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January 2017

States Of Mind: History in Review

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Goshka Macuga, ‘Somnambulist’ (2006), courtesy the artist and Kate MacGarry. Source

I went to see ‘States of Mind’ at the Wellcome Collection in October, and I left feeling amazed, educated and inspired. The exhibition brought together works of artists, psychologists, philosophers and neuroscientists, exploring phenomena such as somnambulism (sleepwalking), synaesthesia (a sensation in one of the senses, such as hearing, triggering a sensation in another, such as taste) and memory disorders, interrogating our understanding of the conscious experience.

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Mental Health in Media

poohBy: Manying Lo (Bugle Team)

Edited by: Emma Keoy (Bugle Team)

Recently, the Bedford Bugle team visited the Welcome Collection to view the ‘Bedlam: the asylum and beyond’ exhibit. The exhibition aimed to capture and re-imagine what early institutions were like for the mentally ill through various artworks and testimonies by the doctors and patients themselves. Some of the abstract art appeared to represent how disorganised and nonsensical the thoughts of some of the patients could be. The representation of the relationship between a patient and their mental illness through art made me think about the representation of mental illness in other forms of media.

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The White Male Effect: Why They’re Fearless

prince

By: Emily Weigold (Bugle Team)

Edited by: Emma Keoy (Bugle Team)

Long told in traditional folk lore, in stories of lands far, far away and in every bestselling Disney movie, men are fearless. Women worry, tremble and fret but men are bold and men ultimately save the day. Although we may now dismiss this as a product of old, patriarchal attitudes, embracing the potential for both fearless heroes and heroines, psychological studies may allude to an element of truth in the intrepid male aesthetic.

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Do Animals Use Language?

talking

By: Helice Stratton (Bugle Team)

Edited by: Emma Keoy (Bugle Team)

It goes without saying that the media have a habit of exaggerating the findings of scientific papers. If a journal publishes evidence that starlings may be able to statistically analyse segments of speech—similar to how human infants begin segmenting words (Gentner, Fenn, Margoliash et al. 2006)—an article will likely surface claiming in bold, capital letters: “STARLINGS CAN LEARN TO SPEAK??”. It is understandable we’re so excited to find evidence that animals have some kind of language though—aside from lending credence to the Disney films we watched growing up. Logically, language must have evolved somehow, but we don’t yet know how. Did our mouths, throats and brains evolve to accommodate it? Or was it just adapted from pre-existing physical and cognitive systems? Finding buildings blocks for language in other species will give us a deeper understanding of how our own language instinct evolved.

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