Notable Links and Miscellanea - Aug 28, 2023
50 recommendations from around the web
My book review of “Life-Enhancing Anxiety” by Kirk J. Schneider for Psychiatric Times:
In Life-Enhancing Anxiety, Kirk J. Schneider, PhD—a prominent psychologist and a leading spokesperson for contemporary existential-humanistic psychology—seeks to overturn our collective understanding of anxiety. According to Schneider, even though the contemporary world is overwhelmed with negative affect, we do not need less anxiety; we need more anxiety of a certain variety in order to live our best lives.
Revisiting the “Poster Girls for Psychiatric Genetics” — I interviewed Audrey Clare Farley in a video recording about her new book, “Girls and Their Monsters: The Genain Quadruplets and the Making of Madness in America” for Psychiatric Times. (Here’s an introductory post about the discussion published by Psychiatric Times as a preview.)
Philosophy of Psychiatry Newsletter, August 2023. This newsletter is a collaborative effort between the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry (AAPP) and the International Network for Philosophy and Psychiatry (INPP). The purpose is to spread the word about professional activities and honors within the scholarly community.
This is how your brain distinguishes reality from imagination | Shayla Love, Psyche
“Dijkstra says their findings imply that people check what’s real and what’s imagined against a ‘reality threshold’, in a process called perceptual reality monitoring. If a signal is weaker than that threshold, a person is more likely to consider what they see to be imaginary. If it’s as strong or stronger – then it’s more likely that they will consider it to be real.”
A reminder about my two upcoming conference talks.
Consciousness in Artificial Intelligence: Insights from the Science of Consciousness — Arxiv — “We survey several prominent scientific theories of consciousness, including recurrent processing theory, global workspace theory, higher-order theories, predictive processing, and attention schema theory. From these theories we derive "indicator properties" of consciousness, elucidated in computational terms that allow us to assess AI systems for these properties.” (see coverage of the preprint in Science and Nature)
Regional, circuit and network heterogeneity of brain abnormalities in psychiatric disorders — Nature Neuroscience — “Normative models indicated that person-specific deviations from population expectations for regional GMV were highly heterogeneous, affecting the same area in <7% of people with the same diagnosis. However, these deviations were embedded within common functional circuits and networks in up to 56% of cases. The salience–ventral attention system was implicated transdiagnostically, with other systems selectively involved in depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.”
J Robert Oppenheimer and the social responsibility of science — Philip Ball reviews the film for the Lancet.
A review of approaches and models in psychopathology conceptualization research in Nature Reviews Psychology, a review by a stellar team of authors who have championed developments in transdiagnostic dimensional approaches, network approaches and clinical staging approaches.
A comprehensive overview of randomized controlled trials of psychodynamic psychotherapies — “The aim of this review is to summarize all available RCTs involving PDTs. A thorough search yielded 298 studies published between 1967 and 2022.”
Experimental validation of the free-energy principle with in vitro neural networks — with Karl Friston as senior author. “In short, we show that variational free energy minimisation can quantitatively predict the self-organisation of neuronal networks, in terms of their responses and plasticity. These results demonstrate the applicability of the free-energy principle to in vitro neural networks and establish its predictive validity in this setting.”
Putting scientific realism into perspective — Rafael Ambríz González & Lisa Bortolotti
Alex Mendelsohn (see his post for Psychiatry at the Margins, Psychiatry needs more simulations: the case of serum lithium concentrations) responds to some criticism about his Lancet Psychiatry paper with some clarifications on his personal blog.
The short tale of a long journey | Chapter 1 of Perspectival Realism by Michela Massimi
Rob Wipond — Busting the Deinstitutionalization Myth: We Actually Have More Beds Than Ever Before — Mad In America
PsyArXiv Preprints | Kevin Mitchell — The origins of meaning – from pragmatic control signals to semantic representations
“The concept of representations is widely used across the cognitive sciences, but its meaning is highly contested. Representations are often thought of as “vehicles” with “content”… I suggest that thinking of representations as vehicles with content presents a stumbling block to answering these questions. Instead, thinking of them simply as meaningful patterns offers a more naturalistic framework for understanding their roles in perception, behavioural control, and cognition. Meaning is not contained within a vehicle – it is relational, contextual, and interpretive.”