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Exploring the boundary between consciousness and slumber

Exploring the boundary between consciousness and slumber

What was once seen as the neurological equivalent of annoying television static may have profound implications for how scientists study ...
Hidden biological link: Could estrogen during pregnancy hold key to preventing autism?

Hidden biological link: Could estrogen during pregnancy hold key to preventing autism?

Over the past decade, genomic analyses of humans... have identified gene mutations strongly associated with [autism spectrum disorders, or] ASDs, ...
How years of ‘prolonged immaturity’ as babies provide humans with an evolutionary advantage

How years of ‘prolonged immaturity’ as babies provide humans with an evolutionary advantage

[H]uman babies, as well as the young of many other species of mammals and birds, require months or years of ...
Why cooperation based on reciprocity is unique to humans

Why cooperation based on reciprocity is unique to humans

It has long been known that human cooperation is so successful in large part because of our reciprocity. We help ...
Is art an evolutionary adaptation?

Is art an evolutionary adaptation?

In his book The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature, [evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey] Miller expands ...
Viewpoint: Wishful worries? Fears about the transhumanist, human-enhancement movement are overblown

Viewpoint: Wishful worries? Fears about the transhumanist, human-enhancement movement are overblown

[A] problem arises when pundits concerned about possible social and ethical downsides of a technology exaggerate its technical feasibility. This ...
Mystery of how COVID-19 ravages the brain deepens

Mystery of how COVID-19 ravages the brain deepens

That SARS-CoV-2, the culprit of the COVID-19 pandemic, is also associated with neurological symptoms isn’t entirely surprising, given some evidence ...
Birds of play? How social engagement plays a role in brain development in birds, and maybe humans

Birds of play? How social engagement plays a role in brain development in birds, and maybe humans

Have you ever seen magpies play-fighting with one another, or rolling around in high spirits? Or an apostlebird running at full speed with a ...
AI writing test accurately predicts Alzhiemer’s years before symptoms appear

AI writing test accurately predicts Alzhiemer’s years before symptoms appear

People with a wide variety of neurological illnesses have distinctive language patterns that, investigators suspect, may serve as early warning ...
CRISPR ‘mini-brains’ made from Neanderthal DNA offer insight into the evolution of human cognition

CRISPR ‘mini-brains’ made from Neanderthal DNA offer insight into the evolution of human cognition

Humans are more closely related to Neanderthals and Denisovans than to any living primate, and some 40% of the Neanderthal ...
Did magic mushrooms and other hallucinogens fuel human evolution?

Did magic mushrooms and other hallucinogens fuel human evolution?

Did psychedelics stimulate human consciousness?  First proposed by 20th century ethnobotanist Terence McKenna (1946-2000) in his 1992 book "Food of ...
Understanding the ‘post-truth’ world: Is cognitive bias hard-wired?

Understanding the ‘post-truth’ world: Is cognitive bias hard-wired?

One of the deepest roots of post-truth has been with us the longest, for it has been wired into our ...
Electrical brain stimulation appears to relieve OCD symptoms

Electrical brain stimulation appears to relieve OCD symptoms

Researchers found that brain stimulation, delivered over five days, reduced obsessive-compulsive tendencies for three months, though in people who did ...
‘The Pattern Seekers’: How has autism driven human evolution?

‘The Pattern Seekers’: How has autism driven human evolution?

Unfortunately, “The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention” by Cambridge University professor Simon Baron-Cohen never really lives up to ...
Psychedelics are revolutionizing psychiatry. Here's what we can expect

Psychedelics are revolutionizing psychiatry. Here’s what we can expect

Once dismissed as the dangerous dalliances of the counterculture, [psychedelic drugs] are gaining mainstream acceptance. Several states and cities in ...
Are Trump and Biden showing early signs of dementia? It's time to look beyond arm-chair psychiatry and politics to science

Are Trump and Biden showing early signs of dementia? It’s time to look beyond arm-chair psychiatry and politics to science

In 2020, while the United States was locked in one of the most polarizing presidential elections and post-election period in ...
Viewpoint: Happiness isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Viewpoint: Happiness isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Over the past 10 years, numerous studies have shown that our obsession with happiness and high personal confidence may be ...
Could Alzheimer’s actually be three different diseases?

Could Alzheimer’s actually be three different diseases?

Postmortem, RNA sequencing has revealed three major molecular subtypes of [Alzheimer’s] disease, each of which presents differently in the brain ...
Can dogs see optical illusions too?

Can dogs see optical illusions too?

Psychologists use visual illusions all the time to study the shortcuts the human brain uses to extract information about the ...
Empathy fatigue: The quickly rising global COVID death toll is too much for our brains to process

Empathy fatigue: The quickly rising global COVID death toll is too much for our brains to process

More tragedy doesn’t always elicit more empathy; it can counterintuitively bring about apathy. The magnitude of the death toll can ...
Video: Is lying an innate human trait?

Video: Is lying an innate human trait?

Everyone lies. Even you and even me. We lie about small things and we lie about big things. We lie ...
Acting rash or unwise? Don't blame your 'lizard brain', claims ‘Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain’ book

Acting rash or unwise? Don’t blame your ‘lizard brain’, claims ‘Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain’ book

Scientists have long posited that time and evolution stratified the human brain, with the oldest and crudest lizard layer lurking ...
Are women superior to men? Research suggests most of us are more likely to believe that sex differences favor females

Are women superior to men? Research suggests most of us are more likely to believe that sex differences favor females

In [a new] study, 492 participants — most of whom resided in the United States, the United Kingdom, or Canada ...
COVID-19 linked to early Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive decline

COVID-19 linked to early Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive decline

Decades of evidence from other respiratory viruses, along with observations of patients in recent months, suggests such infections may increase ...
How honest are you? When do you think it’s okay to deceive? It may be hard-wired

How honest are you? When do you think it’s okay to deceive? It may be hard-wired

Humans are a social species. There is pretty compelling evidence that without cooperation, people are much less likely to survive ...
Humans and chimpanzees share 99% of the same DNA. This is the 1% difference

Humans and chimpanzees share 99% of the same DNA. This is the 1% difference

With only 1% difference, the human and chimpanzee protein-coding genomes are remarkably similar. Understanding the biological features that make us ...
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