Friday, 5 April 2013
1. "[the word] moist reigns supreme in its capacity to disgust a great many of us" -- fascinating Slate article on word aversion.
2. BBC Radio 4 told the gripping story of Dr John Broadus Watson, the talented founder of behaviourism whose academic career ended in sexual scandal. (more from The Psychologist on Little Albert - the young boy experimented on by Watson; and see here).
3. "There's this enormous mystery waiting to be unlocked ... " After all the speculation, here's a video of Obama striking a patriotic tone as he launched The BRAIN Initiative (previously known as the Brain Activity Map). Also, check out Greg Miller's Q&A with William Newsome, one of the scientists leading the new project.
4. The British Journal of Psychiatry published a special open-access supplement of articles evaluating the multi-million pound mental health anti-stigma campaign Time to Change. Here's the Guardian's news report.
5. For Autism Awareness Day, the publishers Wiley released a batch of free related journal articles.
6. In his inimitable style, Jon Ronson explored the confirmation bias in the first episode of a new run of his BBC Radio 4 series Voices in the Head.
7. Can brain scans really predict which prisoners will go on to re-offend, as a new study suggests? Neurocritic takes a critical look.
8. Does the new edition of psychiatry's diagnostic manual - DSM5 - medicalise normal grief? Matthew Hill investigated for a BBC Radio 4 documentary.
9. Can you smell personality? (see also).
10. Has the idea of a dream-reading machine become a reality? Excitable news reports suggest so. Here's the journal abstract. Wired provides some caveats - the dreams were not from REM sleep, but from the initial stage of drifting off; they were decoded with fMRI after the fact, not live; and the decoding was pretty crude.
--Looking ahead to next week, it's the British Psychological Society's annual conference, this year taking place in Harrogate. The three-day event includes a free public lecture on the psychology of dance. See you there!
Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.