Neuron Culture

Archives for June, 2010

Reading isn’t just a monkish pursuit: Matthew Battles on “The Shallows” » Nieman Journalism Lab More on Carr’s ideas from “The Shallows” BoraZ interviews Eric Roston and gets some good ideas about journalism and reporting, past, present and future. The Cure for Creative Blocks? Leave Your Desk. Or why my move to London is a…

  A few days ago Jonah Lehrer put up a lovely post about stuttering and Tourette’s syndrome. He looks at stuttering, Updike, Kanye  – and a couple papers suggesting that many people with Tourette’s (and by extension, I suppose, perhaps stuttering) develop a compensatory change … whereby the chronic suppression of tics results in a…

Research Digest has posted an q&a interview with me as part of their The Bloggers Behind the Blog series. Here are a few key tidbits. Do read the rest there, as well as the other interviews already run and to come. On why I write about psychology, psychiatry, and other behavioral sciences: Science constitutes our…

Many significant human pleasures are universal,” Bloom writes. “But they are not biological adaptations. They are byproducts of mental systems that have evolved for other purposes.” Evolutionary psychologists like Bloom are fond of explaining perplexing psychological attributes this way. These traits emerged, the argument goes, as accidental accompaniments to other traits that help us survive…

Every time I read David Foster Wallace, I think, that’s just classic David Foster Wallace. Which is to say it’s completely unexpected, novel, different from the way almost anyone else thinks, including David Foster Wallace the last time I read him. This is a fun review in the NY Review of Books of a book…

    Ed Yong offers a particularly nice write-up of some studies about how physical experience shapes emotion, opinion, thinking, and so on. TKTK: When you pick up an object, you might think that you are manipulating it, but in a sense, it is also manipulating you. Through a series of six psychological experiments, Joshua Ackerman…

What glitters in the net today

I’m ‘posed to be writing, really writing (insert argument over what’s really writing in comments), but hit so many juicy bits in my morning read today I wanted to share. Here’s my eclectic mix for the day: A great rompy scary post from @susanorlean on how her book bounced around many publishers and editors. Keith…

Research Digest blog, the highly useful and content-rich site that tracks all things psych, just opened its “The Bloggers Behind the Blogs,” series, which will run ten interviews with bloggers of mind and brain. It’s with a nice interview of Jesse Bering, of Bering in Mind. It’s a dandy line-up (of which I’m happy to…

John Hawks, in his paleodreams. I mean that in the best way. John Hawks bumps into a prescient estimate of the total gene number in humans: While doing some other research, I ran across a remarkable short paper by James Spuhler, “On the number of genes in man,” printed in Science in 1948. We’ve been…

  Jonah Lehrer has a nice post elaborating on his Barnes & Noble review of Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus. Like me, Lehrer finds alluring and valuable Shirky’s central point, which is that the net is harnessing in constructive form a lot of time and energy that we appear to have been wasting watching TV. Yet…