“Right Wing Brain Surgeons” And The NFL

By Neuroskeptic | July 28, 2015 5:07 am

This week (via Retraction Watch) we learned about the case of Joseph Maroon. Earlier this year Maroon and colleagues published a paper arguing that the much-discussed issue of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) may not be a widespread problem in contact sports such as American football.


However, it turns out that Maroon did not fully declare his conflicts of interest, which include links to the NFL and also World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

Maroon, who amongst other things is lead neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, issued a Correction acknowledging his interests in this area. The question of which athletes are at risk of CTE has potential legal and financial implications for sports organisations such as NFL and WWE.

Now this story got my attention because Maroon is also linked to Surgical Neurology International (SNI), an academic journal that I blogged about earlier this year: Right-Wing Brain Surgeons.

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“Is Your Brain Really Necessary?”, Revisited

By Neuroskeptic | July 26, 2015 7:40 am

According to British biochemist Donald R. Forsdyke in a new paper in Biological Theory, the existence of people who seem to be missing most of their brain tissue calls into question some of the “cherished assumptions” of neuroscience.

I’m not so sure.

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Social Priming: Money for Nothing?

By Neuroskeptic | July 23, 2015 7:37 am

Can the thought of money make people more conservative?

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Cognition And Perception Are Separate After All?

By Neuroskeptic | July 21, 2015 4:28 pm

Can our beliefs, motivations and emotions influence our visual perception? Are cognition and perception ultimately inseparable?

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Wind Farms, Infrasound And The Brain

By Neuroskeptic | July 16, 2015 10:33 am

An alarming news story appeared on Monday in the Daily Telegraph:

Wind turbines may trigger danger response in brain

The low frequency noises from turbine blades can be picked up and can trigger a part of the brain linked to emotions, scientists have found…

Brain scans show that even infrasound as low as 8 Hz – a whole octave below the traditional cut off point for human hearing – is still being picked up by the primary auditory cortex, the part of the brain which translates sounds into meaning. And a separate part of the brain, linked to emotions, also lit up.

What’s curious about this is that the research in question wasn’t about wind turbines, and has not been published anywhere yet, as far as I can tell.

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The Perfect Scientific Crime?

By Neuroskeptic | July 14, 2015 1:10 pm

Science fraud has been in the news again lately, and it got me thinking about whether it would be possible to fake data with no chance of getting caught. Would it be possible to carry out the perfect scientific crime? How can we help make life more difficult for fraudsters?


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CATEGORIZED UNDER: science, select, statistics, Top Posts

Could Travelling Waves Upset Cognitive Neuroscience?

By Neuroskeptic | July 9, 2015 8:53 am

A new paper published in Cognitive Processes argues that neuroscientists may need to look at brain activity from a new angle, in order to understand neural dynamics.

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

Scientists Predict A Talking Elephant, Szilamandee

By Neuroskeptic | July 6, 2015 7:29 am

white_elephant_talkA talking white elephant called Szilamandee could save the world with his wisdom and “teach us with the deepest voice of history”, according to an academic paper published today.

The article appeared in the journal Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. The authors are led by Otto E. Rössler, a biochemist. It’s called Is it Ethical to heal a young white Elephant from his physiological Autism? Many thanks to Michelle Dawson for bringing it to my attention.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: animals, autism, papers, select, Top Posts, woo

The Strange World of “Reward Deficiency Syndrome” (Part 2)

By Neuroskeptic | July 5, 2015 12:07 pm

In Part 1 of this post, I discussed a new scientific journal in the field of addiction medicine, called the Journal of Reward Deficiency Syndrome (JRDS).

What drew my attention to this journal was the unusual fact that the founding editor, Dr Kenneth Blum, also founded the company that publishes it – as well as being an author on almost all of the articles in the first issue, and the developer of the eponymous concept of “reward deficiency syndrome” (RDS).

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

Evidence for “Unconscious Learning” Questioned

By Neuroskeptic | July 3, 2015 8:55 am

Can we learn without being aware of what we’re learning? Many psychologists say that ‘unconscious’, or implicit, learning exists.

But in a new paper, London-based psychologists Vadillo, Konstantinidis, and Shanks call the evidence for this into question.

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


No brain. No gain.

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