Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Neuroscience of Consciousness cover

Can you learn while you sleep?

We will all spend about one third of our lifetime asleep, deprived of this precious ability to act and to react. During these long idle hours, little is perceived from the external world and little is remembered. For some, sleep is a refuge. For others, it is just a saddening waste. Yet, all animals, from fruit flies to humans, need to sleep and scientists have proven, time and time again, the variety of benefits that sleep has on the body and most importantly, on the mind.

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Oxford Textbook of Old Age Psychiatry

Social democracy: a prescription for dementia?

In present-day Western Europe and North America, the dementia research field is in as much political turmoil as mainstream politics. And the struggling forces at play in both domains are often the same: individual activity or collective solidarity, technological solutions or community development/public health, for-profits versus nonprofits, unbridled capitalism or regulatory constraint.

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Winnicott’s banquet of 1966

Winnicott’s admiration for Freud developed apace. When Freud emigrated to London in 1938 to escape the Nazi menace, Winnicott paid an unexpected visit to Freud’s home in order to inquire about the well-being of the Viennese refugees and to offer help and support – a gesture deeply appreciated by the family. Throughout his working life, Winnicott remained a devoted Freudian.

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Collective Emotions

Emotional dynamics of right-wing political populism

Donald Trump’s election to the 45th President of the United States is the biggest victory of contemporary right-wing political populism to date. The Brexit referendum had already shattered Europe and the UK “remain”-voters alike, but Trump’s win is of worldwide significance. The outcomes of both elections took the media, pollsters, and political analysts in the relevant countries and elsewhere by surprise.

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MEDLAW_2015

The Mental Capacity Act 2005: an opportune time to reflect

More than a decade has passed since the Mental Capacity Act (‘MCA’) received royal assent. Described as a ‘visionary piece of legislation’, the MCA was a significant landmark on the legal landscape. It represented a triumph of autonomy by recognising that, as far as possible, people should play an active role in decisions about their welfare.

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Curing brain aneurysms by reconstructing arteries

While it is believed that about one in 50 Americans harbor a brain aneurysm, most will never know it, and their aneurysm will never cause a problem. But rarely, the arterial wall of an aneurysm can become so thin that it bursts, spilling blood over the brain’s surface. This is the most feared outcome of a brain aneurysm and is what drives the urgency in treating many brain aneurysms, even if found accidentally.

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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Feeling me, feeling you: sensory and social difficulties in 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.

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“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.

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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.

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