Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Why read radiology history?

By Arpan K Banerjee
Does history matter? Professional historians will not hesitate to answer in the affirmative for a multitude of reasons. I am sure many professionals in technical and scientific fields, however, may have asked themselves the first question in a reflective moment without necessarily the same positive responses attributed to professional historians.

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What has psychology got to do with the Internet?

By Yair Amichai-Hamburger
I believe that the Internet has special characteristics which together create an exceptional environment for the user. To start with, many websites allow you to maintain your anonymity. You may do this by assuming a pseudonym, using your initials or just “leaving the space blank”. This characteristic frees people from many of the issues that constrict them in their day to day offline lives.

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Why does this baby cry when her mother sings?

This mesmerizing video has received over 21 million views, and is spreading rapidly through social media. The baby is 10 month-old Mary Lynne Leroux, who weeps as her mother Amanda sings My Heart Can’t Tell You No, a song most recently popularized by Sara Evans.

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Matching our cognitive brain span to our extended lifespan

By Dr. Sandra B. Chapman
Among adults over 50, “staying mentally sharp” out ranks social security and physical health as the top priority and concern in the United States. Many individuals will live to be 100 or older, requiring their brains to remain at peak performance for another whole lifetime. Unfortunately, science shows cognitive decline begins at age 42.

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The many strengths of battered women

By Sherry Hamby
One woman, to save money to prepare for leaving her abusive husband, sewed $20 bills into the hemlines of old clothes in the back of her closet. Another woman started volunteering at her school so she could keep close watch over her children and earned Volunteer of the Year at her school.

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Vernon Scannell: War poetry and PTSD

By James Andrew Taylor
the more I read about his life after the war – the monumental drinking binges, the black-outs, the terrifying, sweating nightmares, and most of all the raging, unreasonable jealousies and the sickening violence that he meted out to his wife and, later, his lovers – the more I began to wonder whether this was not also the story of a man seriously damaged by his wartime experiences.

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Gravity: developmental themes in the Alfonso Cuarón film

Spoiler Alert: This article includes plot details from the film. Watching Gravity as a professor who teaches child psychology, I could not help but see the developmental themes that resonate with this film. One of the luminous images that lingered with me long after the film ended is the scene in which Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is nestled in the safety of a spacecraft following a grueling battle for her life. 

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Children’s invented notions of rhythms

What is your earliest musical memory? How has it formed your creativite impulse? Jeanna Bamberger’s research focuses on cognitive aspects of music perception, learning, and development, so when it came to reviewing her work, she thought of her own earliest musical experiences. The following is an adapted extract from Discovering the musical mind: A view of creativity as learning by Jeanne Bamberger.

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Celebrating World Teachers’ Day

By Jamie Zibulsky
Today is World Teachers’ Day. What is World Teachers’ Day, you ask? It is “a day [first celebrated in 1994 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] devoted to appreciating, assessing, and improving the educators of the world.” This internationally recognized day commemorates teachers around the globe and their commitment to children and learning.

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How film music shapes narrative

Reflecting on his futuristic 2002 film Minority Report, Steven Spielberg said “one of the most exciting scenes” he had to shoot was this action scene – in which two characters (John and Agatha) traverse a busy shopping mall with armed police in pursuit, relying on Agatha’s ability to see into the future in order to hide and successfully evade capture.

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Parricide in perspective

By Kathleen M. Heide, PhD
It hardly seems like 24 years since Jose and Kitty Menendez were shot to death by their two sons, Lyle and Eric. It was a crime that shocked the nation because the family seemed “postcard perfect” to many observers. Jose was an immigrant from Cuba who worked hard and became a multi-millionaire. He married Kitty, a young attractive woman he met in college, who was also hardworking. They were the parents of two handsome sons.

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Sound symbolism and product names

By Barbara Malt
In many animal communications, there’s a transparent link between what is being communicated and how that message is communicated. Animal threat displays, for instance, often make the aggressor look larger and fiercer through raising of the hair and baring of the teeth. A dog communicates excitement through look and sound.

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Five things to know about my epilepsy

By Jane Williams
Diagnosed with epilepsy more than half my lifetime ago, I can’t remember what it’s like not to know about it. Despite it being the most common serious neurological condition in the UK, there is still a surprising amount of misconceptions surrounding it.

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The impact of a dementia treatment

By Bruce Miller Dementia is a collection of symptoms caused by a number of different disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. The term dementia describes a progressive decline in memory or other cognitive functions that interferes with the ability to perform your usual daily activities (driving, shopping, balancing a checkbook, working, […]

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What is “toxic” about anger?

By Ephrem Fernandez, Ph.D.
What is anger? In essence, anger is a subjective feeling tied to perceived wrongdoing and a tendency to counter or redress that wrongdoing in ways that may range from resistance to retaliation. Like sadness and fear, the feeling of anger can take the form of emotion, mood, or temperament.

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Psychiatry and the brain

By George Graham and Owen Flanagan
Even before the much-heralded DSM-5 was released, Thomas Insel the Director of NIMH criticized it for lacking “scientific validity.” In his blog post entitled “Transforming Diagnosis,” Insel admitted that the symptom-based approach of DSM is as good as we can get at present and that it yields “reliability” by disciplining the use of diagnostic terminology among professionals.

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