Category: Neuroscience/Mental Health

Psychodermatology?

A new specialty, psychodermatology, was invented to address the interaction of the mind and the skin. The effects of stress on the skin are not well defined, and the need for this new specialty is questionable.

/ April 17, 2018

Music for ADHD?

In a recent "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit, the CEO of Brain.fm claimed his company's music can improve concentration and help with ADHD. At the very least I see such claims as highly implausible, and not something we can conclude from the existing basic science research. I have no problem with doing clinical research, and maybe we might learn something about how...

/ March 21, 2018

Facilitated Communication Rears Its Ugly Head Again

Facilitated communication is pure pseudoscience that was debunked almost 30 years ago, but it keeps coming back, creating new victims.

/ March 14, 2018

The Debate Is Over: Antidepressants DO Work Better Than Placebo

The idea that antidepressants are no more effective than placebo has been put to rest. They clearly work when used appropriately, although the effect size is not as large as the published studies have suggested.

/ March 6, 2018

Vision Therapy Quackery

Behavioral optometry claims to treat a wide range of disorders, including learning difficulty and attention problems. But these claims are not based on solid scientific ground, and are not supported by rigorous evidence.

/ January 31, 2018

Mental Illness Denial

This is really hard, and we have limited knowledge, but we have accumulated enough knowledge about mental health and illness to take a practical approach to many patients and to help them improve their lives. This should include the full range of options available, including medication and counseling. To deny the role of medication can do great harm to those who may...

/ January 24, 2018

Freud Was a Fraud: A Triumph of Pseudoscience

Frederick Crews has written a reassessment of Freud based on newly available correspondence and re-evaluation of previously available materials. He shows that Freud was a fraud who deceived himself and succumbed to pseudoscience.

/ December 12, 2017

The Pathological Optimist: More hagiography than documentary about Andrew Wakefield

The Pathological Optimist is a recently released documentary by Miranda Bailey about Andrew Wakefield that I got a chance to see. In interviews and in the film's promotional materials, Bailey takes great pains to emphasize that she "doesn't take a side" about Wakefield. Unfortunately, her film demonstrates that, when it comes to pseudoscience, "not taking a side" is taking a side, and...

/ October 9, 2017

Video Games and the Brain

A new article looked at the effect of playing video games on the brain. Its results confirm what was previously suspected from prior research. First, it is another demonstration of use-dependent plasticity in the brain. Further, it supports a direct relationship between the types of activity in which people engage and increases or decreases in the respective parts of the brain. And...

/ August 9, 2017

Integrative Psychiatry

Alternative medicine is not just restricted to physical health. Practitioners have insinuated themselves into mental health as well, to the detriment of patients and science.

/ August 4, 2017