Category: Neuroscience/Mental Health

False Memory Syndrome Alive and Well

It is disheartening that we have to return to pseudosciences that have been debunked decades ago, because they continue to linger despite being eviscerated by scientific scrutiny. Belief systems and myths have incredible cultural inertia, and they are difficult to eradicate completely. That is why belief in astrology, while in the minority, persists. Professions, however, should be different. A healing profession should...

/ November 5, 2014

Mirror Neurons and the Pitfalls of Brain Research

[Ed. Note: I realize that I normally post on Monday, but thanks to an R21 grant deadline tomorrow, I will not be able to post new material today (although you might have noticed some “familiar” material posted yesterday.) Harriet has graciously agreed to cover for me today, and we have a special guest post for you tomorrow. Fear not. I’ll soon be...

/ October 27, 2014

Brian Hooker and Andrew Wakefield accuse the CDC of scientific fraud. Irony meters everywhere explode.

The antivaccine movement and conspiracy theories go together like beer and Buffalo wings, except that neither are as good as, yes, beer and Buffalo wings. (Maybe it’s more like manure and compost.) In any case, the antivaccine movement is rife with conspiracy theories. I’ve heard and written about more than I can remember right now, and I’m under no illusion that I’ve...

/ October 26, 2014

Andrew Wakefield, the MMR, and a “mother warrior’s” fabricated vaccine injury story

As the time came to do my usual weekly post for this blog, I was torn over what to write about. Regular readers might have noticed that a certain dubious cancer doctor about whom I’ve written twice before has been agitating in the comments for me to pay attention to him, after having sent more e-mails to me and various deans at...

/ October 13, 2014

Brain-Based Learning, Myth versus Reality: Testing Learning Styles and Dual Coding 

Ed. Note: Today we present a guest post from Josh Cuevas, a cognitive psychologist and assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of North Georgia. Enjoy! Breaking the cycle Since early on in graduate school when I began studying cognition, I’ve followed the learning styles movement because it was such a powerful phenomenon. It took hold rapidly, seemingly overnight,...

/ October 12, 2014
The Brain

Brain Research in the 21st Century

In April 2013 President Obama announced the BRAIN initiative – Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies – committing 100 million dollars to brain research. The goal of this initiative is to accomplish with the brain what the Human Genome Project accomplished with the human genome. The BRAIN project came after a similar, and larger, initiative in Europe – the European Union’s Human...

/ October 1, 2014

“Mystery” Illness in Colombia

It looks like we can file this one under “here we go again.” A small town in Colombia, El Carmen de Bolivar, has seen more than 200 girls hospitalized with a mysterious illness since May of this year. The symptoms include dizziness, headaches, and fainting. So far, all of the girls hospitalized have been found to be healthy and were quickly released...

/ September 24, 2014

Autism Prevalence Unchanged in 20 Years

That there is an “autism epidemic” is taken as a given by those who feel autism has a dominant environmental cause. The Age of Autism blog, for example, bills itself as a, “Daily Web Newspaper of the Autism Epidemic.” The term “epidemic” also implies an environmental factor, such as an infection. The epidemiology of autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has never...

/ September 10, 2014

CAM and Headaches

A recent editorial entitled “CAM in the Real World: You May Practice Evidence-Based Medicine, But Your Patients Don’t” published in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain by Robert Cowan, a headache specialist, addresses the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the treatment of headaches. Unfortunately he propagates many common misconceptions about CAM in the article. I do agree...

/ September 3, 2014

A Statement on Cervical Manipulation and Dissections

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association recently published in the journal Stroke a thorough analysis of the evidence for an association between cervical manipulative therapy (CMT) and both vertebral artery dissection (VAD) and internal carotid artery dissection (ICAD). The full article is online: “Cervical Arterial Dissections and Association With Cervical Manipulative Therapy: A Statement for Healthcare Professionals From the...

/ August 13, 2014