Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

How the Mind Comes into Being

How the mind comes into being

When we interact with our world – regardless if by means of a simple grasp, a smile, or the utterance of a sentence – we are typically quite confident that it was us, who intended to and thus executed the interaction. But what is this “us”? Is it something physical or something mental? Is it merely a deterministic program or is there more to it? And how does it develop, that is, how does the mind come into being?

Read More
9780199838639

On not taking Trump literally

Donald Trump has always had a rocky relationship with the truth. The fact that his pronouncements often fail to align with reality has now simply become an accepted fact. In earlier times candidates who spoke this way would have quickly fallen off the map. Why not Trump? One interesting take on this is the claim that his statements should not be taken literally. What exactly does it mean to not take something literally?

Read More
Handbook of Methodological Approaches to Community-Based Research

Comprehensive affordable solutions to a major health problem

Alcohol and drug abuse costs Americans approximately $428 billion annually. Despite this enormous cost—which, we must remember, is just the economic face of a community, family, and individually life-shattering problem—the vast majority of those with an alcohol or substance use problem do not receive treatment, and even fewer are likely to achieve long-term sobriety.

Read More
The Psychology of Meditation

New Year’s resolution: compassion in the face of fear

Over the course of the last year, we have witnessed expressions of anger, fear, pitilessness and even hatred both predictably and unexpectedly. The British vote to leave the EU and US voters’ preference for a Trump presidency were prompted in part by feelings of anger towards leaders or ‘the system’ and fear about immigration and identity. The world has watched the war in Syria as thousands die and millions are misplaced with both horror and helplessness.

Read More
Handbook of Methodological Approaches to Community-Based Research

Dilemmas of a broken substance abuse system

With rising health care expenses, we are all trying to solve the paradoxical dilemma of finding ways to develop better, more comprehensive health care systems at an affordable cost. To be successful, we need to tackle one of the most expensive health problems we face, alcohol and drug abuse, which costs us approximately $428 billion annually. Comparatively, the expenses of health care services, medications, and lost productivity for heart disease costs $316 billion per year.

Read More
9780198726081

Where next for dementia research?

Modern medicine has done well in helping Western citizens live longer. So have other changes like improved diets, better public hygiene, and less smoking. Dementia, which is primarily though not entirely age-related, has come to prominence in part as other lethal diseases have diminished. It recently surpassed heart disease as the number one killer in England and Wales (overall and in women, according to the UK Office for National Statistics).

Read More
scan

Feeling me, feeling you: link between sensory and social difficulties in individuals with autism?

Individuals with ASD experience tremendous social difficulties. They often fail to take turns in conversations and have a hard time maintaining and understanding age-appropriate relationships such as being in love, or having a friend. On top of that, many individuals with ASD are over- and/or under-sensitive to sensory information. Some feel overwhelmed by busy environments such as supermarkets; others dislike being touched, or are less sensitive to pain.

Read More
9780199371419

“I am rushing”…a mantra of love and memory

Rushing seems to be about speed. But is it? There is the juxtaposition of what we see on the outside and what is going on in the inside, the movement over time of our understanding of another person’s experience, the various ways in which we grow into our own existential understanding, the ways in which we learn how we age into illness or into health, the ways in which we come to see how we move.

Read More
JMT cover

Conversation starters in music therapy research

Conversation starters are questions and prompts intended to get people talking. Although often thought of in the context of a dinner party or professional meeting as a way to initiate dialogue with a stranger, conversation starters can also be thought of as ideas that stimulate discussions or impact you in a way that helps you grow both personally and professionally.

Read More
Social Work

The simple definitive guide to meditation and mindfulness

Life in the modern era is total chaos. From the constant outbursts of sound, to the ubiquitous bombardment of advertisements, to the racing taxi cabs, cars, and buses, to the sheer swarms of people, even a simple stroll in the city can be massively taxing on your sensory system.

Read More
Oxford Textbook of Creative Arts, Health, and Wellbeing

Can dancing help with mental illness?

In 2015 the Alchemy Project delivered a pioneering ‘treatment’ for mental illness. It was modelled on contemporary dance training and was a different way of engaging with people and supporting their recovery. It was based on the work of Dance United and its proven, award-winning methodology. The premise was ambitious: that in just four weeks, participants would go from a place of no experience to a high-end artistic professional dance performance.

Read More
9780199399338

Winnicott: the ‘good-enough mother’ radio broadcasts

Our appetite for books on baby care seems unquenchable. The combination of the natural curiosity and uncertainty of the expectant mother, the unknowable mind of the infant, and the expectations of society creates a void filled with all kinds of manuals and confessionals offering advice, theory, reassurance, anecdotes, schedules… and inevitably, inconsistency, disagreement, and further anxiety.

Read More
Computational Theories and their Implementation in the Brain

How does the brain work?

The media is full of stories about how this or that area of the brain has been shown to be active when people are scanned while doing some task. The images are alluring and it is tempting to use them to support this or that just-so story. However, they are limited in that the majority of the studies simply tell us where in the brain things are happening. But the aim of neuroscience is to discover how the brain works.

Read More
scan

Brain network of psychopathic criminals functions differently

Many criminal offenders display psychopathic traits, such as antisocial and impulsive behaviour. And yet some individuals with psychopathic traits do not commit offences for which they are convicted. As with any other form of behaviour, psychopathic behaviour has a neurobiological basis. To find out whether the way a psychopath’s brain is functionally, visibly different from that of non-criminal controls with and without psychopathic traits, we talked to Dirk Geurts and Robbert-Jan Verkes

Read More
9780199686438

The evolution of human memory

Like all biological traits, human memory reflects a long evolutionary history, most of it shared with other animals. Yet, with rare exceptions, evolution has either been overlooked in discussions of memory or treated in an outdated way. As a result, a simple idea about the cerebral cortex has reigned for more than a century: that its various areas specialize in functions characterized as memory, perception, the control of movement, or executive control (mainly decision-making).

Read More