Unraveling the Enigma of Schizophrenia

Visual: Alice Adler / fStop via Getty Images In “Malady of the Mind,” Jeffrey A. Lieberman argues that we are finally making progress in understanding schizophrenia. BY JOSHUA C. KENDALL SCHIZOPHRENIA HAS LONG BEEN understood to be among the most serious and intractable of all mental disorders. The condition typically begins in early adulthood and lasts a lifetime. Its hallmark features include hallucinations, withdrawal from social situations, and serious problems in cognition, such as a highly irrational belief system and a limited attention span. In “Malady of the Mind: Schizophrenia and the Path to Prevention,” a comprehensive history of this perplexing mental … Continue reading Unraveling the Enigma of Schizophrenia

What has feelings?

The eyes of the conch snail. Photo by Alex Permiakov/Getty As the power of AI grows, we need to have evidence of its sentience. That is why we must return to the minds of animals Kristin Andrews is the York Research Chair in Animal Minds and a professor of philosophy at York University in Toronto. She is on the board of directors of the Borneo Orangutan Society Canada and a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada. Her books include The Animal Mind (2nd ed, 2020) and How to Study Animal Minds (2020)   Jonathan Birch is an associate professor in philosophy … Continue reading What has feelings?

Why Combat Veterans Are Turning to Oxygen Therapy for PTSD

Top: Army Sgt. Margaux Mange experienced severe PTSD symptoms after serving in Iraq. She says hyperbaric oxygen therapy helped her symptoms significantly improve. Visual: Courtesy Margaux Mange The unapproved and, to some, unproven treatment is attracting many PTSD patients for whom other treatments have failed. BY GITIT GINAT IN 2007, United States Army Sgt. Margaux Mange was driving through Baghdad when the Humvee behind hers was hit with a bomb. She recalls grabbing a fire extinguisher and running toward the vehicle to try to rescue her best friend. But Mange was pulled back from the wreckage. Days later, Mange recalled, her left … Continue reading Why Combat Veterans Are Turning to Oxygen Therapy for PTSD

The space between us

Photo by Mohammed Salem/Reuters In order to understand and heal mental distress, we must see our minds as existing in relationships, not inside our heads James Barnes is a psychotherapist, lecturer and writer with a background in psychoanalysis and philosophy. He has a psychotherapy practice in Exeter, UK, and sees clients remotely. When I was studying philosophy years ago, I had what felt like a nervous breakdown. I wasn’t able to think clearly or articulate my thoughts, and sometimes stuttered. I thought something had gone wrong in my brain. I went for brain scans but found no answers. I ended … Continue reading The space between us

“Impulsive psychopaths” are drawn to Bitcoin and other crypto

Research shows how “dark” Brett Martinpersonality traits affect Bitcoin enthusiasm. Di Wang and Brett Martin and Jun Yao STORY BY The Conversation Since the invention of Bitcoin in 2009 the global cryptocurrency market has grown from nothing to a value of around US$2 trillion. From a price of US$1 in 2011, Bitcoin rose to an all-time high of more than US$63,000 in April 2021, and now hovers around the US$42,000 mark.  Large fluctuations in cryptocurrency prices are common, which makes them a highly speculative investment. What kind of people are willing to take the risk, and what motivates them?  We conducted a survey to find out. In … Continue reading “Impulsive psychopaths” are drawn to Bitcoin and other crypto

Stanford anthropologist: On hearing the voice of God

“I am an anthropologist, and for years, I have spoken to people who have had these experiences.” KEY TAKEAWAYS by Tanya Luhrmann IN PARTNERSHIP WITH John Templeton Foundation Thoughts and feelings do not behave like objects we possess. We can’t just decide not to be angry, and we can’t just love who we think we should love. It is hard to dampen down our inner chatter, or to stop thinking about that upsetting conversation even though we know it makes no sense to continue. We are the ones who think, and yet our thoughts are full of the words and … Continue reading Stanford anthropologist: On hearing the voice of God

Inside the brains of aging dogs

In a citizen science project, thousands of pet dogs are helping scientists to understand what happens to memory and cognition in old age. by Lesley Evans Ogden Hana aced her memory test. After viewing the contents of three identical boxes arrayed in an arc on the back deck of her home, the 3-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel had to remember which box held a treat — a task she quickly learned after just a few trials. Hana and her human companion, Masami Shimizu-Albergine of Bainbridge Island, Washington, are helping scientists to learn something too: when dog smarts reach their peak … Continue reading Inside the brains of aging dogs

We’ve always been distracted

From Aldobrandino da Siena’s Le Régime du corps (1265-70 CE). Sloane MS 2435, f.1.r. Courtesy the British Library Worried that technology is ‘breaking your brain’? Fears about attention spans and focus are as old as writing itself Joe Stadolnik is an independent researcher, writer, and editor. He is working on a biography, ‘The Unsettled Life of Duarte Brandão’, and he writes occasionally for the Los Angeles Review of Books. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. If you suspect that 21st-century technology has broken your brain, it will be reassuring to know that attention spans have never been what they used to be. Even the … Continue reading We’ve always been distracted

Learning styles don’t exist

First day back at Inverkip Primary School in Inverclyde, Scotland, 2021. Photo by Jane Barlow/PA/Getty A teaching approach that is based on students’ preferences sounds laudable. But this misunderstands how learning happens by Carl Hendrick, is the author of several books on teaching and learning, including How Learning Happens (2020), co-authored with Paul Kirschner. He lives in Berkshire in the UK. Picture two English classrooms. In the first, the teacher is teaching Macbeth to a group of eager students, and has planned the lesson meticulously, taking into account their individual learning differences, with the children sitting in three groups. All students have been tested to … Continue reading Learning styles don’t exist

Visual thinking: How to comprehend animal consciousness

Humans are good visual thinkers, too, but we tend to privilege verbal thinking. KEY TAKEAWAYS By Temple Grandin Excerpted from VISUAL THINKING: THE HIDDEN GIFTS OF PEOPLE WHO THINK IN PICTURES, PATTERNS, AND ABSTRACTIONS by Temple Grandin published on October 11, 2022 by Riverhead, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2022 Temple Grandin. It always struck me as ridiculous to think that a dog or a cow does not have consciousness, yet people continue to debate the subject. Aristotle believed that what set men above animals was the ability to reason. … Continue reading Visual thinking: How to comprehend animal consciousness