The best neuroscience news this week from around the web: a neuroscientist who put himself under the knife, the placebo effect, and memory manipulation for PTSD.
MIT Technology Review – To Study the Brain, a Doctor Puts Himself Under the Knife [MEDIUM SCIENCE / MEDIUM READ]
PERSONAL RESEARCH: Scientists work pretty hard at their jobs, making sacrifices in the pursuit of knowledge. But opening up your own skull to implant a brain–machine interface is more than your typical sacrifice. So is American neuroscientist Phil Kennedy crazy or just really, really dedicated to science? You be the judge!
BrainBlogger – Is Placebo More Powerful Than Antidepressants and Psychotherapy? [SIMPLE SCIENCE / MEDIUM READ]
MIND OVER MATTER: Believe it or not, the placebo effect may be growing. In the case of depression treatment, this is making people question what additional benefits are provided by drugs and behavioural therapies.
BrainBlogger – Human Memory Manipulation Technology for PTSD – A Step Too Far? [MEDIUM SCIENCE / MEDIUM READ]
ETHICAL DILEMMA: The memories of mice can be manipulated, implanted, and erased, at least under laboratory conditions. Imagine if we could do the same to human PTSD memories! Of course interfering with memories isn’t something to be taken lightly, but is it something we should avoid at all costs, or might there be ways to avoid potential adverse effects?
Brain Decoder – Judged by Your Accent [SIMPLE SCIENCE / MEDIUM READ]
INNATE BIASES: Here’s an interesting fake-classroom experiment: students were lectured to by a voice recording, and shown an accompanying photograph of either a Caucasian or Chinese professor. Though the same person was speaking, the students reported that the Chinese ‘professor’ had lectured in a more foreign accent, which made them recall less of the taught lesson. How susceptible are you to hallucinating accents? Linguists think the best way of becoming less biased is to spend time with people who act, look, and speak differently.