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Streams of Consciousness

The Hidden Power of Others Over You [Video]

Courtesy of brizzle born and bred via Flickr.

        // 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. Below is a synopsis of the third video in the series written by a guest on this blog, Roni Jacobson, a science journalist based in [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

The Importance of Being Social

soccer football team huddle

Guest Blog by Leonard Mlodinow* One advantage of belonging to a cohesive society in which people help each other is that the group is often better equipped than a set of individuals to deal with threats from the outside. People intuitively realize there is strength in numbers, and take comfort in the company of others, [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Cooler Than #SharkWeek: Sharks Make Friends, Too

Blacktip Reef Shark

Shark Week is upon us, and rather than be fooled by sharky fakery or outright lies, how about some real, true, scientifically-accurate shark science? Here’s a piece I originally wrote in January, 2012. Many of us think of sharks as lone hunters. We imagine them spending most of their lives swimming alone, briefly seeking out [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Groundhogs

groundhog

Happy Groundhog Day! Today is the day each year in which we look towards a giant rodent to find out how much more winter we’ll have to endure. This year, we probably know the answer: winter hasn’t been very wintery, even for Los Angeles. Which, well, isn’t ever really wintery at all. According to tradition, [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Sharks With Friends

Blacktip Reef Shark

Many of us think of sharks as lone hunters. We imagine them spending most of their lives swimming alone, briefly seeking out the company of another shark for the purposes of reproduction, then going back to their solo ways. We also tend to think of sharks as dumb machines, capable of little more than hunting. [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

What Can Dolphins Tell Us About The Evolution of Friendship?

A version of this post was originally published on November 18, 2010. Click the archives image to see the original post. Scientists thought they had a pretty good handle on the social interactions of bottlenose dophins (Tursiops). They’ve used the term fission-fusion dynamics to describe dolphin (and non-human primate) society and so far it has [...]

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