Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

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How Your Mind Organizes Reality

In this article for Scientific American, I break down the basics of a new type of mind-mapping project: One that aims to map connections between the meanings we assign to objects in our world. A research team led by Alex Huth showed volunteers hours of video footage of thousands of everyday objects and scenes – […]

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What’s So Special About Mirror Neurons?

In this article for Scientific American, I dig into the theory that certain groups of neurons specifically work to interpret the goals of others’ movements. Could these neurons be involved in autism? Could they be crucial for empathy? Some famous researchers say yes… while others say it’s impossible. The discoverers of mirror neurons put forth what they […]

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The Top 5 Neuroscience Breakthroughs of 2013

If 2012 was the year neuroscience exploded into pop culture, 2013 was the year it stepped into the halls of power. The Obama administration’s $100-million BRAIN Initiative stirred up furious debate, as proponents cheered to see so much funding and press attention thrown at large-scale efforts to map the human brain, while opponents claimed that the […]

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Sexy Neuroscience IV

Every culture and subculture has its own rituals of greeting and affection – handshakes, backslaps, fist-bumps, hugs and so on – but when it comes to erotic contact, cultural differences seem to melt away into something more primal: Touch that just feels good for its own sake. In fact, a new study has confirmed that […]

Oliver Sacks

“Hallucination & Imagination” — Podcast 8: Oliver Sacks

On Episode 8 of the Connectome podcast, I talk with Oliver Sacks, renowned neuroscientist and author of such books as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Musicophilia and Hallucinations. In particular, Sacks joins us to talk about some patients of his who’ve been hallucinating strange varieties of musical notation. But musical hallucinations […]

David Eagleman

“Senses That Bleed” — Podcast 5: David Eagleman

On episode 5 of the Connectome podcast, I chat with David Eagleman, author of the international bestseller Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain. Eagleman’s lab mainly studies the ways our brains encode sensory perceptions – but as you’ll hear, he’s also fascinated by questions on the nature of consciousness, synesthesia, meaning and representation, and […]

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The Lurking Lizard

He has haunted us for more than fifty years – this strange scientist, with his theory of primal reptiles embedded in each of us. And for years I wondered, Could this bizarre hypothesis be true? Might it explain the ancient instincts – so contrary to my intentions – which I felt arising from the depths […]

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Lying Eyes

Despite what you may have heard, you can’t tell if a person’s lying by watching their eyes. If you’re surprised, you’re not alone – I thought that theory made a lot of sense until I read this new study. As it turns out, the eye idea just doesn’t line up with the evidence. As far […]

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“Habits: Making ‘Em & Breaking ‘Em” — Podcast 3

On episode 3 of the Connectome podcast, I dig into our habits: why they form, why they stick, and how to break ‘em. But he also shares some insights on making your habits work for you – to motivate you to stay fit and productive.   Click here to play or download: Enjoy, and feel […]

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Sleep, Stress and Snacks

A lack of sleep makes our brains go nuts for unhealthy food, says a new study. When sleep-deprived people are shown images of junk food, fMRI scans show that their brains’ reward centers light up with far more intense anticipation than those of people who’ve slept a full night. The Fourthmeal marketing team, I assume, […]

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