Neuron Culture

Archives for November, 2008

Jerome Kagan, a highly prominent developmental psychologist, weighs in the Dana Foundation’s Cerebrum on the roots of the skyrocketing rates of diagnosis of childhood bipolar disorder, autism, and ADHD. “[it] is important … to ask,” he writes whether this troubling [increase] reflects a true rise in mental illness or is the result of changes in…

Psych Problem #2: Cooking the Books

Lisa Bero Critics of the FDA drug-trial process have often complained that the drug companies are free to publish only the trials that are flattering to their cause (that is, only those that show effects above placebo and relatively low side-effects). As explained in Wired Science, UC San Francisco health policy expert and Cochrane Collaboration…

Watch a delicious con: The pigeon drop

If you liked the Grifters, you’ll love this: Watch Skeptic editor Michael Shermer participate in a classic con called the pigeon drop. Beautiful stuff.

More wheels coming off the bus. Research Center Tied to Drug Company – NYTimes.com: By GARDINER HARRIS Published: November 24, 2008 When a Congressional investigation revealed in June that Dr. Joseph Biederman, a world-renowned child psychiatrist, had earned far more money from drug makers than he had reported to his university, he said that his…

Vintage Trillin: By Meat Alone: The Best Texas BBQ in the World The first time Burka went to Lexington to check out Snow’s, he arrived just before noon. “It looked like it had never been open,” he said. “It was deserted.” When he finally got there at a time when meat was still available, he…

Musical roller coasters

Some musico-video relief from darker matters. First, from On an Overgrown Path: Here is the Zurich Chamber Orchestra putting the usual YouTube offerings to shame. The full screen version is even better. Zurich Chamber Orchestra : Roller Coasterby mikropikol Path also led me to nice piece on the Wall St. Journal on Anna-Sophie Mutter. To…

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa As the Times reported Friday, Senator Charles Grassley’s pharma-money sweep has taken down another huge player in psychiatry: Grassley revealed that Fred Goodwin, a former NIH director who has long hosted the award-winning NPR radio show “The Infinite Mind,” which frequently examined controversies about psychopharmacology, had taken in over $1.3 million…

Copernicus corpse confirmed

Computerized reconstruction, via BBC from Nature’s The Great Beyond: Copernicus corpse confirmed – November 21, 2008 A skull from Frombork cathedral in Poland has been identified as that of revolutionary astronomer Copernicus. Marie Allen, of Uppsala University, says DNA from the skull is a match for DNA from hairs found in books owned by Copernicus,…

This one hits close to home, as I live in Vermont. As Daniel Carlat notes, Vermont is one of the few states to actually require drug companies to disclose drug-company payments to MDs, but the state allowed exception for payments related to ‘trade secrets.’ The companies apparently made the most of this. The Carlat Psychiatry…

The wonders of YouTube. Couple of highly distinctive voices here. Wonderful stuff. Hat tip: kottke