(Minor spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t seen The LEGO Movie)
It is always interesting when an academic debate in philosophy coincides with the release of a blockbuster movie on the same issue. In the last couple of months, a series of texts and comments on free will and moral responsibility were published by some prominent psychologists and philosophers, including Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Paul Bloom, Jerry Coyne, as well as Tamler Sommers and David Pizarro. Meanwhile The LEGO Movie, a clever allegorical metaphor on freedom and creativity, generated 69 million dollars within its first opening weekend in cinemas. Continue reading
Dana Alliance member Thomas R. Insel has been a staunch trailblazer in neuroscience and psychiatry with an amazing capacity for doing it with, as a recent New York Times article states, “a reflexively earnest good nature.” As the director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the priorities and mission he has developed and continues to develop guide the activities of an influential federal organization that has a large impact on public health and policy.
When it comes to football’s concussion crisis, a picture has been painted with two clear sides. On one side are the concerned parents, media, and researchers. On the other are the players, who continue blocking and tackling, dismissive of the potential neurological effects.
San Diego–Would we have Poe’s Raven today if the tormented author had taken lithium to suppress his bipolar illness? Not likely, considering the high frequency of psychiatric illnesses among writers and artists concludes psychiatrist Kay Jamison of Johns Hopkins Medical School speaking this week at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego. Madness electrifies the creative process Jamison concludes, but this difficult drug-use dilemma raises an even more provocative question: Would we have Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds had the Beatles not taken LSD?
Women suffer depression and anxiety disorders at higher rates than men; a new study finds an interesting new explanation for this. Unwholesome family life can alter development of threat-detection circuits in the brain of young girls, which persist into adulthood and predispose women to developing mood and anxiety disorders as adolescents and young adults. Boys are also negatively impacted by family stresses during childhood, but the lasting effects on their brain were seen in only one of two neural circuits controlling our response to threats, anxiety and fear.