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  • April 20, 2014
  • 06:03 AM
  • 159 views

The Mystery of “Quantum Resonance Spectroscopy”

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Can quantum physics help to diagnose schizophrenia and depression? A paper just published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease claims that a technique called ‘quantum resonance spectroscopy’ (QRS) can accurately diagnose various mental health problems. But is it quantum wizardry or magic quackery? According to the authors of the new paper, Zhang et […]The post The Mystery of “Quantum Resonance Spectroscopy” appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Zhang Y, Liu F, Shi J, Yue X, Zhang H, Du X, Sun L, & Yuan J. (2014) Exploratory quantum resonance spectrometer as a discriminator for psychiatric affective disorders. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 202(4), 287-91. PMID: 24647211  

  • April 11, 2014
  • 03:48 AM
  • 146 views

Brain Scans: Don’t Throw Out The Baby With The Dead Salmon

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Is neuro-skepticism in danger of going too far? Is it time to take a critical look at critiques of neuroscience? Martha Farah of the University of Pennsylvania says yes, in a Hastings Center Report just published: Brain Images, Babies, and Bathwater: Critiquing Critiques of Functional Neuroimaging Farah covers a broad spectrum of criticisms, ranging from […]The post Brain Scans: Don’t Throw Out The Baby With The Dead Salmon appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • April 3, 2014
  • 03:26 PM
  • 119 views

Are The Mafia Psychopaths?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

The view that the Mafia is an organization of especially ruthless psychopaths is wrong – in fact, members of ‘Cosa Nostra’ have lower psychopathic traits than other criminals. That’s according to a new study from Italian researchers Schimmenti and colleagues, who, appropriately enough, are based in Sicily, the Mafia’s birthplace. Schimmenti et al went to […]The post Are The Mafia Psychopaths? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Schimmenti, A., Caprì, C., La Barbera, D., & Caretti, V. (2014) Mafia and psychopathy. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health. DOI: 10.1002/cbm.1902  

  • April 1, 2014
  • 06:17 PM
  • 91 views

Time Rolls On, Even Without Memory

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A fascinating paper asks what one man with no memory – and no regrets – can really teach us about time: Individuals With Episodic Amnesia Are Not Stuck In Time. Researchers Car Craver and colleagues describe the case of “KC”, a former “roadie for rock bands, prone to drinking and occasional rash behavior” who suffered […]The post Time Rolls On, Even Without Memory appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Craver CF, Kwan D, Steindam C, & Rosenbaum RS. (2014) Individuals With Episodic Amnesia Are Not Stuck In Time. Neuropsychologia. PMID: 24680757  

  • March 26, 2014
  • 06:45 PM
  • 110 views

The Ugly Ducklings of Science

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A group of management researchers provide new evidence of a worrying bias in the scientific process – The Chrysalis Effect: How Ugly Initial Results Metamorphosize Into Beautiful Articles ( via Retraction Watch ) The issue they highlight – the ability of researchers to eventually squeeze support for a theory out of initially negative data – […]The post The Ugly Ducklings of Science appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • March 22, 2014
  • 06:59 AM
  • 135 views

The Explosive Brain

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A few months ago, I blogged about The Hydraulic Brain – an unorthodox theory which proposed that brain function is not electrical, but mechanical. On this view, neuroscientists have it all wrong, because nerve impulses are in fact physical waves of pressure that travel down neurons as if the brain were made up of billions […]The post The Explosive Brain appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • March 15, 2014
  • 11:40 AM
  • 137 views

The Power of Conscious Intention Proven At Last?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A neuroscience paper published before Christmas draw my eye with the expansive title: “How Thoughts Give Rise to Action“ Subtitled “Conscious Motor Intention Increases the Excitability of Target-Specific Motor Circuits”, the article’s abstract was no less bold, concluding that: These results indicate that conscious intentions govern motor function… until today, it was unclear whether conscious […]The post The Power of Conscious Intention Proven At Last? ........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2014
  • 06:41 PM
  • 146 views

Can A Computer Measure Your Mood? (CAT Part 3)

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

In part 1 and part 2 of this series, I examined the story of the Computerized Adaptive Test – Depression Inventory (CAT-DI). This new technique has touted as being a revolutionary new way of measuring depression. The CAT-DI is a kind of computerized questionnaire, that assesses depressive symptoms by asking a series of questions about […]The post Can A Computer Measure Your Mood? (CAT Part 3) appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Gibbons RD, Weiss DJ, Pilkonis PA, Frank E, Moore T, Kim JB, & Kupfer DJ. (2012) Development of a computerized adaptive test for depression. Archives of general psychiatry, 69(11), 1104-12. PMID: 23117634  

  • March 4, 2014
  • 03:25 PM
  • 142 views

Hormones and Women Voters: A Very Modern Scientific Controversy

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A paper just out in the journal Psychological Science says that: Women Can Keep the Vote: No Evidence That Hormonal Changes During the Menstrual Cycle Impact Political and Religious Beliefs This eye-catching title heads up an article that’s interesting in more ways than you’d think. According to the paper, authors Christine Harris and Laura Mickes […]The post Hormones and Women Voters: A Very Modern Scientific Controversy appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • March 1, 2014
  • 07:53 AM
  • 96 views

Baby Brain Scans Predict Later Cognitive Development?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

The shape of a newborn baby’s brain can predict its later cognitive development, according to a new study from New York neuroscientists Marisa Spann and colleagues. Here’s the paper: Morphological features of the neonatal brain support development of subsequent cognitive, language, and motor abilities Now, while the word ‘phrenology‘ gets banded around a lot these […]The post Baby Brain Scans Predict Later Cognitive Development? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • February 23, 2014
  • 01:08 PM
  • 192 views

Disconnecting Consciousness from the External Environment

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

An very interesting report from a group of French neurosurgeons sheds light on the neural basis of consciousness and dreams. Guillaume Herbet and colleagues describe the case of a 45 year old man in whom electrical stimulation of a particular spot in the brain “induced a dramatic alteration of conscious experience in a highly reproducible […]The post Disconnecting Consciousness from the External Environment appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Herbet G, Lafargue G, de Champfleur NM, Moritz-Gasser S, le Bars E, Bonnetblanc F, & Duffau H. (2014) Disrupting posterior cingulate connectivity disconnects consciousness from the external environment. Neuropsychologia, 239-244. PMID: 24508051  

  • February 17, 2014
  • 05:17 PM
  • 187 views

Do Children Need Brain Awareness?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Brain Awareness Week is coming, so I was interested to read today about the University of Minnesota Brain Awareness Program for schools. A paper, published in PLoS ONE a few weeks ago, gives plenty of details about this pioneering educational initiative. But the main reason I’m blogging about it is so I can share this […]The post Do Children Need Brain Awareness? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • February 13, 2014
  • 02:24 PM
  • 138 views

The Inefficient Brains of Rabbits

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Are you smarter than a rabbit? You probably feel that you are. But in what way, exactly? Neuroscientists Laurel Carney and colleagues report that the rabbit brain is curiously inefficient – and hypothesize that the human brain is better: Suboptimal Use of Neural Information in a Mammalian Auditory System Carney et al found that rabbits […]The post The Inefficient Brains of Rabbits appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • February 9, 2014
  • 02:10 PM
  • 192 views

Is Ultrasonic Brain Stimulation The Future?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A paper just out in Nature Neuroscience proposes a new tool for neuroscientists who want to stimulate the brain – ultrasound. There are already a number of established ways of modulating human brain activity. As neuronal firing is essentially electrical, most of these methods rely on electricity – such as TDCS – or on magnetic […]The post Is Ultrasonic Brain Stimulation The Future? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • February 8, 2014
  • 01:09 PM
  • 183 views

Depression: Ketamine Eyes Hath Seen The Glory?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Ketamine: club drug, ‘horse-tranquillizer’, and… miracle antidepressant? I’ve blogged about the research behind the claim that ketamine has rapid-acting antidepressant effects several times. Since 2009, my view has been that it is impossible to tell whether ketamine has specific antidepressant properties, because ketamine has never been compared against an ‘active placebo‘ control. In trials, patients […]The post Depression: Ketamine Eyes Hath Seen The G........ Read more »

Murrough JW, Iosifescu DV, Chang LC, Al Jurdi RK, Green CE, Perez AM, Iqbal S, Pillemer S, Foulkes A, Shah A.... (2013) Antidepressant efficacy of ketamine in treatment-resistant major depression: a two-site randomized controlled trial. The American journal of psychiatry, 170(10), 1134-42. PMID: 23982301  

Dakwar E, Anerella C, Hart CL, Levin FR, Mathew SJ, & Nunes EV. (2014) Therapeutic infusions of ketamine: Do the psychoactive effects matter?. Drug and alcohol dependence. PMID: 24480515  

  • February 3, 2014
  • 01:29 PM
  • 158 views

All That Glitters Is Not BOLD For fMRI Scanning?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A new paper warns that: All that glitters is not BOLD. This title seems designed to worry neuroscientists, because the blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) phenomenon is what allows fMRI scanning to detect brain activity. Or is it? Writing in Scientific Reports, Finnish neuroscientists Ville Renval, Cathy Nangini and Riitta Hari argue that BOLD isn’t always […]The post All That Glitters Is Not BOLD For fMRI Scanning? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • February 1, 2014
  • 10:40 AM
  • 173 views

Medical Journal Apologizes “For The Distress Caused” By A Paper

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Anaesthesia and Intensive Care (AIC) is an Australian medical journal. The latest issue, just published online, contains a remarkable – and possibly even unique – pair of Letters. These letters take the form of apologies for the distress caused by the publication of an article – I do not know of any similar cases in […]The post Medical Journal Apologizes “For The Distress Caused” By A Paper appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • January 23, 2014
  • 06:14 PM
  • 197 views

A Brain Basis for Musical Hallucinations?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Why do some people hear music that’s not there? Musical hallucinations are most commonly found in people who have suffered hearing loss or deafness. But why they happen is unknown. In a new paper in Cortex, British neuroscientists Kumar et al claim to have found A brain basis for musical hallucinations Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), the […]The post A Brain Basis for Musical Hallucinations? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Kumar S, Sedley W, Barnes GR, Teki S, Friston KJ, & Griffiths TD. (2013) A brain basis for musical hallucinations. Cortex. PMID: 24445167  

  • January 19, 2014
  • 08:53 AM
  • 199 views

Psychiatrists From Another Dimension (Part 1)

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Remember DSM-5? After all the criticisms, the street protests and the scholarly debates, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was finally published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in May 2013. And then… well, that was it. The launch itself was a something of an anticlimax – as I […]The post Psychiatrists From Another Dimension (Part 1) appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Gibbons RD, Weiss DJ, Pilkonis PA, Frank E, Moore T, Kim JB, & Kupfer DJ. (2012) Development of a computerized adaptive test for depression. Archives of general psychiatry, 69(11), 1104-12. PMID: 23117634  

  • January 12, 2014
  • 01:43 PM
  • 204 views

Pitfalls When Scanning Two Brains In Synchrony

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

The past few years have seen many neuroscientists becoming interested in ‘hyperscanning‘. Rather that contenting themselves to scan just one brain at a time, hyperscanners simultaneously measure activity from two (or even more) people, using techniques such as fMRI and EEG. This technically demanding method is said to provide information about what happens in the […]The post Pitfalls When Scanning Two Brains In Synchrony appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

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