"If you could read my mind, love, what a tale my thoughts could tell" - Gordon Lightfoot Can neuroscience read people's minds? Some researchers, and some new businesses, are banking on a brain imaging technique known as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to reveal hidden thoughts, such as lies, truths or deep desires. New research by neuroscientists at UCLA and Rutgers University provides evidence that fMRI can be used in certain circumstances to determine what a person is thinking. At the same time, the research suggests that highly accurate "mind reading" using fMRI is still far from reality. The research is scheduled to be published in the October 2009 issue of the journal Psychological Science.
A small study published in this week's Veterinary Record reports that veterinarians do not receive adequate training in order to deal with the growing "customer care" expectations of dog-owners. Basing their findings on surveys and semi-structured interviews, the Scandinavian researchers used a representative sample of 105 dog-owners and breeders. They evaluated their attitudes towards their pets and vets in Norway and Iceland. In the sample, 99 people were dog-owners. Most seemed to feel the relationship they had with their dog was on a same level as a relationship they might have with another family member. Approximately 73 percent (three out of four) said their pet was a "best friend" or "essential" part of their lives.
Dr Sam Cartwright-Hatton from the University of Manchester has won this year's May Davidson Award. The award is made each year by the British Psychological Society's Division of Clinical Psychology to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the development of clinical psychology within the first 10 years of their career. Dr Cartwright-Hatton is a senior lecturer in the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester and her research has concentrated on anxiety disorders in childhood. She has recently completed a four-year Medical Research Council clinician scientist fellowship during which she tested a new parenting-based intervention for young anxious children, a group who have been neglected by previous treatment approaches.
New research reveals Brits prefer to rearrange or cancel their summer holiday than go with a friend who has mental illness. The British would prefer to go on their summer holiday with a friend who has a criminal record than go with a friend who has a mental health problem, a new survey as part of the Time to Change campaign  has found. The results confirm that the taboo of mental health has the power to destroy existing friendships, when the support of friends is vital for people dealing with mental health problems. The survey found that almost 40 per cent  of British people said they'd rearrange a planned holiday with a friend if they found out they had a mental health problem.
Your favourite painting could reveal a lot about your personality, this is a conclusion of a study published today, 23rd July 2009 in the British Journal of Psychology, which found that people's preferences for painting genres is linked to key personality traits. In the largest study ever conducted into the psychology of art preferences, Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and a team from Goldsmiths, University of London, examined the artistic preferences of 91, 692 participants recruited through the BBC website, to investigate whether specific personality traits are linked to the liking of particular genres of painting. The participants, aged between 13 and 90, filled out online personality questionnaires and rated their liking for paintings from six artistic movements - abstract, cubism, northern renaissance, Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints, impressionism and secular Islamic art.
Psychopharmaceutical use has risen over recent years. This is fact, but what is not clear is the reason why. Researchers from four Madrid-based health centres have shown that family conflict is not a significant factor. However, the results published in the journal Atenci√ n Primaria are striking: in Spain, 24% of women take antidepressants and more than 30% take tranquillisers. "The use of psychopharmaceuticals is often related to family or work-related problems. We wanted to see if there was actually a positive link between the consumption of antidepressants and benzodiazepines and any kind of family dysfunction", Sonsoles P√ rez, lead author of the study published in the renowned journal Atenci√ n Primaria, and a doctor at the Las √ guilas Health Centre in Madrid, tells SINC.