Video Games Make You Violent? Science Begs To Differ…

Video games are to blame for school shootings – not easy access to guns. I probably don’t need to tell you who said that earlier this year but he is far from alone in that opinion. Scores of vocal critics have spoken out against the tyranny of violent video games and how they are to…

Why Science Outreach and Twitter are Anything but a Waste of Time

A recent Science article claimed that women in science are wasting their time by engaging in science communication, and instead should focus on research to get ahead of male counterparts. The author’s point was that women are not represented fairly within science, and masses of science communication carried out primarily by women should not be seen as…

Expecting to hallucinate: shedding light on why we hear what’s not there

Did you just hear someone just call your name or did you hear your phone beep at you only to find no notification or message? These are common hallucinatory experiences and understanding these further may learn more about how severe hallucinations work. These strange experiences are not necessarily a sign of psychopathology, but they are…

Does sleep loss affect men and women’s memory differently?

Sleep loss is a major cause of serious, and sometimes fatal, accidents. There is consistent evidence linking poor sleep to road traffic and numerous industrial accidents such as the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl. One reason for this, besides sleep’s importance for concentration and attention, rests on our inability to accurately gauge to what extent sleep…

Are psychologists tackling the replication crisis head on?

Replication is crucial for any science. If you can’t repeat an experiment and get the same – or similar – results, then you need to be asking why. This forms the centre point of the replication crisis within psychology. Broadly speaking, the crisis has brought to light a lack of replicability of early results. This…

How Does the Sleeping Brain Improve Our Memory?

It’s an enticing idea. While we are sleeping soundly away in bed, our brains are working on the day’s memories and organising them appropriately. If sleep is undisturbed, we are better equipped to remember our day time experiences the following day. Earlier this month, a recent paper in Current Biology has shed some light on…

Can REM Sleep Protect You Against Traumatic Experiences?

Around one in twenty of us will receive a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) over the course of our lives (Chapter 4). It involves nightmares, flashbacks, memory difficulties, avoidance and hypervigilance, and although not the only cause, sleep has been identified as a contributing factor in the development of these symptoms. This is where…

The BMJ, Big Ben, and Season’s Greetings

I haven’t left you guys – honest. I have decided to focus on making this blog fortnightly, so I can give myself a bit more time to interview scientists more – you know, the exciting stuff I want this blog to be full of! For now, enjoy this Christmas (ish) post. Nothing says Christmas like…

A Brief Intermission

So, this week’s blog post may seem like a bit of a cop-out, but normal service shall return next week – I promise! I may have another article to share next week which I can shamelessly plaster here too (lucky devils you). In case you hadn’t guessed already I am interested in sleep. I stumbled…

Is Sleep Loss Priming Us to See Food in a Different Light?

We’ve all been there. You’ve had a late night and the following day you find yourself lunging for the chocolate and crisps conveniently located on the office snack table (and don’t tell me you don’t have one). We convince ourselves this is just to get us through the fatigue and mild irritation which comes with…