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Across the developing world there is an explosion in the use of drugs to treat mental illness. But is there really an increase in mental ill health and do these drugs work? These are huge issues with implications for how we view modern society, for public health, for state spending and for our trust in pharmaceutical firms, some of which are amongst the world’s most powerful global corporations. On the grounds of fairness I have to declare a personal interest.
I watched this IKEA commercial in my intro social psych class, and five plus years later, it is still seared into my memory. Take the minute to turn on your volume and watch this commercial, and then after the jump I'll tell you how Spike Jonze used social psychology to render me near tears. Did you feel bad for the lamp? I know I did. It was just sitting there in the rain looking so sad.
..."yes and no". A while back I blogged about some researchers who analysed internet discussions of antidepressants to work out what users thought about them. Now a new paper's just come out, doing much the same thing but focussed on a single comment thread: Miracle Drug, Poison, or Placebo. Back in 2008, MSNBC ran this article , prompted by the recent publication of the famous Kirsch paper . The article itself was short but the ensuing discussion in the comments rapidly grew to epic proportions.
A fascinating case report details a remarkable recovery from serious brain injury: Characterization of recovery and neuropsychological consequences of orbitofrontal lesion . The patient "M. S." was a previously healthy 29 year old Israeli graduate student who suffered injuries in a terrorist attack. As the MRI scans above show, she lost large parts of her orbitofrontal cortex and ventromedial prefrontal cortex , although the left side was only partially affected. She also lost her right eye.
Principles of Neurotheology By Andrew B. Newberg Paperback, 284 pages Ashgate List price: $29.95 "Neurotheology" is a unique field of scholarship and investigation that seeks to understand the relationship specifically between the brain and theology, and more broadly between the mind and religion. As a topic, neurotheology has garnered substantial attention in the academic and lay communities in recent years.