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
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
Your Addiction to Social Media Is No Accident On February 9, 2009, Facebook introduced the like button. Initially, the button was an innocent thing. It had nothing to do with hijacking the social reward systems of a user’s brain. “The … Continue reading The rise of addictive technology
Of Mice and Mindfulness Mice do not, so far as we know, practice meditation. But in order to study how that activity affects human brains at the cellular level, researchers at the University of Oregon managed to put murine brains … Continue reading Do mice meditate?
Our world outsmarts us When mulling over possible reasons for the alarming nastiness associated with the recent presidential election in the United States, I am reminded of my grade-school bully. Handsome, often charming, superbly athletic, the bully (let’s call him … Continue reading The complexity of social problems
Here’s Every Moment That Influences Human Behavior Human beings are a mess of contradictions. A person might hate violence but love violent action movies. Someone else might consider certain people are inherently good yet refuse to believe in the idea … Continue reading Decisions in the brain