Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Shell Shock"

From the British Psychological Society:

A lecture from October 2014 by Prof. Edgar Jones on the topic, "Shell Shock: The First World War and the Origins of Psychological Medicine"

Watch the lecture here.

This is a very informative historical presentation about the topic.

Alzheimer's Disease: Julianne Moore on Preparing for Her Role in "Still Alice"

BBC Front Row's interview with Julianne Moore included a description of how she prepared for her role as Alice:

Listen here

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Language: Redefining the Role of Broca's Area?

This reference (with free-access .pdf) has been getting some media attention this week and is a good read:

Flinker, A. et al. (2015). Redefining the role of Broca's area in speech.

article pdf

The authors report one of their findings that when the motor cortex is activated during spoken responses, Broca’s area is "surprisingly silent". They provide additional information about activity of Broca's area - relative to motor cortex - depending upon the novelty of what is spoken.

The study used electrical recording from the cortical surface in a sample of seven participants who were to undergo neurosurgical treatment for refractory epilepsy.

The authors note that results were consistent to the presentation of patients with cortical lesions that are limited to Broca’s - it is typical for this presentation not to cause a Broca’s aphasia but to result in an acute, transient mutism.

The authors conclude that Broca's area might not be the historically defined 'seat of articulation' but may be "a key node" in the transformation of neural information as it is processed within comprehensive networks essential for speech production.

Please read the paper itself to get a full understanding of the methodology, results, and implications of this study.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Teaching Social Psychology

I am teaching a course in Social Psychology this term for the MSc online program where I have an affiliation. Although social neuroscience has had quite the growth over the past decade and we all get experience in the neurobehavioral syndromes resulting from certain types of brain disease and damage, the course has been a good reminder to me that just about any graduate student in psychology and in neuropsychology would benefit by a good course in core social psychological principles as it relates to normal behavior by mentally and neurologically healthy adults.

OBIT: Dr. Karl Pribram

Here is the obituary for Dr. Pribram, which appeared on his website recently: Dr. Karl Pribram