Is it Normal to ‘Hear Voices’?

Hearing voices can be a normal experience, but what are auditory hallucinations and what does hearing them mean?

Still Alice? Still Alzheimer’s

Is there anything nice to say about Alzheimer's disease?

When Racism Motivates Violence

Looking at implicit biases about race to understand violence and violence prevention.

Mass Shootings, Psychiatric Medications, and Rick Perry

Psychiatric medications cause violent behavior? Where's the evidence?

Did Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Deserve the Death Penalty?

How did jurors decide Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's fate?

When Is Suicide Acceptable?

Although suicide is taboo in the U.S., euthanasia is gaining increasing acceptance. A look at other forms of culturally sanctioned suicide reveals the moral relativism of taking one's life and suggest clues for suicide prevention.

Psychosis Sucks!

Does the British Psychological Society's recently published monograph called "Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia" dangerously romanticize mental illness? Here's why psychiatrists say yes.

Mass Shootings in America: Crisis and Opportunity

Why do some people commit mass murder? Is it violent entertainment, guns, mental illness... or something else that lurks inside all of us and is reflected in American culture?

The Psychology of "Serial"

Serial, the most popular podcast of all time, retraces the evidence surrounding a murder case from 1999. As it does, it sheds light on the fallability of the legal system and the human brain.

I’m Hallucinating a White Christmas

What does the White Christmas Test tell us about a link between hallucinations, fantasy proneness, or for that matter, Santa Claus?

Rebranding Psychiatry: Euphemisms, Stigma, and Progress

A look at changes to the nomenclature of psychiatry over time.

The Neuroscience of Free Will and the Illusion of “You”

Neuroscientific discoveries from the past 20 years call into question our intuitive view of free will. Hard determinism, which rejects free will and dualism, could inform our understanding of the true nature of the self.

Do Antipsychotics Worsen Schizophrenia in the Long-Run?

Based on non-randomized studies, taking antipsychotics for schizophrenia is associated with poorer long-term outcomes compared to not taking them. But that doesn't mean that antipsychotics make schizophrenia worse. Patients with milder forms of the illness may be able to do without medications, while those with less responsive symptoms are more likely to need them.

Is Obesity a Psychiatric Disorder?

If obesity is a medical disease, should it also be considered a psychiatric disorder? As perhaps the ultimately mind-body disorder with similarities to other eating disorders and addiction, thinking of obesity as a psychiatric disorder makes sense and might have some practical benefits.

The Blind Leading the Blind: Medications, Gluten, & Violins

We make decisions and form beliefs based on intuitions and expectations all the time, but often those intuitions are unreliable. Two recent studies—one about violins and the other about gluten sensitivity—illustrate how "blinding" in research keeps us honest and objective, especially when certain results are expected.

Psych Unseen

Welcome to “Psych Unseen: Brain, Behavior, and Belief.” This blog draws from the perspectives of psychiatry, neuroscience, psychology, and evidence-based medicine to address timely topics related to mental health, mental illness, human behavior, and how we come to hold popular and not-so-popular beliefs.