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The Neural Magic of Hypnotic Suggestion

A new review of the scientific literature studying hypnosis, in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, by Oakley and Halligan, discusses the potential for hypnosis to provide insights into brain mechanisms involved in attention, motor control, pain perception, beliefs and volition and also to produce informative analogues of clinical conditions.

July 29, 2013

Who Moved My Garden? Spatial Learning in the Octopus

Say you’re visiting Los Angeles and you have a sudden craving for Chinese food. Since you are only visiting, you might not be aware that nothing is open past, like, 10pm (not even coffee houses), but you get in your rental car and go driving around in search of your Chinese feast anyway.

April 28, 2010

How Do You Figure Out How Chimps Learn? Peanuts.

What is culture? One simple definition might be: a distinctive behavior shared by two or more individuals, which persists over time, and that ignorant individuals acquire through socially-aided learning.

May 12, 2010

Monday Pets: Cold Blooded Cognition

She: “What are you writing about?” Me: “Cognition in cold-blooded animals.” She: “Hot.” Most people who study cognition focus on mammals or birds.

June 28, 2010
Bumblebees Are More Flexible Than We Knew

Bumblebees Are More Flexible Than We Knew

I recently wrote about how bumblebees were able to perform some seemingly impressive feats, although the underlying reason they could do so was relatively simple.

May 16, 2014
Astrophysics, Citizen Science and the Google Science Fair

Astrophysics, Citizen Science and the Google Science Fair

Find out why Oxford University astrophysicist and founder of The Zooniverse Chris Lintott believes that humanity’s ability to be “deliciously distractable” is a creative engine powering the benefits of citizen science for discovery–and how, if you are a researcher, you might like to “play with your phyiscs.” With Google Student Ambassador Hanne Paine, we had [...]

March 7, 2014

How to Avoid the Self-Esteem Trap

I have always assumed that having a strong sense of self-worth was important. I figured it made a person happier, healthier, more successful, and easier to be around.

August 9, 2013

Neuroscience in Fiction: Crux, by Ramez Naam

Crux (Angry Robot Books) is an outstanding speculative fiction adventure. It combines the very highest level of neuroscientific reality with plausible neuroscience fiction that is very well thought through.

August 9, 2013

Multitask at Your Own Risk

        // Editor's note: Brain Basics from Scientific American Mind is a series of short video primers on the brain and how we feel, think and act.

July 2, 2014
Google Science Fair Hangout On Air: Meet the Deep-Sea-Diving Exosuit

Google Science Fair Hangout On Air: Meet the Deep-Sea-Diving Exosuit

Scientists studying marine life now have a new tool in a next-generation atmospheric diving system called the Exosuit. The suit–which looks like something an astronaut would wear and is on display at the American Museum of Natural History until March 5–lets a diver descend to 1,000 feet at surface pressure for several hours.

February 27, 2014