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.
A study of brains aged between 43 and 87 suggests our brain cells remain alive-and-generating throughout our lives. The tentative finding could mean that age-worn brains could be more resilient to damage than we originally believed. Although the renewal and repair of tissues and organs throughout our body, even during old age, is relatively common … Continue reading Old brain, new cells
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
You board a train and immediately, with the glint of urgency in your eyes, look for a seat. You are fighting to get into Central London during the morning rush-hour, so getting a seat would elevate your social status from peasant-to-privileged. Your vigilance has paid dividends; there’s an empty seat by the window. In a … Continue reading This train is moving. . . probably
Each of our neurons compute inordinate amounts of information in compartmentalised sections, according to one of the first recordings of electrical activity in human brain cells. Our understanding of neurons (brain cells) is almost exclusively from investigation into our small mammalian friends - the rodent. A study Published in the journal Cell, however, has revealed … Continue reading Democratic Dendrites
A 24-year-old sufferer of depression was a year ago given a prescription that changed her brain and, therefore, her mindset: a weekly swim in cold water. Sarah, the protagonist of this story, was filmed as part of the BBC documentary series ‘The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs.’ “It was a series that looked at our … Continue reading A Cold Dip
We blink yet our conscious theatre appears to still hold in mind a holistic and constant image of our surroundings. It follows, then, that the brain must coalesce and retain visual information for short periods of time, allowing the formation of an uninterrupted stream of vision – a useful feature of the human brain. Neuroscientists … Continue reading Why Darkness Doesn’t Descend
Cattell, in the 1960’s, defined two sets of intelligence that were inextricably linked: that of fluid and crystallised intelligence. According to Cattell, one’s aptitude to solve for novel problems, apply cognitive tools to new situations and identify patterns, outlines their fluid intelligence. Crystallised intelligence, on the other hand, envelops one’s ability to take what they … Continue reading How intelligent are we? Its for our cells to decide.
Often, when someone dashes a smile your way, you reciprocally dash one back, regardless of whether that person is categorised as a stranger or a friend to you – a social reflex you might say, or something of a contagion i.e. when one-person smiles, that communique is irrevocably passed on. You would have thought, as … Continue reading We are unconscious perceivers of emotion.
A friend of mine is commonly described as “out-going.” She loves to travel, explore culture, socialise and can sometimes be promiscuous with the men. She also has a myriad of interests that are continually changing in their hierarchy of importance. For instance, she was once eager to pursue a career as a police officer, only … Continue reading Extraversion is a Risky Business