What You Need to Know About a Leprechaun, Your Brain, and Learning I once heard a funny story about a leprechaun. It was told by Sanjay Sarma, a professor of mechanical engineering and the Vice President for Open Learning at … Continue reading The story of the little leprechaun
Two Distinct Brain Regions Have Independent Influence on Decision-Making Often when we make a decision, we calculate its “expected value,” by multiplying the value of something (how much we want or need it) with the probability that we might be … Continue reading Brain specializations
The weird power of the placebo effect, explained Over the last several years, doctors noticed a mystifying trend: Fewer and fewer new pain drugs were getting through double-blind placebo control trials, the gold standard for testing a drug’s effectiveness. In … Continue reading Placebo in your brain
Face value: Neuroscience shows how first impressions work Thirty milliseconds of exposure to someone’s face is all it takes to provide sufficient information for your brain to form an impression of them. So says Face Value, a new book based … Continue reading Which face do you trust?
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
Sex Sells? No, It Doesn’t Chiseled abs and bikinis can sell just about anything, right? According to the minds behind those Carl’s Jr. ads—and countless others—you’d think that’d be true. This idea that “sex sells” has hung around for more … Continue reading Is there too sex in marketing?
Why Your Brain Hates Other People As a kid, I saw the 1968 version of Planet of the Apes. As a future primatologist, I was mesmerized. Years later I discovered an anecdote about its filming: At lunchtime, the people playing … Continue reading Us Versus Them