Joel and Ryan tackle some strange pseudoscience in this podcast!
We kick off the first unabashedly non-clean podcast with a steaming pile of BS. Links to some of the stuff we discussed below.
- NEUROFUSE – THE FUSENING
- This is literally how homeopathy claims to work, guys
- Bayer’s summary of how actual drugs work
- The Randi foundation million-dollar prize
- Offered to anyone who can show the legitimacy of a paranormal phenomenon. Still unclaimed.
- Derren Brown shows off some cold reading tricks
- Popular Misunderstanding of Placebo effect (this is really just a bunch of unsubstantiated anecdotes)
- Interestingly enough, placebos can work even if you know they are placebos.
- Grain of salt, this is a fairly new research program and many of the studies are underpowered from a statistical standpoint. Interesting, but I don’t think yet well-demonstrated.
- HEADLINE: Tory MP wants astrology in clinics!
- Grumpy American in Houston upset.
- DNA Activation – a truly bizarre pseudoscientific pile of BS
- General fun BS activity — check out Penn and Teller’s show. You can just go through YouTube—most are up there.
In this episode, we have our friend Alex Deal on. Alex talks a bit about the outreach work he has been doing in Maine, which focuses on creating positive images of science and giving kids reasons to wear their helmets!
Phineas Gage (since we mentioned him) is an early confirmed example of a brain disturbance producing profound personality changes.
This man had pedophelic urges until a huge tumor was removed from his frontal lobe. When the tumor returned, so did the urges. A fascinating case study in brain disturbances producing dramatic changes in behavior.
The famous Houston sniper also had a brain tumor which might have influenced his behavior. His writings certainly suggest that he found himself thinking disturbing thoughts in the period leading up to the shootings.
Capgras syndrome and other delusional syndromes may result in crimes motivated by bizarre reasons.
fMRI scans can predict recidivism rates, but whether the findings can be applied to individual persons remains unclear.
This guy has a ‘psychopathic brain’ but is not a psychopath. While brain scans can inform us of trends among large groups of people, predictive power can be lacking for individuals. We might ask if more traditional methods are any better–as Joel mentions in the podcast, the actuarial tables used to predict recidivism rates make broad recommendations based on average trends as well.
For an awesome documentary featuring legal professionals applying neurolaw to a fictional case, check out Brains on Trial