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

(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

The Connected Hippocampus, 1st Edition, Preface and Table of Contents: O’Mara & Tsanov (ISBN-13: 978-0444635495)

The Connected Hippocampus: Preface Available here (Elsevier) and here (Amazon). The hippocampus is an intriguing and anatomically remarkable structure: it is possessed of a remarkable curvilinear appearance in coronal section, and it is easy to spot in anatomical section with the naked eye in just about any mammalian species. A special and important function has been ascribed to it… 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

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

‘Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation’ can now be preordered from: Amazon (.com) Amazon (.co.uk) Harvard University Press Torture is banned because it is cruel and inhumane. But as Shane O’Mara writes in this account of the human brain under stress, torture should never be condoned because it does not work the way torturers assume it… 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

Cognition enhancement via drugs – “Smart and smarter drugs | Mosaic”

Embed from Getty Images Great piece on a topic we have dealt with here before – allegedly cognition-enhancing drugs. via Smart and smarter drugs | Mosaic. Author: Marek Kohn Editor: Giles Newton Copyeditor: Kirsty Strawbridge Fact checker: Lowri Daniels Illustrator: Mari Kanstad Johnsen Art director: Peta Bell “You know how they say that we can only access 20 per cent of our… Read More

Validation of the face-name pairs task in major depression: impaired recall but not recognition

Take-home Message: memory – and especially associative memory – is impaired in a wide variety of neuropsychiatric and neurological conditions. Face-name pair learning is a useful method to tap into deficits in associative memory; usefully, it is a task dramatically impaired by lesions of the extended hippocampal formation. Here, we show that patients with depression showed… Read More

Selective disconnection of the hippocampal formation projections to the mammillary bodies produces only mild deficits on spatial memory tasks: implications for fornix function.

Selective disconnection of the hippocampal formation projections to the mammillary bodies produces only mild deficits on spatial memory tasks: implications for fornix function. Take-home message: the mammillary bodies can  support spatial memory without their dense subicular complex inputs, revealing the importance of the other afferents for sustaining mammillary body function. This new evidence for independent functions… Read More