Mind Neuroscience

Last call: Pop science not quite too stupid to parody properly?

A good laugh will help you sleep: Brain area for empty news stories discovered Satirical website Newsbiscuit has a cutting article making fun of the regular ‘brain scans show…’ news items that are a staple of the popular science pages. Scientists are heralding a breakthrough in brain scan technology after a team at Oxford University Read More…

Mind Neuroscience

Hush! Your brain is talking: “Forget all that crap they told you about me”

Why you should swear off all popular science media (except for Uncommon Descent and other sensible blogs) for your own mental health: Where does all this leave us?Let me return to the beginning, to Cordelia Fine and how we can think better about science, neural function, and human difference. The essentialist view of the brain Read More…

Neuroscience

Neuroscience: Memory treatment is possible, when impairment is not disastrous

This is a media release, obviously, but I know from experience that its basic thesis is true, and that it can work, even with seniors of advanced age: Increasing scientific evidence shows that actively participating in appropriately designed brain fitness workouts aids mental agility. Scientific Brain Training PRO exercises were developed by a team of Read More…

Neuroscience

Uncommon Descent Contest Question 16: Are materialist atheists smarter than other types of believers? – winner announced

The title question here riffed off a study that claimed to prove such a point. I must also have been thinking of the “Brights” movement of materialist atheists. The winner here is Barb at 2, who needs to provide me with a postal address at which she may receive a copy of The Spiritual Brain. Read More…

Neuroscience Popular culture

Neuroscience and popular culture: How much are journalists to blame for pop science culture?

Don’t blame journalists, says Jonah Lehrer here on the reporting of science. He makes some excellent points: Scientists are almost never subjected to critical coverage in the mainstream media. Quick: name the last newspaper or magazine article that dared to criticize or skeptically analyze a piece of published research. If you had trouble thinking of Read More…

Climate change Neuroscience

How much attention should we pay to pundit predictions?

Maybe not so much. Jonah Lehrer, contributing editor at Wired, and blogger at The Frontal Cortex writes, In the early 1980s, Philip Tetlock at UC Berkeley picked two hundred and eighty-four people who made their living “commenting or offering advice on political and economic trends” and began asking them to make predictions about future events. Read More…

Neuroscience

Neuroscience: My latest MercatorNet story: Brain scans and neurotrash

It’s the ultimate branding strategy. Just slap “neuro” before a word and the goofiest speculation becomes respectable science.” Here: Unfortunately, neurotrash may not always be harmless nonsense in marketing departments about what color of car people choose. Increasingly, in the form of neurolaw, it is catching on in the legal profession, in the same way Read More…

Neuroscience

Coffee! Neuroscience: Do you really need a refrigerator when you have this?

I found this chilling: Abstract: This paper questions criminal law’s strong presumption of free will. Part I assesses the ways in which environment, nurture, and society influence human action. Part II briefly surveys studies from the fields of genetics and neuroscience which call into question strong assumptions of free will and suggest explanations for propensities Read More…

Neuroscience

Neuroskepticism – a breath of fresh air from New Humanist – and maybe more legal safety too?

Neuroscience is, unfortunately, increasingly taken over by what I often describe as neurobullshipping. You know, neuroeconomics,, neurolaw … It basically amounts to determining which regions of the brains of carefully chosen subjects light up when certain propositions are introduced. Relief at last! Here, at New Humanist, Raymond Tallis rallies the neuroskeptics (“Neurotrash”, Volume 124, Issue Read More…