It’s a day late and a dollar short. But at least my tenure package is in!
Top of the List
Gardiner Harris, Document Details Plan to Promote Costly Drug
The selling of Lexapro, a popular antidepressant, by Forest Laboratories. The marketing plan? “finding many ways to put money into doctors’ pockets and food into their mouths.” For more on how this sort of thing shapes research and expert opinion, see Furious Seasons’ More Possible Non-Disclosures For Depression In 3-Year-Olds Researcher
Research – EU, The Brain, Caught Between Science and Ideology
An interview with Catherine Vidal, with illuminating comments about men, women, and their brains
You can get videos of talks by Nicolas Rose, Emily Martin, Allan Young, and Fernando Vidal
Vaughan Bell, Placebo Has Strength in Numbers
Excellent piece on how to understand the varied things meant by “the placebo effect”
James Winters, Continuity or Discontinuity: Are Our Minds Purely Shaped by Natural Selection?
A good piece covering some of the recent debates (even if some might call them debacles). For another rich post, see Iterated Learning and Language Evolution.
Dr. Shock, What Every Doctor Should Know about ECT
Getting the update on electroconvulsive therapy and its therapeutic uses and risks
Peter’s Blog, Constantin von Economo’s Spindle Cells and the Mind
Update on spindle cells, ending with the question, are they part of how the brain creates distributed neural networks?
Gretchen Reynolds, Phys Ed: Does Ibuprofen Help or Hurt During Exercise?
Looks like they hurt by blunting the body’s own abilities and responses. Athletes continue to pop for the placebo effect (in this case, the meaning response). For more, see the data-driven essay by Stuart Warden
Charles Choi, What Makes a Psychopath? Answers Remains Elusive
A brief overview from LiveScience
Clive Thompson, On the New Literacy
Technology isn’t killing writing. We’re writing more than ever before!
Jeanna Bryner, Health Care Debate Based on Total Lack of Logic
Attached to our beliefs, caught up in media – it’s hard to have a rational debate
Madeline Bunting, In Control? Think Again. Our Ideas of Brain and Human Nature Are Myths.
A Guardian essay. A bit overblown but an interesting meditation.
Michael Anderson, The Brain Economy
An intriguing analogy for how the brain works – “as in a real economy, the output of each factory is used in distinctive ways that depend on who the business partners or consumers are. In the brain, too, every local product is put to many uses, and so patterns of cooperation between “producers” and “consumers” govern cognitive outcomes. Our intelligence is largely powered by borrowing and re-organizing our existing resources to deal with ever-changing situations.”
Christophe Heintz, How Cultural Is Cultural Epidemiology? Part 2 – Cultural Embedding
Causality gets promiscuous before it finally beds you
Shahreen Abedin, The Social Side of Obesity: You Are Who You Eat With
Is obesity contagious?
Shannon Chapla, Anthropologist Researches Evolution of Darwin’s Theory
“behavior, especially behavior that changes the environment around us, can be a powerful factor in the processes of evolution”
Natalie Angier, Skipping Spouse to Spouse Isn’t Just a Man’s Game
Women practicing polyandry? The latest research by Monique Borgerhoff Mulder
Sady Doyle, Remember the 10 Year Old Child Bride?
The aftermath of a 10 year old Yemeni girl becoming a media celebrity after she demanded a divorce and got it
Rachel Godfrey Wood, Neoliberals Do the Amazon
And it’s not pretty
Robert Roy Britt, Job Insecurity Worse For Your Health Than Unemployment
Anxiety, lack of control, stress, depression – not a nice picture
Deric Bownds, The Biological Residue of Low Early Life Social Class
Inequality sticks to the bones and flesh and brain
Eric Ross, Inquisition in Knoxville: The Case of Dr. Janice Harper
Caught in the patriarchy – national security and sexual harassment lead to a good researcher and teacher getting denied tenure
Mark Dawson, Ordinary People Project – Roger from Yukon Territory
Meet the master carver in this video piece over at Ethnography.com