Our unique genes amplify themselves through environment

It is one of the crowning findings of behavioural genetics: the older we get, the more our specific genetic differences are associated with the degree to which we differ on measured phenotypic traits; like weight, disease prevalence and cognitive diversity. This is interesting, because genetic variance of a population doesn’t change over time (each person … Continue reading Our unique genes amplify themselves through environment

A change in the visual cortex’s career

What happens to the congenitally blind’s visual cortex? this region does not simply stay dormant and gather cobwebs; rather, it appears this area puts up the scaffolding and undergoes a massive reconstruction, making office space for language use. Cognitive and neuroscientific research has shown the brilliant flexibility of the traditional language and visual networks to … Continue reading A change in the visual cortex’s career

Dropping everything and just noticing: notes on mindfulness

By Thomas Cornish Dropping everything and just noticing is an idea that has been spreading as a meme, predominantly in Asia, since the 5th Century BCE. This very simple idea comes under the guise of meditation, mindfulness and vipassana (meaning insight). It’s a liberating idea. Imagine neither having to take every thought as the absolute … Continue reading Dropping everything and just noticing: notes on mindfulness

Looking at Pain in the Mirror: pain mirror neurons found in rats.

How is it that we get overwhelmed when watching someone cry, or feel a coating of inspiration when we see a face filled with hope? And, are we the only animal to exert an empathic response to those emotional cues? A study published last week by Carrillo and colleagues uncovers the potential mechanism that allows … Continue reading Looking at Pain in the Mirror: pain mirror neurons found in rats.

Unhappy

In recent decades, economists studying life satisfaction have noticed a pattern among their data, a pattern that is homogenous among different countries and cultures. Most people’s perceived happiness appears to take a nose dive in adulthood, reaching a low at forty or fifty years-old, before heading back up an incline. The relationship between life-satisfaction and … Continue reading Unhappy