01 pm

“Social priming” has recently been one of the most controversial topics in psychological science. With failures to replicate proliferating, the field has been called a train-wreck. But what exactly is it?


Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: history, papers, science, select, Top Posts

Does Psychology Need SWaG? The Ethics of Naturalistic Experiments

By Neuroskeptic | January 21, 2018 10:59 am

Diederik Stapel. Brian Wansink. Nicolas Guéguen. Anyone who’s been following recent debates over research integrity in psychology will recognize these as three prolific and successful academic psychologists who have suffered a total (Stapel) or ongoing (Wansink, Guéguen) fall from grace in the past few years.

If you’re not familiar with these cases, you can start by reading over Nick Brown’s blog. Brown has been at the centre of the investigations into irregularities in Wansink and Guéguen, and he also translated Stapel’s book into English.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ethics, methods, science, select, Top Posts

Waneta Hoyt: The Serial Killer Paper

By Neuroskeptic | January 16, 2018 12:16 pm

I just learned about a truly remarkable case in which a doctor apparently wrote a paper about a serial killer who murdered her five children – without realizing what had happened. It’s an old case, but it doesn’t seem to be widely known today.

The paper is called Prolonged apnea and the sudden infant death syndrome: clinical and laboratory observations and it was written in 1972 by Dr Alfred Steinschneider of Syracuse, New York. In this paper, Steinschneider described the case of a woman, “Mrs H”, who had already lost three children, ostensibly to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Read More

MORE ABOUT: psychology

Debunking Phrenology with 21st Century Methods

By Neuroskeptic | January 7, 2018 5:29 am

Modern neuroscience has been accused of being a ‘new phrenology‘, but now researchers have conducted a modern evaluation of phrenological claims using neuroscience methods.

In an enjoyable new preprint called An empirical, 21st century evaluation of phrenology, Oxford researchers Oiwi Parker Jones and colleagues say that they’ve rigorously tested, and debunked, phrenology for the first time.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: funny, history, papers, science, select, Top Posts

Is Reproducibility Really Central to Science?

By Neuroskeptic | January 2, 2018 12:13 pm

In a new paper in the Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence, Chris Drummond takes aim at the ‘reproducibility movement’ which has lately risen to prominence in science.

Read More

Secrets of a “Zombie” Fungus Revealed

By Neuroskeptic | December 19, 2017 2:57 am

A parasitic fungus that controls the behaviour of fruit flies has, for the first time, been studied in the lab.

In a fascinating preprint posted on Biorxiv, researchers Carolyn Elya et al. report how they discovered the pathogen in the wild near Berkeley, California. The fungus belongs to the species Entomophthora muscae, which is already known to prey on various species of wild flies. But Elya et al. found a way to infect laboratory flies with the disease, thus allowing them to study the fungus in unprecedented detail.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: animals, movies, papers, select, Top Posts

The Sad World of Uncited Papers

By Neuroskeptic | December 17, 2017 6:02 am

A Nature News feature examines academic papers that have never been cited.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: papers, science, select, Top Posts

The Remarkable “Curvature Blindness” Illusion

By Neuroskeptic | December 8, 2017 2:54 am

A new optical illusion has been discovered, and it’s really quite striking. The strange effect is called the ‘curvature blindness’ illusion, and it’s described in a new paper from psychologist Kohske Takahashi of Chukyo University, Japan.
Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: papers, select, Top Posts


No brain. No gain.

See More

@Neuro_Skeptic on Twitter


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar