Archive for July, 2011

Hallucinating neural networks

Hearing voices is a hallmark of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, occurring in 60-80% of cases. These voices are typically identified as belonging to other people and may be voicing the person’s thoughts, commenting on their actions or ideas, arguing with each other or telling the person to do something. Importantly, these auditory hallucinations are […]

On the (un)importance of kin selection

While writing a recent short note on Richard Dawkins and kin selection, I looked through my previous posts on the subject, and found what I thought was a blunder in an old post from 2004. To avoid misleading anyone who came across it in a search, I deleted it from the archive. But on further […]

Peer-review: end it, don’t mend it

At Genomes Unzipped, Joe Pickrell has an important post up, Why publish science in peer-reviewed journals?: The recent announcement of a new journal sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust generated a bit of discussion about the issues in the scientific publishing process it is designed to address—arbitrary editorial decisions, slow and unhelpful […]

Environmental influences on autism – splashy headlines from dodgy data

A couple of recent papers have been making headlines in relation to autism, one claiming that it is caused less by genetics than previously believed and more by the environment and the other specifically claiming that antidepressant use by expectant mothers increases the risk of autism in the child. But are these conclusions really supported […]

On discovering you’re an android

Deckard: She’s a replicant, isn’t she? Tyrell: I’m impressed. How many questions does it usually take to spot them? Deckard: I don’t get it, Tyrell. Tyrell: How many questions? Deckard: Twenty, thirty, cross-referenced. Tyrell: It took more than a hundred for Rachael, didn’t it? Deckard: [realizing Rachael believes she's human] She doesn’t know. Tyrell: She’s […]