How maths helps us understand why music moves people Music is known to provoke the senses, give pleasure and sometimes move people to tears. Surely this has little to do with mathematical models which are so frequently associated with cold … Continue reading The ephemeral experience of music
Some limits on interpreting causality in neuroscience experiments Causality is the killer test for science. And nowhere is causality more elusive than in neuroscience. We want answers to seemingly simple questions. Does the activity of neuron “Alice” cause behaviour “Boris”? … Continue reading The supernatural in your brain
The Dark Side of That Personality Quiz You Just Took I am the Danube River. My spirit is sparkling and swift. I yearn for new experiences and deep connections with people. I’m adaptable, but to a fault; I rarely see … Continue reading Are personality tests dangerous?
Why autistic people may be less susceptible to marketing tricks We know from past research that autistic people process the world differently at a perceptual level, including showing reduced sensitivity to context. One consequence is that they’re better than average … Continue reading Autism implies more consistency
The Rise and Fall of Cognitive Control Reasoning, problem solving, symbolic language, planning—these faculties are fundamental to virtually all of our individual and societal accomplishments. At the heart of them all lies cognitive control. Psychologists and neuroscientists refer to cognitive … Continue reading The downsides of controlled processing
Forgot Where You Parked? Good School’s out for the summer — and so begins a long few months of parents’ and teachers’ worrying about all the things their children will forget before the fall. The fractions they won’t be able … Continue reading Forgetting as an educational virtue
This is Your Brain on Patriotism If you want to understand how patriotism works in the United States, a good place to start is a swim meet in southern California, near the University of California, Irvine campus. It’s hot, and … Continue reading The psychology of patriotism