Our regular psychology columnist waxes lyrical about recent developments in the field of neuroscience and the media

Man attacked by silver headsperm

It’s been an exciting year for Science and Psychology all over. We’ve witnessed the questionable high profile launch of the ‘emotiv’ – the world’s first brain controlled computer game (we’re also embarking on research in to the same ‘Brain Computer Interfacing’ technology here a UWE this term). We’ve seen the release of the first academic paper on ecstasy and its proposed uses for treating psychological conditions, and we’ve seen for the first time the beginnings of human clinical experimentation with magic mushrooms, right here in Bristol. We’ve seen scientists genetically engineer ‘lesbian’ mice and we’ve seen American news networks the Daily FaiI, *ahem* sorry, I mean the Daily Mail, go bananas over what they dubbed “Digital Drugs”. This was cocaine and ecstasy that was being apparently “downloaded” from the internet in the form of mp3 files…

Don’t get too excited though, needless to say this was never remotely possible and was purely a case of the tabloids chasing their own tails. On a more serious note, we’ve just hosted a collection of the country’s most distinguished neuroscientists here at UWE for The British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience Annual Conference, which was a great success. One of the most enlightening symposiums at the conference, in my opinion, was on the worrying commercialisation of the polygraph (lie detector test) across the pond, and how a new rather misunderstood version of it known as the P300 is being used in American courts to free convicted criminals.

Every month I’ll be giving you a roundup of the happenings in the psychology and science world and giving you your fix of nerd-news in general. I’ll also be tackling the shoddy psychology reporting in the tabloids, as it comes. Due to the fact that I can’t actually take over the entire newspaper this will read as a rather quick-fire, shot-gun wedding affair. Not to worry though, if it’s covered here you can bet your bottom dollar it’s covered in its full uncensored glory complete with sources and cheeky pictures to boot at my blog www.neurobonkers.com. Yes, that includes the lesbian mice.  If you just can’t wait until next month to hear the latest, you can follow Neurobonkers on Twitter or Facebook.

If you hear of a nerd story that you’d like to see covered here in tongue-in-cheek fashion please email me at neurobonkers@gmail.com

Until next month!