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MIND Guest Blog


Commentary invited by editors of Scientific American Mind
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    The editors of Scientific American MIND regularly encounter perspectives on science and technology that we believe our readers would find thought-provoking, fascinating, debatable and challenging. The MIND Guest blog is a forum for such opinions. The views expressed belong to the author and are not necessarily shared by Scientific American. Follow on Twitter @sciammind.
  • A Hubble Telescope for the Mind

    These fluorescently labeled neurons in the mouse somatosensory cortex are those that project to other regions of the brain.

    This blog is the second in a series of guest posts on technology and the brain to celebrate Scientific American Mind’s 10-year anniversary. The magazine’s special November/December issue similarly highlights the interface between code and thought in profiling a future, more digital YOU. All of our mental experience is born from the coordinated electrical activity [...]

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    Expert Cancer Care May Soon Be Everywhere, Thanks to Watson

    Watson. Courtesy of IBM.

    This blog is the first in a series of guest posts on technology and the brain to celebrate Scientific American Mind’s 10-year anniversary. The magazine’s special November/December issue similarly highlights the interface between code and thought in profiling a future, more digital YOU.   “You know my methods, Watson.” – Sherlock Holmes Even those who [...]

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    Finding the “Ideal” Partner When You Feel Insecure

    Credit: InnovatedCaptures/Thinkstock/iStock

    Many people – too many people – are drained by efforts to cover up their sense that they are essentially inadequate and flawed. This causes many problems in their lives, including feeling chronically distressed about their intimate relationships. The good news is that there are ways to help alleviate these problems. One part of the [...]

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    5 Ways to Overcome Dating Anxiety

    Valentine's brunch. (Amit Gupta via Flickr)

    Anxiety disorders are the most common psychological disorder in the US, affecting 18 percent of the adult population. Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is the third-most-common psychological disorder, affecting 15 million men and women in the US. The DSM-5 defines social anxiety as the “persistent fear of one or more situations in which the person is [...]

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    Why We Wonder Why

    Humans are curious creatures, and our curiosity drives a search for explanations. So while this search may fit squarely in the realm of science, it is hardly confined to the pursuits of scientists and intellectuals. Even preschoolers ask why, and indeed may do so to the exasperation of adults. Yet adults seek to understand things, [...]

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    Could Deep-Brain Stimulation Fortify Soldiers’ Minds?

    U.S. Army Soldiers with the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division stand guard at a market in Al Doura in Baghdad, Iraq, April 5, 2007, providing security for Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Curt Cashour via Flickr)

    As many as 20 percent of war veterans return from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression, according to a 2008 report from the RAND Corporation. Many experience constant nightmares and flashbacks and many can’t live normal lives. For significant number of veterans, available medications do not seem to [...]

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    Mindfulness Training May Assuage Early-Life Trauma

    Intel employees participate in Awake@Intel in 2013, a program that teaches mindfulness techniques to improve performance and reduce stress at work. (Credit: Intel Free Press via Flickr)

    We live in an increasingly stressful world. There’s an aspirational sense things should improve with time, witness the U.S. War on Poverty or the U.N. Millennium Development Goals.  But in the last 50 years, many risks, perceived and real, have grown worse: extreme weather, violent conflict, economic dislocation, poverty (especially for children), abuse and domestic [...]

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    Come Climb a Jungle Gym of the Mind

    Neural Climb: The central iconic experience of the exhibit, this 18-foot-tall climbing structure with interactive sound and lighting effects was designed to create an immersive, emotional connection to the dynamic activity of the brain.

    Your brain is always changing. That’s the message of Your Brain, a new exhibition at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Covering topics ranging from basic neuroscience to cognitive psychology, Your Brain creates fun, hands-on experiences to look inside your own head. In this exhibition, this approach of personal discovery serves as a gateway to core [...]

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    Internet Addiction: Real or Virtual Reality?

    Credit: Sam Wolff via Flickr

    In 1995, Ivan Goldberg, a New York psychiatrist, published one of the first diagnostic tests for Internet Addiction Disorder. The criteria appeared on psycom.net, a psychiatry bulletin board, and began with an air of earnest authenticity: “A maladaptive pattern of Internet use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as manifested by three (or more) [...]

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    Estrogen’s Role in Impulsive Behavior

    Yes or no? Credit:  Anne-Lise Heinrichs via Flickr

    Would you rather have $50 now or $100 two weeks from now? Even though the $100 is obviously the better choice, many people will opt for the $50. Both humans and animals show this tendency to place lower value on later rewards, a behavior known as temporal discounting. High rates of temporal discounting can lead [...]

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