Monthly Archives: March 2012

A New Human-Like Species May Have Been Found in China and #9 Research Studies/Books That Tell Us About Health and Illness: News Round-Up March 2012 3rd Edition

There’s a very interesting study in PLOS One by Curnoe and colleagues who have anlaysed human remains in South China. The specimens date back 11,000 years and the skulls are characterised by the presence of brow ridges and a lateral extension of the zygomatic arches (cheekbones) compared to modern human control groups. The specimens are further characterised by Taurodontism, that is teeth in which the pulp chamber and body of the tooth contribute to a larger proportion of the tooth in relation to the root. Taurodontism is also seen in Neanderthal specimens (e.g these specimens dating back 230,000 years were found in Pontnewydd Cave in Wales) . Taurodontism also occurs in association with pathological conditions including Amelogenesis Imperfecta.

The researchers have thus provided convincing evidence that the specimens they have grouped together are significantly different from control groups of modern humans in a number of ways. There are still other approaches that can be used to investigate this further and so the researchers are cautious about concluding that the specimens represent a new species at this stage . Nevertheless if this does prove to be a new species it adds to other species that lived in Africa, Asia and Europe in the last 30,000 years including a specimen found in Tanzania, the controversial Homo Floresiensis species of  the Indonesian Island of Flores, the Neanderthals and the Siberian Denisovans.

Figure 3. Longlin 1 partial skull (each bar = 1 cm). Curnoe D et al, 2012, PLoS ONE 7(3): e31918, Creative Commons Attribution License

Figure 12. Isolated M3 – specimen MLDG 1747 (scale bar = 1 cm) exhibiting marked taurodontism, Curnoe D et al, 2012, PLoS ONE 7(3): e31918, Creative Commons Attribution License

The BMJ has a study in which the researchers report from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging. This is a large study and the researchers divided subjects into three groups according to their health literacy skills. This was measured using the ability to understand medical instructions as an example. The researchers found that the lower the health literacy, the higher was the risk of mortality in that group. The researchers noted that most of the subjects were classed as having high literacy and that the low literacy group were relatively under-represented in their study.

In a study looking at the build-up of Amyloid plaques and blood pressure, researchers used Positron Emission Tomography and Pittsburgh-B compound (which binds to Amyloid plaques) to investigate people in late middle-age. The researchers found that systolic blood pressure was significantly and positively correlated with the cerebral/cerebellar ratio of PiB distribution volume ratio (a marker of Amyloid presence) in both the Frontal and Temporal regions amongst other findings. These results may help to better characterise the relationship between blood-pressure and Alzheimer’s Disease as raised blood pressure is a risk factor for dementia.

The researchers in an Italian structural MRI study have found evidence of changes up to 10 years before the development of Alzheimer’s Disease. These changes discriminated between those who did and didn’t later develop Alzheimer’s Disease. The latter group were characterised by a significantly smaller right Medial Temporal Lobe volume at baseline

In a study at the Institute of Psychiatry, researchers investigated gene associations with mood, psychosis, agitation and behavioural dyscontrol in people with dementia. Amongst other findings, researchers found a significant association between the Dopamine Transporter gene DAT-3 and agitation.

In a small post-mortem study, there was found to be a depletion of Cholinergic neurons in the brainstem in people with Lewy Body Dementia compared to a control group and people who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is thought to play an important role in memory.

In a Japanese post-mortem study, the researchers investigated the neuropathological correlates of 18 FDG Fluorodeoxyglucose areas of hypometabolism and concluded that areas of occipital hypometabolism were associated with Lewy pathology in Lewy Body Dementia and Temporo-Parietal hypometabolism is associated with Alzheimer’s Disease pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease. While these results are not unsurprising, confirmation of this relationship is useful.

The Neuroskeptic has a write-up of a recent paper in which the researchers report that eye-blinking can interfere with the scan results in functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging studies although there is scope for modifying protocols to incorporate these findings. Bradley Voytek notes in the comments section that the influence of eye blinking has also been found in EEG studies.

There is a write-up on a series of articles in the Schizophrenia Bulletin on how smartphones can be used in the clinical setting for uses ranging from completion of questionnaires through to prompting for self-monintoring.

Discover Magazine has a piece by evolutionary neurobiologist Dr Mark Changizi on the evolutionary significance of music and language which he writes about in his new book ‘Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man’. Changizi suggests that music and language resemble naturally occurring phenomenon. Professor Robin Dunbar has also written a book on the evolution of language and music and I have made a brief video illustrating Professor Dunbar’s concepts below.

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. 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.

#3 Ways UNESCO Made It Easier to Understand Human History

The history of our race is immensely complex. A comprehensive historical account of humanity would include descriptions of many now extinct languages, cultures and civilisations. To understand our identity, it is natural for us to ask about our past and to understand how we fit into this bigger picture. From the perspective of a psychiatrist, the course of human history is not immediately relevant to psychiatric practice. However history, as part of the humanities is immensely important in understanding people and particularly the origins of cultural practices. Significant historical events can have profound effects on societies many hundreds or even thousands of years afterwards, dictating the normative values within a society. These values in turn influence the boundaries of ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ attitudes and behaviours. Much has been written about the treatment of people with mental illness in different periods of history illustrating how such illnesses are perceived through the lens of historical cultural values.

One simple question we can ask is ‘How can we make sense of such a complex history?’. While there is no simple answer the efforts of UNESCO present us with one solution. UNESCO is short for the ‘United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’. The aims of UNESCO are clearly outlined on their website which includes the following statement

UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values

UNESCO has undertaken the ambitious task of detailing and communicating the history of humanity in a way which is inclusive to a multiplicity of perspectives. Here are #3 ways that UNESCO have achieved this.

#1 UNESCO’s website ‘The History of Humanity. The website acts as a central point for the History of Humanity projects.

#2 UNESCO’S collective work ‘The History of Humanity’. ‘The History of Humanity’ is a work created by a collective group of experts ‘The International Commission of the History of the Scientific and Cultural Development of Humankind’ ‘consisting of thirty scholars of international repute‘ with a further reference to ‘450 distinguished scholars from all around the world‘. The paper version of the book is available from here as is a sample online chapter. The work organises history around ‘structures’ and the interactions of centres of civilisations according to the following time periods.

Volume I: Prehistory and the Beginnings of Civilization
Volume II: From the Third Millenium to the Seventh Century BC
Volume III: From the Seventh Century BC to the Seventh Century AD
Volume IV: From the Seventh to the Sixteenth Century
Volume V: From the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century
Volume VI: The Nineteenth Century
Volume VII: The Twentieth Century

#3 UNESCO’s YouTube Channel videos. UNESCO have uploaded a number of videos to YouTube many of which are distributed under a Creative Commons License. This means that with appropriate attribution and adherence to the conditions of the license, the videos can be redistributed and even edited. Here is a selection of the videos from the Channel.

UNESCO-2 – The Cro-Magnon Man

UNESCO -4- The Egypt of the Pyramids

UNESCO -3- The First China’s Emperor

UNESCO – 14 – Galileo Galilei

The French Revolution

UNESCO – 22 – Abraham Lincoln

Mahatma Gandhi – Pilgrim of Peace

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. 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.

#5 Great Positive Psychology Resources

Positive Psychology is the branch of psychology dealing with the factors that help us to lead the ‘good life’. If you start with the principle that living a fulfilling life can be studied and the resulting principles used to facilitate the ‘good life’ then you’ll be interested in this branch of science. Positive Psychology is an integral part of the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ movement. There are some great resources on the internet for Positive Psychology and 5 of these are given below

#1 The Centre for Confidence website ‘Positive Psychology Resources’ section. This is a great introduction to the subject, taking the reader through subjects like resilience, well-being and the story of Positive Psychology

#2 The ‘Action for Happiness’ website. ‘Action for Happiness’ is a UK based movement using the principles of Positive Psychology. At the time of writing 20,252 people have made a pledge to this movement (including me!).  Checkout the ‘Great Dream‘ mnemonic for 10 principles of living a happier life backed up by research. They have a YouTube channel as well as a Twitter account with frequent updates.

#3 Martin Seligman talks about Positive Psychology in a TED talk. Professor Martin Seligman is an iconic figure in the field of psychology and founder of Positive Psychology.

#4 The University of Pennsylvania ‘Positive Psychology Center‘. This is a great resource for Positive Psychology linking to papers, videos, press releases and books on Positive Psychology.

#5 Psychology Today articles on ‘Positive Psychology. Psychology Today have a great series of articles introducing the reader to Positive Psychology

Do you know any other great resources on Positive Psychology that you would recommend?

Appendix – Posts on Positive Psychology on this Blog

Purpose in Life. An Overview of the Literature – Part 1

Purpose in Life. An Overview of the Literature – Part 2. Scales

Purpose in Life. An Overview of the Literature – Part 3. Depression

Purpose in Life. An Overview of the Literature – Part 4. Purpose in Life Across the Lifespan: Adolescence and Early Adulthood

Purpose in Life. An Overview of the Literature – Part 5. Purpose in Life Across the Lifespan: Adulthood

Purpose in Life. An Overview of the Literature – Part 6. Purpose in Life Across the Lifespan: Older Adulthood

Purpose in Life. An Overview of the Literature Part 7. Purpose in Life Across the Lifespan

Purpose in Life and Conditions of the Heart

Purpose in Life and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Having a Purpose in Life and the Risk of Cognitive Decline

Having a Purpose in Life Reduces the Risk of Death

Purpose in Life and Caregiving

What is Purpose in Life?

Positive Psychology Blogged

Building Resilience

The Moral Sense

Successful Cognitive and Emotional Aging

Review: Mental Illness and Well-Being

Book Review: The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction (Unabridged)

Review: Literature and Happiness

Review: A Balanced Psychology and A Full Life

Book Review: Positive Psychology in a Nutshell

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. 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.

#5 Studies That Tell Us About the Brain’s Awareness Centre: The Posterior Cingulate Cortex (AKA Brodmann Area 23)

Brodmann Area 23, Derived from Gray’s Anatomy 20th Edition 1918 Lithograph Reproduction, Public Domain

The brain is a complex structure and but can be organised according to several principles. One approach is to characterise the brain regions according to the microscopic properties of these regions.  More specifically the neurons are organised differently between regions. Some regions may contain unique types of neurons. This approach to understanding the organisation of the brain was proposed by the German Neuropathologist Korbinian Brodmann and resulted in the eponymously named Brodmann Area. There are 52 areas in all and I have covered other Brodmann Areas elsewhere in this Blog. Brodmann Area 23 is also known as the Posterior Cingulate Cortex and is also referred to as the brain’s awareness centre. This is however a simplified way of viewing this part of the brain which has many other functions. Here are 5 studies which tell us more about this part of the brain.

#1 Increased blood flow in depression. This Positron Emission Tomography study looked at 20 people with depression and compared them with 20 healthy controls. The people with depression hadn’t received any antidepressants (antidepressants might have affected the results). The researchers looked at blood flow in the brain and found an increase in Posterior Cingulate Cortex in both the right and left sides of the brain. This was a small study but makes a clear statement for others to test.

Hagmann et al,  (2008), Extract from Figure 1 from Mapping the Structural Core of Human Cerebral Cortex, PLoS Biol 6(7): e159, Creative Commons 2.5 License

#2 The Posterior Cingulate shrinks with age but at a different rate to other parts of the Cingulate Cortex. This study investigated changes in the volume of the Cingulate Cortex through the lifespan. The researchers included 70 people in their study from 20 to 87. There were lots of interesting findings. Unsurprisingly they found that as people got older the Posterior Cingulate shrinks in volume. However they found it shrank at a different rate to other parts of the Cingulate Cortex.

#3 Severe Sleep Apnoea reduces the Alpha Wave activity seen in the Posterior Cingulate Cortex. Alpha waves occur in the 8-12 Hz bandwidth and are classically associated with the eye closure and seen typically in the Occipital Cortex. In this study, researchers localised electrical activity in the brain using a technique known as LORETA (Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography Imaging) to investigate Alpha Wave activity in Sleep Apnoea, a condition in which obstruction of the respiratory pathways during sleep causes episodes of oxygen depletion to the brain. The researchers found that people with severe Sleep Apnoea had less Alpha- Wave activity in the Posterior Cingulate Cortex compared to people with mild Sleep Apnoea.

#4 Blood flow to the Posterior Cingulate Cortex decreases during spontaneous musical sensations. Without hearing anything, people can sometimes imagine music in their minds – spontaneous musical sensations. The researchers in this study looked at blood flow in the brain using Single Positron Emission Computed Tomography. They found that while blood flow in some areas of the brain was increased when people had these spontaneous musical experiences, in the Posterior Cingulate Cortex the blood flow actually decreased.

#5 Brodmann Area 23 of the Posterior Cingulate Cortex can be subdivided into two areas with different cellular characteristics. In this study, the researchers undertook histological analysis and found that Brodmann Area 23 could be divided into two area with different thickness in layer IV and different sizes of neurons in layer Va.

For a great post on the Posterior Cingulate Cortex checkout the Neurocritic.

Can you think of any other great studies on the Posterior Cingulate Cortex?

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. 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.

Antidepressant Study Challenges Previous Findings: News Round-Up – March 2012 2nd Edition

There is a meta-analysis in the Archives of General Psychiatry where the authors analyse randomised controlled trials of Venlafaxine and Fluoxetine. This study occurs in the context of a previous study by Kirsch and colleagues who concluded that antidepressants were no more effective than placebo in the treatment of mild depression. However the authors of this paper conclude that the data shows that both antidepressants show an advantage over placebo in cases of mild depression. They responded to many of the criticisms that Kirsh and his team raised as they included unpublished data and it will be interesting to see if there is a response from well known commentators like Dan Carlat and Irving Kirsch himself. In a well publicised study in the New England Journal of Medicine two drugs used to treat Alzhimer’s Disease – Donepezil and Memantine were examined in 295 older adults in the community. All of the people in the study were on Donepezil initially and they were divided into four groups – one group continued Donepezil, one group, discontinued Donepezil, one group discontinued Donepezil and started Memantine and another group continued Donepezil with the addition of Memantine. A Memantine placebo was also included for comparison with Memantine. The researchers used the standardised Mini-Mental State Examination as a measure of treatment outcome, the study continued for 52 weeks and a difference of 1.4 points on the MMSE was used as a clinically significant marker. The main finding was that people treated with Donepezil showed an improvement that exceeded the 1.4 points that the researchers identified as being clinically significant. The researchers concluded that the study supported the use of Donepezil for moderate to severe Alzheimer’s Disease.

An Italian study of the oldest old looking at gene associations found that only the APOE4 allele was associated with dementia in the genes they analysed. The APOE4 gene has been strongly associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and this study suggests that this relationship still holds at an advanced age. Using Magnetoencephalography, researchers investigated subjective memory impairment. They found that people with subjective memory impairment showed a small but significant reduction in a marker of functional connectivity (‘synchronisation likelihood’) between brain regions compared to a control group. These are interesting results although it will be useful to see the results of other studies including prospective cohort studies. In another study, the researchers characterise the pattern of functional connectivity in Alzheimer’s Disease. They found that initially there was a decrease in functional connectivity in the posterior default mode network with an apparently compensatory increase in functional connectivity in the anterior and ventral mode networks followed by a decrease in functional connectivity in all networks. Methylene Blue is a substance which is used to stain cells for histological examination and it is currently being investigated for Alzheimer’s Disease as well as a number of other conditions. The researchers in this in vivo and in vitro study found evidence that Methylene Blue was a potent inducer of autophagy, a mechanism by which cells essentially self-destruct. This is useful when cells are compromised or during development.

Treating disorders of the mind and brain with medication means getting that medication to the brain. The brain has a very effective protective mechanism known as the Blood-Brain Barrier. This barrier prevents many substances from passing through some of which may be toxic to the brain and this is really important particularly when people have other illnesses. Many drugs can pass through the Blood Brain Barrier but there are many therapeutic approaches including gene therapy where this is not the case. In these cases researchers will use lumbar punctures to deliver the therapeutic agents. However compared to taking tablets, lumbar punctures need more resources (see here for further details). An alternative method for getting drugs into the Central Nervous System is the use of focused ultrasound but it should be noted that this is currently being researched before it can be used in routine clinical practice and only if it has proved safe. The use of focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier to facilitate the delivery of drugs to the brain is discussed in this paper.

The Gorilla genome has been fully sequenced and it turns out that in some parts of the genome, the Gorilla is more closely related to us than are Chimpanzees! Are we more similar to Gorillas than Chimpanzees in some ways?

Appendix – Complete Annual News Items from Previous Years

Caution: The combined word count is 86,000 words so it may take some time to read!

News Roundup 2008

News Roundup 2009

News Roundup 2010

News Roundup 2011

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. 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.

Doing Science 4.0: Building A Computer Cluster For Research Into Alzheimer’s Disease

David Austin’s grandmother developed Alzheimer’s Disease and later passed away. He has now set out to help people with Alzheimer’s Disease by building a large computer to run software which will help research into Alzheimer’s Disease. He is raising money at this website and when the computer is built will run a software program from the Rosetta@home project which run 3-dimensional protein folding simulations to better understand the proteins involved in different illnesses. Although the project is looking at a number of illness related proteins, part of this project is looking at proteins which form Amyloids. Amyloids are misfolded proteins and according to the Amyloid hypothesis, Amyloid formation is part of the chain of events leading to Alzheimer’s Disease. This is a great example of Science 4.0 in action.

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. 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.

An Interpretation of Scientific Revolutions – Part 1

The following is an attempt to interpret Thomas Kuhn’s ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ using the framework of a discipline which is eclectic, pragmatic and empirical in approach. The starting point of this interpretation is a review of ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ which the interested reader will find via the link in the Appendix. This first part is a response to the introduction. Kuhn writes in the introduction that the social sciences produce a response different to that of Chemistry, Astronomy, Biology and Mathematics. Interestingly one fundamental difference between the social sciences and the latter group is that they become possible only when there are sufficient numbers of people to form a society and that they have a well-developed language for communication. In evolutionary terms, the understanding of the former group of sciences has an immediate adaptive value that can be used by small groups. More explicitly a knowledge of chemistry can occur preverbally and enables the so-called hunter-gatherer to identify and extract minerals and by combustion to transform them into useful materials. A knowledge of Astronomy is gained preverbally by simply gazing at the sky and over time coming to an understanding of the movements of the stars, as well as the course of the moon and the direction of the rising and setting of the sun. So intuitive is this that a knowledge of the sky is used by migrating birds in relating stars to the North star as a simple example of a species adapting to the predictability that nature has provided. A knowledge of plant biology is obviously essential to herbivores and omnivores as another example of this instinctual primacy. In this regards there is something very different about the social sciences in evolutionary terms. Although they include other species, many notable examples of studies in the social sciences relate to humans. Indeed whole domains of the social sciences are devoted to the characteristics of people and their interactions with each other on both small and large scales. Given the recency of human origins, in evolutionary terms these sciences relate to recent developments in the evolutionary timeline. Indeed over the course of this period there have been further changes which may have influenced the nature of these small and large scale interactions.

Another difference between the subject matter of these sciences is that the social sciences are a product of the complexity of the mind and the human mind in particular. In terms of adaptation to the environment the human mind  has demonstrated sophisticated properties. While the human mind may have evolved to make predictions about the immediate world making the above sciences informally indispensable the social sciences raise the question of how the mind can study itself which taken to extreme lengths can be implied to be a logical paradox depending on the instrument of measurement. Another aspect of the human mind is the ability to adapt and this property superficially at least distinguishes it from the stellar bodies continuing on their well-defined courses. The person gazing at the setting sun can choose to walk away or towards it or engage in many different behaviours thereby distinguishing the course of the sun from their more sophisticated behavioural repertoire. Nevertheless the same arguments about prediction can be applied to the mind in theoretical terms at least. In this regards the social sciences also present an existential challenge in that this same expansive behavioural repertoire is incorporated into aspects of shared identity and a careful study and elucidation of these same behavioural repertoires can be interpreted as a minimisation of these important aspects of shared identity. Taking this further such a study can be interpreted in terms of underlying agendas when the same adaptive properties of the mind may respond with the most well-developed of those same adaptive properties. Thus the social sciences possess many unique properties and face many unique challenges. Kuhn brings in the concept of paradigm changes in science while exploring these phenomenon. His work in some senses incorporates and regards the social sciences in coming to a better understanding of science.

Appendix

A Review of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. 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.