Unethical “Stem Cell” Therapy for Autism In India?

By Neuroskeptic | March 17, 2017 4:29 pm

I just read a concerning paper about an experimental stem cell treatment for children with autism.

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The Incredible Lesion-Proof Brain?

By Neuroskeptic | March 15, 2017 8:43 am

How much damage can the brain take and still function normally? In a new paper, A Lesion-Proof Brain?, Argentinian researchers Adolfo M. García et al. describe the striking case of a woman who shows no apparent deficits despite widespread brain damage.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: papers, select, Top Posts

Don’t Blame Trump’s Brain

By Neuroskeptic | March 13, 2017 2:24 pm

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The past year has seen the emergence of a new field of neuroscience: neuroTrumpology. Also known as Trumphrenology, this discipline seeks to diagnose and explain the behaviour of Donald Trump and his supporters through reference to the brain.

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The Ethics of Citation

By Neuroskeptic | March 12, 2017 2:04 pm

Earlier this week, Jordan Anaya asked an interesting question on Twitter:

This got me thinking about what we might call the ethics of citation.

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

Getting High Off Snakebites?

By Neuroskeptic | March 9, 2017 6:18 am

In a curious case report, Indian psychiatrists Lekhansh Shukla and colleagues describe a young man who said he regularly got high by being bitten by a snake.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: animals, drugs, papers, placebo, select, Top Posts

Ben Carson and the Power of the Hippocampus

By Neuroskeptic | March 7, 2017 2:27 pm

“I could take the oldest person here, make a little hole right here on the side of the head, and put some depth electrodes into their hippocampus and stimulate. And they would be able to recite back to you, verbatim, a book they read 60 years ago.”

So said Ben Carson, the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, yesterday. Carson is known for his unorthodox claims, such as his attempt to rewrite the Egyptology textbooks, but this time, as he’s a former neurosurgeon himself, he might be thought to be on safer ground.

Sadly not.

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Brain Activity At The Moment of Death

By Neuroskeptic | March 3, 2017 2:48 pm

What happens in the brain when we die?

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: EEG, papers, select, Top Posts

Why Scientists Shouldn’t Replicate Their Own Work

By Neuroskeptic | February 25, 2017 3:15 pm

Last week, I wrote about a social psychology paper which was retracted after the data turned out to be fraudulent. The sole author on that paper, William Hart, blamed an unnamed graduate student for the misconduct.

Now, more details have emerged about the case. On Tuesday, psychologist Rolf Zwaan blogged about how he was the one who first discovered a problem with Hart’s data, in relation to a different paper. Back in 2015, Zwaan had co-authored a paper reporting a failure to replicate a 2011 study by Hart & Albarracín. During the peer review process, Hart and his colleagues were asked to write a commentary that would appear alongside the paper.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: papers, science, select, Top Posts

The Science of the Rorschach Blots

By Neuroskeptic | February 20, 2017 9:56 am

When the psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach blotted ink onto paper to produce a series of abstract patterns, could he have known that nearly 100 years later, the Rorschach test would be a household name?

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Although the use of the Rorschach to diagnose mental illness is mostly a thing of the past, research on the test continues. Last week, two new papers were published on the Rorschach blots, including a fractal analysis of the images themselves and a brain scanning study using fMRI.

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The Fantasy of Connecting Two Spinal Cords

By Neuroskeptic | February 17, 2017 2:03 pm

A peculiar new paper proposes the idea of “connecting two spinal cords as a way of sharing information between two brains”. The author is Portuguese psychiatrist Amílcar Silva-dos-Santos and the paper appears in Frontiers in Psychology.

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