The Corpus Callosum

Archives for August, 2006

Psychotherapy and Brain Chemistry

One of the articles that I read, early in my career, that influenced the way I think about neuroscience, was this one: Caudate glucose metabolic rate changes with both drug and behavior therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder L. R. Baxter Jr, et. al., Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1992;49:681-689. We used positron emission tomography to investigate local cerebral…

Late to the Party

This meme involves going to the random quotations page, and picking five quotes.  The rules: “Go here and look through random quotes until you find 5 that you think reflect who you are or what you believe.” I saw my SciBlings doing it, but passed…until I saw that gonesavage at Cyberspace Rendezvous did it too.…

murrmann_nolawounds_320.jpg Originally uploaded by icki. This is a photo from an Ann Arbor blogger, known to the world as Icki, who has been in New Orleans lately. This is from his Flickr collection; click on the photo to go to his Flickr page. His blog is called Down on the Street. It is one of…

YAB…Yet Another Bushism

This is from a recent White House press conference. The transcript is on Yahoo News. QUESTION: A lot of the consequences you mentioned for pulling out seem like maybe they never would have been there if we hadn’t gone in. How do you square all of that? BUSH: I square it because imagine a world…

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission ruled recently that small insurance companies that cover prescription drugs must also cover the cost of oral contraceptives.   Firms with more than 15 employees are already under the jurisdiction of federal law, so the ruling affects only small companies.  But the ruling will have a wide impact: 60% of…

NEJM Gets It WRONG

The New England Journal of Medicine has two freely-accessible articles this week.  As is usually the case, their free articles are about important topics at the intersection of medicine and social policy, and are worth reading.  However, this time, both articles rub me the wrong way. (Hat tip: Psych Matters) The first, Imposing Personal Responsibility…

Another Mind-Body Link

Years ago, I read a paper in which the authors proposed a model, in which the immune system was conceptualized as a sensory organ for the central nervous system.  They did not think of it as the primary purpose of the immune system, but they wanted to highlight the fact that immune system activity does…

Understanding Mental Illness

There is nothing mystical about the act of understanding.  Sometimes it may seem like it, when one has an Aha! moment, or when understanding emerges in the context of meditation or spiritual reflection, but there really is nothing supernatural about it. Understanding, after all, is merely an act of description.  It arises from the collation…

In Part I, I gave a brief review of an article in Scientific American, entitled The Expert Mind.  The article described the outcome of research into the mental processes of expert chess players.  The motivation for the research is to find out how expertise works, to see if there is a systematic way to develop…

Beagle Is Way Cool

The August issue of Linux Format has an article showing how all the the most-anticipated features of Windows Vista are available today, on Linux.  Although Microsoft touts these as “innovations,” they are not new, or at least won’t be new by the time Vista is actually on retail shelves.   One of these features is…