"Talks a good game about freedom when out of power, but once he’s in – bam! Everyone's enslaved in the human-flourishing mines."

Tag Archives: psychiatry

SSC Journal Club: Serotonin Receptors

Pop science likes to dub dopamine “the reward chemical” and serotonin “the happiness chemical”. God only knows what norepinephrine is, but I’m sure it’s cutesy. In real life, all of this is much more complicated. Dopamine might be “the surprisal … Continue reading

Toward A Predictive Theory Of Depression

[Epistemic status: Total wild speculation] I. The predictive processing model offers compelling accounts of autism and schizophrenia. But Surfing Uncertainty and related sources I’ve read are pretty quiet about depression. Is there a possible PP angle here? Chekroud (2015) has … Continue reading

My IRB Nightmare

[Epistemic status: Pieced together from memory years after the event. I may have mis-remembered some things or gotten them in the wrong order. Aside from that – and the obvious jokes – this is all true. I’m being deliberately vague … Continue reading

Why Is Clozapine So Great?

[Epistemic status: Very speculative; I don’t fully understand a lot of the studies involved] Clozapine is an antipsychotic drug sometimes used to treat schizophrenia. Like most antipsychotics, it works by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain. Conventional wisdom among psychiatrists … Continue reading

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Why Are Transgender People Immune To Optical Illusions?

[Epistemic status: So, so speculative. Don’t take any of this seriously until it’s replicated and endorsed by other people.] I. If you’ve ever wanted to see a glitch in the Matrix, watch this spinning mask: Source: http://hearingthevoice.org/2013/11/14/predictive-coding-masterclass/ Did you see … Continue reading

What Is Depression, Anyway?: The Synapse Hypothesis

I. The problem with depression research isn’t that we don’t have any leads on what causes depression. It’s that we have so many leads on what causes depression that we don’t know what to do with all of them. For … Continue reading

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Is Pharma Research Worse Than Chance?

[Epistemic status: very speculative] The two most exciting developments in psychopharmacology in the 21st century so far have been ketamine for depression and MDMA for PTSD. Unlike other antidepressants, which work intermittently over a space of weeks, ketamine can cause … Continue reading

Postmarketing Surveillance Is Good And Normal

I. Scientific American notes a recent study saying that a third of drugs approved by the FDA over the past ten years have since been recalled, been given new boxed warnings, or been given new “safety communications”. A few people … Continue reading

Anorexia And Metabolic Set Point

[Content warning: fat, anorexia, dieting] [Epistemic status: crazy speculation from someone who isn’t an expert in the field. Please don’t take too seriously.] Some anorexics I talk to describe their condition as falling into two phases. In Phase 1, they’re … Continue reading

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SSC Journal Club: Childhood Trauma And Cognition

This month’s American Journal of Psychiatry includes Danese et al, Origins Of Cognitive Deficits In Victimized Children. Previous studies had found that abused children had lower IQ. They concluded that the severe stress of being abused must decrease brain function. … Continue reading