Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Neuropsy

The Man Who Mistook His Cat for a Spy

By Tim Hannan

A new report describes a variant of Capgras syndrome in which a patient believed that his cat had been stolen by the FBI and replaced by an imposter that was spying on him.

Capgras syndrome is an uncommon but distressing condition in which the sufferer expresses the bizarre belief that a person known to them has been replaced by a near-perfect duplicate. Named after the French psychiatrist who provided the first description in 1923, Capgras is one of a range of delusional syndromes in which a person believes that a person, place or object has disappeared and been replaced by a duplicate, such as an alien, robot or meticulously constructed building.

Send in the Creepy Clowns

Credit: moccabunny/Adobe

Credit: moccabunny/Adobe

By Tim Hannan

Fear of clowns may result from an evolutionary adaptive “creepiness detector”.

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How Strong Is the Evidence for Brain Training Programs?

By Tim Hannan

The quality of research supporting brain training programs has been questioned.

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The Sleep Switch

By Tim Hannan

Researchers have located a brain circuit that regulates sleep and wakefulness.

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Childhood Trauma and the Developing Brain

By Tim Hannan

A new study has identified the neurological basis for why some adolescents who have experienced childhood trauma are resilient while others are prone to mood disorders.

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Jesus on Toast

By Tim Hannan

The human disposition to find meaning in random data is hard-wired in the brain.

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Deconstructing the Donald

Credit: Gage Skidmore

Trump’s popularity may result from his ability to appeal to the aggrieved entitlement of angry white men. Credit: Gage Skidmore

By Tim Hannan

Donald Trump’s appeal to voters may be explained by a preference for authoritarian anti-establishment leaders.

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The Soul of Wit

By Tim Hannan

Laughter may be the best medicine, but some jokers may be incurable.

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Faces in the Crowd

Credit: kritchanut

Credit: kritchanut

Can naturally gifted face-recognisers improve the detection of lawbreakers?

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A Mote to Trouble the Mind’s Eye

By Tim Hannan

The study of aphantasia offers a window into our ability to visualise.

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