Blog Log #2

[Part I. Blog Summaries]

1. 3 Quarks Daily    

     I have just learned that James Joyce was allegedly the first one who used the word “three quarks” in Finnegans Wake.  The creator of this site claims that they present interesting items in science, design, literature, current affairs, art, and other things on a daily basis.

2. Advances in the History of Psychology  

     This site has three main goals.  First one is to announce publications, conferences, and other events of the history of psychology.  They occasionally make comments and review important issues in the area.  The last goal is to publish reports on the site development.

3. Blackprof 

    The site is inaccessible as of Friday 1/29/10 at 9:38 pm.

    Still unavailable on Saturday 1/30/10 at 5:07 pm

4. Blind Taste 

     Blind Taste is created by Robin Goldstein, a Harvard graduate who earned a J.D. from Yale.  He is quite a prolific person who is into culinary.  He wrote The Wine Trials and Fearless Critic series. 

5. The British Psychological Society Research Digest  

     British psychologists’ blog

6. Brain Blogger 

     Assuming the postion of biopsychosocial perspective, this website that covers neuroscience, neurology, psychology, psychiatry, health, and health care.

7. Channel N  

     They claim that they are the largest and oldest mental health social network on the Internet.  Various mental health professionals offer mental health information.  A recent inquiry from a user includes “Panty Wearing Among Males.”

[Part II. A Review on BPS Research Digest Post]

 tDCS and Lying Skills

While it is very controversial, many researchers have considered some type of brain stimulation therapeutic.  Some researchers and medical doctors claim that ECT is an effective treatment for severe depression.  According to Dr. Alan Stone, lately approximately 40 patients a week receive Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, at McClean hospital.  This therapy, however, is aversive because it causes an artificial seizure on a person.  Moreover, memory loss is severe in some cases.

     As an alternative, Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, or tDCS, has been introduced.  This is as a technique in which a subject receives small electric current on the scalp.  This technique has a potential to replace ECT as a depression treatment method.

     January 25th’s post on BPS Research Digest, however, features an interesting study by Ahmed Karim, who used tDCS to improve people’s ability to lie.  In this study, the subjects participated in a money stealing game.  The participants were told that they could keep the money if they successfully deceive the detective. 

     This study includes three experiments. The first experiment creates a virtual lesion that inhibit brain activities by giving the subjects a 13 minute long stimulation.  This experiment uses anodal stimulation.  The second experiment  gives the subject cathodal stimulation that excites brain activities.  The third experiment is similar to the first one except that the researchers used Stroop test.

     The important result discovered here is that the inhibition created by anodal stimulation enhances someone’s lying ability.  While someone could claim that human conscience is located at the prefrontal cortex, this is certainly a hasty conclusion.

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