Sunday, August 12, 2012

Best neuroscience blogs

A list of supposedly best neuroscience blogs can be found here. Please be aware that blog reading is  extremely addictive and may lead to increased procrastination and elongation of report writing times.


NIH Toolbox

Excuse my repeating this information, but I have lost it dismally for a while and only just found it again after a long search of my email. Therefore, it is going on this blog, where I can find it easier!.

NIH toolbox is a tool being developed by the National Institute of Health - a computer based test of various aspects of cognitive emotional, sensory and motor functions. It is extensively normed, and available free, at least to the research community. To be unveiled in September.

A short Lancet article on it can be found here.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Online Learning

With thanks to Les Posen for the information, here is a sampling of some interesting courses that can be found online.

The Open Culture website has a list of online psychology courses here:


Get free Psychology courses from the world’s leading universities. You can download these audio & video courses straight to your computer or mp3 player. For more online courses, visit our complete collection of Free Courses.
  • Brain Structure and its Origins - iTunes - Gerald Schneider, MIT
  • Buddhist Psychology iTunes - Eleanor Rosch, UC Berkeley
  • Clinical Psychology - iTunes - Ann Kring, UC Berkeley
  • Cognitive Neuroscience - iTunes - Richard Ivry, UC Berkeley
  • Communication and Conflict in Families and Couples YouTube - Benjamin Karney, UCLA
  • Developmental Psychology - iTunes - Alison Gopnik, UC Berkeley
  • General Psychology - iTunes Audio - John Kihlstrom, UC Berkeley
  • How to Think Like a Psychologist - iTunes Video - Multiple profs – Stanford
  • Human Emotion iTunes Audio - Dacher Keltner, UC Berkeley
  • Human Happiness - iTunes - Dacher Keltner, UC Berkeley
  • Introduction to Psychology - YouTube - iTunes Audio - iTunes Video - Download Course, Paul Bloom, Yale
  • Introduction to Psychology - iTunes - MP3s - Jeremy Wolfe, MIT
  • Introduction to Psychology - YouTube - John Gabrieli, MIT
  • Neural Networks and Biological Modeling - Web Video - Wolfram Gerstner, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
  • Neuroscience and Behavior - iTunes - Download Course - Gerald Schneider, MIT
  • Research and Data Analysis in Psychology - YouTube - iTunes Video - Frederic Theunissen, UC Berkeley
  • Scientific Approaches to Consciousness iTunes Audio - YouTube - Professor John F. Kihlstrom, UC Berkeley
  • Social Psychology: Self and Society iTunes Audio - Robb Willer, UC Berkeley
  • The New Psychology of Depression iTunes Audio - Web Audio - Mark Williams and Danny Penman, Oxford
  • The Psychology, Biology and Politics of Food - Download Course - Professor Kelly D. Brownell, Yale

Assessments over Skype or via videoconferencing

Liz Mullaly has recently sent an inquiry about people's experience of performing neuropsychological assessments using videoconferencing (I enclose her original email at the end of this post, with her permission, in case you have something to add to the topic).

At first, it seems to be unfeasible to perform an assessment via videoconferencing or Skype, with all the blocks and paperwork to manipulate. However, I have conducted quite a few assessment through a glass pane  and microphone/speaker arrangement in custody, where I can only move assessment materials across at the beginning and the end of a session - I thought that it parallels a video-conferenced assessment quite well and was thinking that if I can do this, I can surely do the same thing looking at a monitor.

I think that it could be done by Skype/videoconferencing quite successfully. The main thing would be having the camera show both the person and the desk at the same time, and having somebody present at least at the beginning and end of session to hand out and take away the materials. Although theoretically, this could be done by opening a sealed envelope during the session and re-sealing it in a secure way after the assessment is completed.

I believe that there is at least one Neuropsychologist may be doing assessments over Skype, and another who is thinking of doing initial interviews over Skype to screen people that are unsuitable for a formal assessment.

This is an exciting topic, I'd love to get a discussion going.


Original message:

"Elizabeth Mullaly" <> Aug 02 11:03PM +1000

Dear colleagues,
Has anybody had experience of conducting assessments via videoconferencing?
I have been asked to look into this as part of a project at Caulfiel  Hospital. My email is
Many thanks, Liz

Camera Mouse

With thanks to Faye Simpson, I'd like to introduce:
    Camera Mouse
This is a mouse controller for people who cannot move their hands well, but have control over head movement. It is free and uses a web-camera and head movements to move a computer mouse. It should work with any Windows program. For more information, visit
Faye suggests that it could also have uses in adapting tests such as blocks, Rey Figure or Wisconsin Card Sorting Test for people who do not have hand control. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

ABI resources and apps

Thank you to Faye Simpson who forwarded a very interesting pdf list of iPhone and iPad apps for people with an Acquired Brain Injury. As it was a bit hard to attach, I followed its trail and found a website that contains a variety of excellent resources.
Check out It is an excellent website for our clients and their family members, with lots of information about brain injuries, from locked-in syndrome to concussion. Use the search feature to discover a lot more resources than initially visible. Apart from iPhone and iPad apps, there are also apps for the Android system, and a whole lot of other goodies.

Another interesting blog

This is a blog by an American Neuropsychologist and Positive Psychologist. It is quite readable and while not really meant for Neuropsychologists, is still worth a visit. He has a particular interest in tricks of maximizing productivity and minimizing attentional problems in ADHD. These are quite useful for the rest of us, too. Also, I like his, slightly different, angle on neuropsychological disorders. Worth having a look.