Brain

Conversion disorder: Functional neurological symptom disorder characteristics

What Is… Conversion Disorder

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week’s term is conversion disorder, now known as functional neurological symptom disorder. Conversion disorder is a type of somatic disorder that involves the conversion of mental illness into neurological-type symptoms, involving sensory and/or motor impairments. In the DSM-5, the name …

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MH@H book review: The Night the Lights Went Out by Drew Magary

Book Review: The Night the Lights Went Out

The Night the Lights Went Out by Drew Magary tells the author’s story of experiencing a traumatic brain injury and the gradual process of recovery. After hosting the 2018 Deadspin Awards, he collapsed, breaking his skull and his brain. In this book, he brings readers along as his life is turned upside down. Since the …

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Cutting through the serotonin hypothesis confusion - graphic of a serotonergic neuron

Clearing Up the Serotonin Hypothesis/Depression Confusion

Some people write off antidepressants as being useless because the serotonin hypothesis was wrong, while others insist they need antidepressants because they don’t have enough serotonin. There’s a lot of confusion about what the serotonin hypothesis was and what it meant, so this post will try to clear up some of that. A bit of …

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Book cover: Introducing Consciousness: A Graphic Guide

Book Review: Introducing Consciousness: A Graphic Guide

Introducing Consciousness: A Graphic Guide by David Papineau and Howard Selina is the latest book in this series I’ve read. It explores what this thing is that we call consciousness. There are no answers, because consciousness remains pretty elusive, but the book doesn’t aim to give you answers. One of the ideas raised was philosopher …

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Separating sex and gender: What's biology, and what's socially constructed?

Separating Out Sex/Gender, Biology and Social Construct

I got thinking about this after watching an interview with Steven Pinker, one of my academic crushes, and then another interview with Jordan Peterson. Both referred to biological differences between men and women, although in different ways, and I wanted to do a post exploring my own take on sex and gender differences, and the …

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Antidepressants, side effects, and delayed benefits

Antidepressant Side Effects & Delayed Therapeutic Effect

Have you ever wondered why antidepressant side effects seem to be worse at the beginning, or why it takes so long for them to actually start doing what you expect of them? There is actually some rhyme and reason for it, so let’s talk about it. Let’s talk serotonin People with depression don’t have enough …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… Executive Functioning

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms.  This week’s term is executive functioning. Executive functioning refers to higher-level cognitive processes related to organization and regulation. It’s the C-suite of your brain, or kind of like your brain’s air traffic control system. Tasks that fall under this umbrella include: …

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Does the gut microbiome affect mental health? - graphic of magnifying glass looking inside intestines

Does the Gut Microbiome Affect Mental Health?

We all have trillions of microbes living in our intestines. This microbiome, which develops in infancy, plays a major role in our digestion, but there’s growing evidence that it affects more than just our digestive system. This collection of critters weighs about 2 kg and includes bacteria, fungi, and viruses. There is no “normal” microbiome …

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MH@H book review: Remember by Lisa Genova

Book Review: Remember by Lisa Genova

Remember by Lisa Genova is a non-fiction book that explores how we do, and don’t, remember. Genova is a neuroscientist who’s also the author of five fiction books, all of which I’ve read. They feature characters with neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s (Still Alice) and Huntingdon’s (Inside the O’Briens – affiliate links). The book begins by …

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