We read this week that
‘Black Box’ Warning on Antidepressants Raised Suicide Attempts
A so-called “black box” warning on antidepressants that the medications increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in kids may have had a horrible side-effect. New research finds the warning backfired, causing an increase in suicide attempts by teens and young adults.
The research in question is this paper in the British Medical Journal from Harvard researchers Christine Lu and colleagues.
Multivoxel Pattern Analysis (MVPA) is the latest big thing in the neuroimaging world. MVPA is a multivariate statistical technique that can be applied to fMRI brain scan results as an alternative to conventional univariate methods of finding brain activation.
Neuroscientists love MVPA for two reasons: first, it offers more ‘blobs for your buck’ – it often detects neural signals that don’t show up on conventional scans. Secondly, it seems to offer a way to go beyond merely detecting and localizing activity and actually provide insights into how information is represented in the brain. MVPA promises to not just locate but also ‘decode’ the brain’s activity, one of the Holy Grails of modern neuroscience.
Medium recently published a piece by neuroscientist Jim Coan called Negative Psychology, in which Coan criticized what he sees as a recent, problematic trend towards overly-critical discourse around psychology, especially on blogs and social media.
Moreover, Coan cited me (namely, this post of mine) as part of this unhelpful ‘negative psychology’ movement.
What if it were possible to measure your conscious experience, in real time, using a brain scanner? Neuroscientists Christoph Reichert and colleagues report that they have done just this, using fMRI – although in a limited fashion.
When we’re drowsy, and on the point of falling asleep, our awareness of the outside world tends to dim. But a fascinating new paper reports that, for most people, it’s the left side of the world that dims the most.
Three weeks ago I covered the story of Jens Förster, the German social psychologist who was accused of scientific misconduct after statisticians noted unusual patterns in his published data. More evidence has come to light since then, but there are still no clear answers as to what really happened.
In this post, I examine the data and conclude that data fabrication – whoever is responsible for it – is the only plausible scenario.
There was nothing special about Albert Einstein’s brain.
Nothing that modern neuroscience can detect, anyway. This is the message of a provocative article by Pace University psychologist Terence Hines, just published in Brain and Cognition: Neuromythology of Einstein’s brain
Zen Faulkes of the Neurodojo and Better Posters blogs (the former being established way back in 2002!) has just published an article in major neuroscience journal Neuron on the rise of blogs and social media as forums for scientific debate: The Vacuum Shouts Back: Postpublication Peer Review on Social Media
A man developed a passionate love for the music of Johnny Cash after being implanted with a brain stimulation device. The unique story is told in a case report in the Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience journal, published on the 6th May.