Understanding Altruism

A multi-disciplinary research team from Washington DC and Washington State have published an important new study entitled ‘Neural and cognitive characteristics of extraordinary altruists.’ Altruism, and particularly costly altruism toward strangers, such as kidney donation, is poorly understood by science, particularly in the fields of evolutionary biology and psychology. The question has been posed time … More Understanding Altruism

Book Review: In My Room – The Recovery Journey as Encountered by a Psychiatrist.

Prof. Jim Lucey, Medical Director at St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin, has more than twenty five years’ experience in his field of specialisation. Lucey has used this experience to pen a thoughtful and compassionate look at the varied experience of some of the patients he has … More Book Review: In My Room – The Recovery Journey as Encountered by a Psychiatrist.

Mystics, Mental Health & Lessons to Learn

Whilst watching a documentary on Schizophrenia the other day, the words of the psychiatrist, neurologist and founder of the third Viennese School of Psychotherapy, Viktor Frankl came to mind. Frankl once famously said of Joan of Arc in his book ‘Will to Meaning’: “There is no doubt that from the psychiatric point of view, the … More Mystics, Mental Health & Lessons to Learn

Dr. Michael Stone: The Psychopathology of ‘Evil’ Children

Dr. Michael Stone, a Forensic Psychiatrist from Columbia University, is perhaps best known in popular culture as the the host of the Discovery Channel show, ‘Most Evil’.  In ‘Most Evil’, Stone developed and employed a ‘scale of evil’ which took into account a number of factors with the aim of categorizing perpetrators of heinous crimes. … More Dr. Michael Stone: The Psychopathology of ‘Evil’ Children

Can Meditation Really Make You A More Compassionate Person?

A recent study by Northeastern University’s David DeSteno, published in Psychological Science, gives a fascinating insight into the impact of meditation on interpersonal harmony and compassion. According to DeSteno, “The truly surprising aspect of this finding is that meditation made people willing to act virtuous – to help another who was suffering – even in the face of … More Can Meditation Really Make You A More Compassionate Person?

Religious Fundamentalism: A ‘Mental Illness’ To Be Cured?

According to http://www.rawstory.com, Oxford Neuroscientist Kathleen Taylor made a very thought-provoking comment recently during a talk at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales.  When asked what positive developments she anticipated in neuroscience in the next 60 years, rawstory states the following: ‘“One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people … More Religious Fundamentalism: A ‘Mental Illness’ To Be Cured?

Mental Disorders: Confusing or Instructive?

The mind fascinates me. It is dazzling in its complexity and can throw up some incredibly interesting questions.  Take the more outlandish mental disorders as an example.  The science.discovery.com website rather helpfully has put together a list aptly entitled ‘10 little known mental disorders‘ that include details of the following and really make us think: … More Mental Disorders: Confusing or Instructive?

Teach Evolution Or Lose Funding!

According to a recently published story on the BBC News website: “Failing to teach evolution by natural selection in science lessons could lead to new free schools losing their funding under government changes. The new rules state that from 2013, all free schools in England must teach evolution as a ‘comprehensive and coherent scientific theory’.” In … More Teach Evolution Or Lose Funding!