Wednesday Round Up #6


Sqrl, Link Between Online Gaming and Violence Killed Off
“People who play violent games online actually feel more relaxed and less angry after they have played”

GameSpot News, Study: Gamers Show Autistic Traits
“the closer gamers were to being addicted to their hobby, the more likely they were to display “negative personality traits.”

Jackie Burrell, Game on Too Long: A Fine Line Separates Addiction, Fun
Relaxed or autistic?! A more balanced consideration of how much is too much

GameSpot News, Video Game Addiction a Mental Disorder?
The comments by gamers—the debate among themselves—provide plenty of insight into the cultural and health issues at stake

Vaughan Bell, Internet Addiction Nonsense Hits the AJP
A critical take on attempts to define internet addiction as a mental illness

Science Daily, Occupational Therapists Use Wii for Parkinson’s Study
The interactive Wii makes for functional fun


Rense Nieuwenhuis, Disentangling the SES-Health Correlation
Poor health and lower class. Going beyond the chicken-or-the-egg to consider pathways

Eric Brunner, Biology and Health Inequality
Online PLOS Biology article: The translation of social differences into biological differences

Marketplace, A Fiscal Squeeze Might Be Good For You
Economic downturns, better health (lower mortality rates). Explain that one…

Erik Eckholm, A Grim Tradition, and a Long Struggle to End It
Heroin, overdoses, and social change in New Mexico

Letters, Equal Time for Mental Health Care
Illuminating responses to the “Murky Politics of Mind-Body” article featured last week, covering the lack of insurance coverage for mental illness in the US

Walter Schels, Life Before Death
A series of photo portraits of terminally ill people, before and after dying, with accompanying vignettes. Powerful.

Johan Carlin, Death to the Serotonin Hypothesis
Depression not all about serotonin

Developing Intelligence, Fat Rats: Exercise in Childhood May Protect Against Later Obesity
Early exercise canalizes… Also good summary of some present thinking on the biology of weight regulation


Nicholas Kristof, Our Racist, Sexist Selves
A better-than-usual blend of categorization and evolutionary psychology

Nicholas Kristof, Misogyny or Sexism
Follow-up discussion by Kristof, who actually reacts to readers’ criticisms

NPR, Chimps with Spears Captivate Photographer
Unusual behaviors in unusual environments—sounds like humans, doesn’t it?

Eduardo Porter, The Vatican and Globalization: Tinkering with Sin
Religion and change: the afterlife or the here-and-now?

Bill Steigerwald, Paco Underhill Knows Why You Shop ’til You Drop at this Time of Year
An interview with the “Margaret Mead” of shopping

Janet Rae-Dupree, Let Computers Compute. It’s the Age of the Right-Brain
Unlock the right hemisphere, and see the forests through the trees… It helps business

Brain Mechanisms

Tom Valeo, Where in the Brain Is Intelligence?
It’s all about your connections…

Sandra Blakeslee, A Disease That Allowed Torrents of Creativity
Frontotemporal dementia: “We used to think dementias hit the brain diffusely… We now realize that when specific, dominant circuits are injured or disintegrate, they may release or disinhibit activity in other areas.”

Neuroscientifically Challenged, The Many Faces of Dopamine
A good history of the debates about dopamine function, including the present state of affairs—dopamine as mediating attainment of rewards, not pleasure itself

Deric Bownds, The Social Brain in Adolescence: A Review
Reorganization in the prefrontal cortex and in social cognition as teens grow

Science Daily, Brain DNA ‘Remodeled’ in Alcoholism
Epigenetic change, anxiety and withdrawal leading to relapse

Laura Freberg, Socializing Makes Us Smarter
Even ten minutes gets those neurons moving…

Johan Carlin, Domain Specificity Follows from Interactions between Overlapping Maps
What will the evolutionary psychologists do now…

Randolph Schmid, Study: Dyslexia Differs by Language
“dyslexics’ brains are different for children who read in English and Chinese”

Neuroevolution, Juaquin Fuster on Cortical Dynamics
Bringing executive and perceptual memory together

Science Daily, Working Memory Has Limited Slots
Visual system “retains a limited number of high-resolution images for a few seconds, rather than a wider range of fuzzier impressions”

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