Monthly Archives: February 2009

Podcast Review: Betts on Jungian Psychology #7

This is the 7th in the series of Jungian Psychology by John Betts who cautions us not to overinterpret dreams and also suggests that the material should not be used. What I found quite interesting is that as in practising dream analysis, the analyst necessarily learns a lot about sleep in the process. Thus Betts gives the listener a useful overview of REM sleep and introduces a number of related terms.  Betts contrasts Freud’s view of a latent and manifest dream content (as well as his use of signs rather than symbols) with that of Jung who maintained that dream material was experienced accurately and not transformed. Betts takes us through a number of advantages to using dream analysis. What was particularly interesting was the idea that dream material could be used to guide the therapeutic sessions in that the analysand’s dream material would contain useful information about the transference and countertransference occuring within the session. Also Betts describes how the dream material is used in the process of individuation. This is another in the instructive series by John Betts on Jungian Psychology.

Responses

If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk

Disclaimer

The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

‘Its Good to Blog’ – Nature

Neurocritic found this editorial in Nature in his post on ‘The Voodoo of Peer Review’. To quote from the editorial

‘More researchers should engage with the blogosphere, including authors of papers in press’

This is a tremendous piece of support for science blogging. I’ve been looking at some of these issues, when considering the complexities of the ‘Voodoo Correlations in Social Neurosciences’ article which is reviewed here. In the editorial there is an interesting discussion of the embargo that is placed on articles before their publication. This is relevant to the above article as much of the discussion on the blogosphere took place after the article was accepted for publication but before it was formally published. However the editorial further explores the types of public discussion that should and shouldn’t take place before publication. They also go on to say

‘Indeed, researchers would do well to blog more than they do……Moreover there are societal debates that have much to gain from the uncensored voices of researchers’

I agree with this. Journals for psychiatrists for example typically contain papers that span medical, psychological and social domains and a wide variety of research methodologies. Interpretation of the constant influx of such papers is technically demanding. Furthermore  papers in scientific journals can be considered as minimalist works of art where each sentence, each paragraph has been chiselled down to the final masterpiece – a paper which conveys the essential details necessary for others (knowledgeable and invariably working in the field) to reproduce and for readers to gain an understanding of the study. This minimalist work though conceals a whole human experiential world beneath it – the conceptualisation of the study, the immense work put into searching through the literature to see if it is relevant, the design, the creation of the infrastructure, the struggle for funding, the ethics application, the recruitment of subjects, the trials and tribulations of the study, the analysis of the data when it is all done, the sleepless nights spent thinking about the results, discussion with colleagues, endless ideas and implications – a whole world of ideas and perspiration which is barely hinted at by the restrained, disciplined format of the scientific publication. This concealed world might be just what is needed to connect with the reader, knowing the thoughts and aspirations of the researcher, how they came to propose the study in the first place, the difficulties they faced, the reservations they had about their final conclusions. As Damasio has suggested, people use emotions to help them interpret and act on information and in this regards readers of scientific journals are no different. The internet provides the medium necessary to help engage the reader in this ‘other world’ – podcasts containing interviews with researchers, videos of research methodology/findings and of course the informal coverage or debates seen in the blogosphere. Perhaps the events surrounding the Voodoo paper broke several conventions but rightly or wrongly for that specific case showed that people are receptive to a rational-emotional debate about ‘statistical correlations’. Perhaps a new contract is being brokered between science and those with an interest in science.

Responses

If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk

Disclaimer

The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Featured Blog: The Primatology Blog

The featured blog is the ‘The Primatology Blog‘. This is a blog by a group of volunteers who write about primate related news and features and have an interest in the conservation and preservation of non-human primates. While the study of primates is interesting in itself it is also useful in learning about ourselves through our nearest relatives. For instance, primate species may show complex social behaviours that resemble those in humans and they can also tell us more about our own origins. The team come up with endlessly interesting articles. There is a short article here on Kanzi, the Bonobo with a clip of him successfully playing a game of Pacman. Kanzi is remarkable for demonstrating the use of a language symbol board which he did by apparently observing his adopted mother who herself was not able to use the system. Kanzi has also mastered the rudiments of stone tool making.

In this article, there is a discussion of the gait of the gibbon which was examined in a study and a clip. The Gibbon’s long arms are specifically geared towards swinging through the trees although as they showthat the Gibbon is still able to walk. We see an interesting comparison of neonates, infants and great apes. The infants differed from the other two groups in recalling objects dependent on their spatial location rather than just on their features and this is related to a divergence of our species some 15 million years ago. Here is a discussion of Gibbon song which is apparently quite complex. The Gibbons are capable of using it to ward off predators and other gibbons are apparently able to understand these calls. They also comment on this incredible story of chimps using wooden spears that they have fashioned themselves to hunt with. There is some evidence for the diversion of bonobos and chimpanzees 0.9 million years ago mentioned briefly in this post before a discussion of three subspecies of chimpanzee that have been proposed. There are a number of other interesting articles along the way:-

  • Here are some photos of a young Orang-Utan getting along with a tiger cub!
  • The authors identify a very useful database of digitised images of many primates here.
  • A study supporting the evolution of intelligence in humans for the purposes of social interaction is discussed here.
  • Here for instance they report on the discovery of 3 new species of Lemurs in Madagascar, the size of a mouse!
  • Here we can see a young macaque imitating facial movements (with remarkably quick visual development as the macaque was only three days old!).
  • A baby macaque hugging a pigeon!
  • A link to an article on similarities between chimpanzees and humans.
  • A report on a study on chimpanzee rationality.
  • A link to an article on Bonobos using handtools.
  • In another post, the decision of the National Human Genome Research Institute to sequence the genome of the Gibbon is discussed.
  • The discovery of a fossilised Miocene ape and the implications of this. Differences between humans and chimpanzees in the way genes are spliced.
  • Genetic diversification of the gorillas in the Ice Age.
  • A study in which Gorillas begin to use branches to throw at humans is examined in terms of mirror neurons.
  • A remarkable picture of an Orang Utan using a spear to hunt for fish.
  • Evidence that primate brains evolved twice is discussed in this article.
  • Anjana the chimpanzee bonding with two white tigers.
  • An article discussing evidence that Bonobos hunting other primates including Wolf’s Mona monkeys.
  • There is a three part series on gorillas in the Congo which also touches on the disturbing loss of gorillas due to hunting.
  • A database of non-human primate SNP’s.

Here is an unbelievable video of a chimpanzee Ayumu performing a memory task and the chimps have even beat college students on a memory task!

There is also a mention of a book ‘Baboon Metaphysics’ which provides an opportunity for a great quote from Darwin

‘He who understands baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke’

This is endlessly fascinating blog about our nearest evolutionary relatives which also provides a glimpse into ourselves.

Responses

If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk

Disclaimer

The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.