What Are “Hard” and “Soft” Drugs?

By Neuroskeptic | June 27, 2017 2:35 pm

A new study examines the blurry distinction between “hard” and “soft” drugs.

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

Thoughts on Essays

By Neuroskeptic | June 26, 2017 2:39 pm

I’ve recently been doing some of every academic’s favorite activity – marking student essays (papers).

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: select, Top Posts

Is Science Broken, Or Is It Self-Correcting?

By Neuroskeptic | June 19, 2017 2:59 pm

Media coverage of scientific retractions risks feeding a narrative that academic science is broken – a narrative which plays into the hands of those who want to cut science funding and ignore scientific advice.


So say Joseph Hilgard and Kathleen Hall Jamieson in a book chapter called Science as “Broken” Versus Science as “Self-Correcting”: How Retractions and Peer-Review Problems Are Exploited to Attack Science

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: books, FixingScience, science, select, Top Posts

Noninvasive Deep Brain Stimulation – Has Neuroscience’s Holy Grail Been Found?

By Neuroskeptic | June 13, 2017 1:25 pm

A high-profile paper in Cell reports on a new brain stimulation method that’s got many neuroscientists excited. The new technique, called temporal interference (TI) stimulation, is said to be able to reach structures deep inside the brain, using nothing more than scalp electrodes.

Currently, the only way to stimulate deep brain structures is by implanting electrodes (wires) into the brain – which is an expensive and potentially dangerous surgical procedure. TI promises to make deep brain stimulation an everyday, non-invasive tool. But will it really work?

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: animals, dbs, EEG, methods, papers, select, Top Posts

Visual Face-preference in the Human Fetus?

By Neuroskeptic | June 11, 2017 8:40 am

Even before we’re born, human beings are sensitive to face-like shapes, according to a paper just published in Current Biology.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: faces, papers, select, Top Posts

Data, Truth and Null Results

By Neuroskeptic | June 9, 2017 2:38 pm

Have you heard of the idea that smiling actually makes you joyful? Perhaps you know of the experiment where researchers got people to hold a pen in their mouth, so they had to smile, and it made them find cartoons funnier.


If you’re familiar with this idea, then you’re familar with the work of German psychologist Fritz Strack, who carried out the famous pen-based grinning study, back in 1988.

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The Ketamine Consensus?

By Neuroskeptic | June 4, 2017 6:22 am

Ten years ago, ketamine was a drug best known for its popularity on the rave scene. Yet it has since enjoyed a remarkable rebirth – as an antidepressant. Starting out with a handful of small clinical trials, there are now numerous reports that ketamine produces rapid antidepressant effects. In the US, various clinics have sprung up offering ketamine treatment to depressed patients – at least the ones able to pay the bill, because insurance doesn’t tend to cover it.

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Unattractive People Are Seen As Better Scientists

By Neuroskeptic | May 28, 2017 8:36 am

Good looking, sociable people don’t make good scientists, according to popular stereotypes.

This is one of the findings of an interesting new study of how scientists are perceived, from British researchers Ana I. Gheorghiu and colleagues.
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CATEGORIZED UNDER: funny, papers, science, select, Top Posts

Unreliability of fMRI Emotional Biomarkers

By Neuroskeptic | May 24, 2017 9:21 am

Brain responses to emotion stimuli are highly variable even within the same individual, and this could be a problem for researchers who seek to use these responses as biomarkers to help diagnose and treat disorders such as depression.

That’s according to a new paper in Neuroimage, from University College London neuroscientists Camilla Nord and colleagues.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, papers, select, Top Posts

A Survey of Our Secret Lives

By Neuroskeptic | May 21, 2017 6:55 am

What kinds of secrets does the average person keep? In a new paper, Columbia University researchers Michael L. Slepian and colleagues carried out a survey of secrets.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: papers, select, selfreport, Top Posts


No brain. No gain.

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