Friday, 20 January 2012


Our round-up of links to the latest and best psych writing and broadcasting:

The Sherlock Holmes of neuroscience, VS Ramachandran, wrote a piece about case studies for The Telegraph.

The first 2012 issue of The British Journal of Psychology is free to access.

Philosopher John Gray on why Freud "the last great Enlightenment thinker" is out of fashion today.

The New Atlantic has an in-depth essay about the founder of humanistic psychology, Abraham Maslow.

" ... the built environment could — and should — be radically reconceptualized around the fundamental workings of the human mind." I agree - more dialogue between psychology and architecture is long overdue. The Psychologist had a feature on this topic in 2006.

On a similar theme: How our brains navigate the city.

Priming studies - for example, in which exposure to ageing-related words leads participants to walk away more slowly - could be prone to experimenter effects. A new study, excellently covered by Ed Yong, found that the participants only walked away more slowly when the experimenters knew which priming condition they were in.

Worth a look? New book: The Joy of Sin, The Psychology of The Seven Deadly Sins (and Why They're Good For You). The Psychologist magazine had a feature on this topic last year.

An artist is collecting people's false memories, in association with the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths.

How many neurons do you really have?

Suffering from choice paralysis? Sheena Iyengar's TED talk will help (she's the author of The Art of Choosing).

The Guardian has a positive review of The Locked Ward: Memoirs of a Psychiatric Orderly by Dennis O'Donnell.

A new book investigates people who are capable of learning numerous languages. Maria Popova of Brain Pickings says: "Captivating and illuminating, Babel No More is as much an absorbing piece of investigative voyeurism into superhuman feats as it is an intelligent invitation to visit the outer limits of our own cerebral potential."

5 must-read articles on the history of psychology.

The value of eye movement research was highlighted in Time magazine: "Scientists are discovering that eye movement patterns — where we look, and for how long — reveals important information about how we read, how we learn and even what kind of people we are". (Disclaimer: my PhD was on eye movements!)

Babies are born with synaesthesia.

Nature's Action Potential blog is reborn and promises to reveal the stories behind which papers get accepted and which rejected.

How would you behave in an emergency? Bruce Hood reflects on the behaviour of the vilified captain of the Costa Concordia.

BBC Radio 4 is currently broadcasting a dark, surreal comedy series featuring a "regression therapist".

In more socially diverse environments we're drawn even more strongly to people who are just like us, says Jonah Lehrer.

Roy Baumeister is talking at LSE next Tues (24/1/2012) about willpower. The event is free and will also be podcast. I predict Will Self won't be in the audience.

Movement and noise could lead to spurious brain imaging results.

That's all, have a fun weekend!

Post compiled by Christian Jarrett for the BPS Research Digest.

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