Monday, March 03, 2008

Of Two Minds on Brains, Pains, and Psychiatry

The 40th edition of Encephalon1 is available for your viewing pleasure at Mind Hacks. Read about a homolog of Broca's area in the chimpanzee brain (see original article by Taglialatela et al., 2008)! And more!

In other news, the most anticipated merger in neuroblog history has launched! Of Two Minds combines the brains of Steve Higgins (Omni Brain) and Shelley Batts (Retrospectacle).2 In one of the inaugural posts, Shelley interviews Dr. Justin Schmidt, of the Schmidt Sting Pain Index.

Q. Was there a point that you regretted letting a particular insect sting you?3

A. I never directly "let myself be stung" by anything particularly painful. Those that are really painful are quite good at stinging one without help. The worst stinging I received was probably by some black wasps (Polybia simillima) in Costa Rica. It was the only time I have ever seen that species, was ill-equipped at the time to collect the large nest, did not realize how good they were at penetrating bees suits and other barriers, and I absolutely needed that nest. The result was lots of nasty burning stings and a few irate colleagues who were nearby. Incidentally, most of my nasty stinging events are similar - they were serendipitous discoveries of a wonderful species that I needed and had no choice: grasp the moment, or lose it.
Finally, at World of Psychology, guest blogger Ron Pies, M.D. writes about the book, Of Two Minds by T.M. Luhrmann.
Very roughly, Luhrmann argued that the field of psychiatry is still divided between those who see mental illness as a psychological problem amenable to psychosocial therapies; and those who see it as a problem of abnormal brain chemistry, best treated by pharmacotherapy...

And this is truly a shame. The “Angel or Devil” dichotomy does nobody any favors, and certainly does not help patients with serious emotional disturbances.
Of Two Minds, which was published in 2000, focused on psychodynamic psychotherapy (mainly Freudian psychoanalysis). Will subsequent books on the topic incorporate the growing field of "Neuropsychoanalysis" (aka Freudian neuroimaging)?


1 Encephalon is the neuroscience and psychology blog carnival launched by Neurophilosophy and recently revived by Sharp Brains.

2 Guess it's time to update my ancient blogroll. Don't hold your breath, however. The legacy blogs shall live on...

3 Why does this question remind me of Chuck Palahniuk's Rant? Oh. It could be because the novel's protagonist enjoys being bitten by spiders.


Taglialatela JP, Russell JL, Schaeffer JA, Hopkins WD. (2008). Communicative Signaling Activates 'Broca's' Homolog in Chimpanzees. Curr Biol. Feb 26; [Epub ahead of print].

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At March 04, 2008 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suffer from OCD and have over the years found it easier to cope with the condition than that of the tireless journey of trying to find a cure.


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