Neuron Culture

Archives for April, 2009

Via Tyler Cohen’s Marginal Revolution comes this amusing anecdote — and, perhaps, helpful example — from the life of Peter Orszag, Obama’s very brainy budget director. To motivate himself to train for a marathon, he somehow set up a penalty if he didn’t hit his training targets: His credit card would make a contribution to…

When you propose that we are overdiagnosing PTSD in vets, you run into not only a lot of flak but many offerings of evidence suggesting that we’re missing a lot of cases. Since publishing my article on PTSD, I’ve received those arguments directly in comments, and on Wednesday, April 8, Salon published an article, “I…

More or less alongside my piece on depression’s wiring diagram, this months’ Scientific American Mind has a piece I wrote on how social hierarchies develop among rats. Darlene Francis, a psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, placed 80 newly weaned rats in cages of four, with cage mates matched for size, activity level and…

On my reading table

The 10,000-year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Evolution, of which I’ve so far read about 1000 words — but I just got it. Appears to be The Beak of the Finch (faster than expected evolutionary changes) in humans, but with this delicious addtion: the idea that culture can drive evolution, so that the line between “nature”…

Power of Music II

via Daily Dish

I’ve got a story about Helen Mayberg’s work on depression circuits in the new Scientific American Mind. I first wrote about Mayberg in the Times Magazine three years ago, in an article about her experimental use of deep brain stimulation to treat depression, and I later profiled her for SciAm Mind. This new article looks…

Heads-up dept: I’ll be discussing I discussed “The Post-Traumatic Stress Trap,” my Scientific American story on PTSD, at noon, Monday, April 6, on NHPR’s “Word of Mouth.” You can listen to the 7-minute segment here, following a very brief intro to the program. Link to the station’s website here.

What are the relative strengths and weaknesses of long-form, slow-bake, “mainstream” journalism and the idiom we call the blogosphere? As per Bora, the meaning of these terms are shifting as we speak. Last night, using my recent story and blogging on PTSD as a point of focus, I put in my latest two cents on…