“I FLIPPED THROUGH THE CT scan images, the diagnosis obvious: the lungs were matted with innumerable tumors, the spine deformed, a full lobe of the liver obliterated. Cancer, widely disseminated. I was a neurosurgical resident entering my final year of training. Over the last six years, I’d examined scores of such scans, on the off chance that some procedure might benefit the patient. But this scan was different: it was my own.” – Excerpt, “When Breath Becomes Air”
From The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night– Time to The Big Bang Theory and Parenthood, autism has been a recurring topic in literature and television. Many authors and film directors have portrayed people with this disorder, although the accuracy of these depictions has long been criticised.
Recently, I finally finished reading the book ‘The Kite Runner’, which has been recommended by several friends. The novel, written by the famous Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini, is set in war stricken Afghanistan between the late 1960s and 2000 and follows the lives of two boys, Amir and Hassan.
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.
By: Manying Lo (Bugle Team)
Edited by: Robert Vilkelis (Bugle Team)
The harmful effects of sleep deprivation (SD) have been well documented. In terms of cognition, SD can result in slowed response and a worse performance in cognitive tasks (Kerkhof, G & Van Dongen, 2010). However, the effects of sleep deprivation are actually less straightforward than originally believed, not all cognitive functions are affected to the same degree (Kerkhof, G & Van Dongen, 2010). For example, more complex tasks are less affected by SD, possible because they’re more engaging for participants who will put more effort into the task but despite this, decision making can still be affected (Harrison & Horne, 2000). Sleep-deprived individuals also report higher rates of physical complaints, anxiety, depression, and paranoia (Kathe-Greene, Killgore, Kamimori, Balkin, & Killgore, 2007).
By: Elizaveta Karmannaya (Bugle Team)
Moderated by: Emma Keoy (Bugle Team)
Having only been here for three weeks I already realised that UCL (or uni in general, most likely) is the sort of place where fascinating additional learning opportunities happen every day, but if you want to be part of them you have to research them yourself. By pure chance I found out that UCL does free 40-minute lunch hour lectures. And not only are those open to both postgrad super-minds/PhD-holding geniuses, but also the lost-and-flustered-looking freshers like myself. If you’re someone interested in such a hidden gem, but were unable to attend, or would simply like to hear my much-less-professional re-telling of the story, read on!
By: Jessica Pu (Bugle Team)
You’ve just received a mysterious package from an obscure organization, along with a letter announcing that you’ve been shortlisted as a candidate for the Liar Game Tournament. You have no idea about what it is, but out of curiosity you open the package and find 1 million dollars. Confused, you find another letter informing you of an opponent who will try to take the 1 million from you and leave you in huge debt. Your opponent happens to be your favourite teacher from back in secondary school. What is your plan?
By Leya George (Bugle Team)
A typical day for Jack: he wakes up with his Ma, who makes him breakfast, brushes his long hair, plays with him, watches TV with him, and answers all his questions. At night he sleeps in the cupboard; his Ma hides him there initially before Old Nick comes to visit. If he’s lucky, he’ll wake up next to Ma in the morning.
A typical day for Ma: she wakes up with her son Jack in the same bed she has been forced to sleep in for the past seven years. She goes through the rudimentary process of looking after Jack: feeding him, bathing him, putting aside the atrocities she has faced and continues to face. All so Jack can happily go about his daily life, exploring the world around him.
‘Room’ being the only world he has ever known.
By Jessica Pu (Bugle Team)
We can all agree that the one thing that is exclusively known to yourself is your mental activity. Now imagine that the government has created a system to measure it. People are matched to occupations and spouses based on intelligence and personality. Scanners are installed all over the country to detect any latent criminals and force them into mental wards. What used to be a person’s mind is now defined as a psycho-pass, measured using concrete numbers, ranging from the clear teal hue below 60 to the clouded black over 300. What do you do?
Keep calm and don’t cloud your hue.
By Bridget Yu (Bugle Team)
Black Swan (2010) is a truly eye-catching piece of cinematography featuring several highly interesting psychological phenomena. For those who have never watched it before, below is a brief synopsis.
By Leya George (Bugle Team)
A few months ago, the Wellcome Collection opened an exciting new exhibition entitled Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime. Now, my discovery of it may have coincided with the summer exam period. As you can imagine, the idea of exploring the science of murder was as attractive to me as a corpse to maggots. Cheery stuff, that.
By: Leonora Bowers (Bugle Team)
Last week, UCLU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society hosted an evening lecture on the science of laughter that proved to be extremely popular. Along with the members of the hosting society, the UCL Neuroscience Society too attended the event. Together they managed to fill up almost half of UCL’s larger lecture theatres. The speaker was Professor Sophie Scott, a senior fellow of the Wellcome Trust and a leading researcher in the neuroscience of voices and emotion at UCL. She had recently given a TED talk on the subject – “Why We Laugh”, that was also the subject of this event.
By: Jessica Pu (Bugle Team)
Recently, I have been binge watching psychological thrillers, and the most distinct among them was Memento. The non-linear narration, intricate plot and protagonist’s internal struggle make this movie remarkably fascinating and unique.
By: Aleya Arziz Marzuki (Bugle Team)
Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of one-off events like circuses and funfairs? What work goes into creating the magic you see? What do organisers and volunteers have to deal with before the show can begin? If this has intrigued you, read on! Continue reading “Before, During, and After: A backstage pass to “The Experiment” (Review)”
Murderers and pillars of society aren’t usually ascribed to the same group of people, but on Monday 17th of November, the UCLU Film and Psychology societies screened Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary The Act of Killing in which those who committed such atrocities are also lauded and celebrated. Continue reading “For massacres, I usually wore Jeans: Watching “The act of killing” (Review)”