Interim report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

The interim report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is now available for download Summary The Special Rapporteur elaborates on the legal, ethical, scientific and practical arguments against the use of torture, other ill-treatment and coercive methods during interviews of suspects, victims, witnesses and other persons in… Read More

Our paper, ‘Evidence for Spatially-Responsive Neurons in the Rostral Thalamus’ is now available for download

We have a new paper which explores the spatial functions of the rostral thalamus, a complex group of thalamic nuclei. Here, we concentrate on analysing the functions of three of these nuclei (the anteromedial nucleus, the parataenial nucleus and nucleus reuniens). We show that there are place cells, head direction cells, and border/perimeter cells present in these nuclei.… Read More

(Released from behind the paywall – my piece from the Chronicle of Higher Education) The Neuroscience of Interrogation: Why Torture Doesn’t Work

Here is the piece I wrote for the Chronicle of Higher Education on the American Psychological Association’s Independent Review on its collusion in the programme of enhanced interrogation. I focus here on the broader context. My book, Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation is available on Amazon. deals with these and related issues in depth. It will be released in November, 2015.… Read More

Long-term cognitive dysfunction in the rat following docetaxel treatment is ameliorated by the phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor, rolipram.

Long-term cognitive dysfunction in the rat following docetaxel treatment is ameliorated by the phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor, rolipram. Our latest paper [download] focuses on chemobrain – the mental fog or fuzziness that can accompany and follow chemotherapy. Behav Brain Res. 2015 May 1;290:84-89. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.04.044. [Epub ahead of print] Callaghan CK, O’Mara SM. Clinical studies report evidence of long-term… Read More

I have an ISBN! 9780674743908 (preorder details for: Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation)

My forthcoming book (Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation, Harvard University Press, November 2015) now has an ISBN (9780674743908) and the book is starting to appear on searches in prepublication (see this) format. It even has a page on Amazon’s Japanese site! It is also available to pre-order via Amazon UK and Amazon USA. Amazon (.com) Amazon (.co.uk) Harvard… Read More

Cover Art for my new book with HUP – Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation

I have a new book due to appear (Autumn/Fall 2015) with Harvard University Press. Update: now available for preorder via Amazon (.com) Amazon (.co.uk) Harvard University Press Here’s the cover art (which is copyrighted HUP, so usual warnings apply regarding reproduction): Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation Shane O’Mara Torture is banned because it is cruel and inhumane. But… Read More

Torturing the brain (because this is what torture results in: broken brains, minds and bodies)

[My book ‘Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation’ (Harvard UP) can be preordered from Amazon (.com) – more details at end of post] Given the release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence study on the use of torture by the CIA, I thought it would be useful to gather together previous pieces on this blog on torture, including reblogs… Read More

Investigating the effects of mild induced head cooling on cognitive processes using a measure of sustained attention.

Our latest paper: download. Investigating the effects of mild induced head cooling on cognitive processes using a measure of sustained attention. Eric Lacey, Redmond O’Connell, Paul Dockree & Shane O’Mara Enterprise Ireland Innovation Initiative: Head Cooling Project Eurolec Instrumentation in partnership with Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience Abstract Mild Induced hypothermia has come to be recognised… Read More

“The Hippocampus in Health and Disease” Symposium in UCC, Dec 15th

In recognition of the enormous contributions of Nobel Laureate John O’Keefe to neuroscience a symposium entitled “The Hippocampus in Health and Disease” will take place on Monday 15th December. Professor O’Keefe who has been jointly awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine will deliver a lecture entitled ‘The Hippocampus as a Cognitive Map:… Read More

Remind me again why aerobic exercise is good for my brain (and mood, and thinking)…

There are lots of reasons why regular aerobic exercise is good for the brain – the effects of exercise on brain volume, cognition and mood are profound and enduring. Here are a few key papers. In an early review paper, Colcombe and Kramer (2003) conducted a meta-analysis of 18 interventional studies, conducted over a 25-year period. Their… Read More