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
Studies of intelligence quotient (IQ) differences in a population seem to entail that the variance of intelligence between individuals is predominantly the effect of genetic difference. In fact, genetic variance is said to account for almost 80 per cent of the IQ variances in the population, leaving just 20 per cent of the variance to … Continue reading An Intelligent Paradox Yielding Progress.
Depression: a disease neuroscientist and author, Robert Sapolsky, calls the “bread and butter of human misery,” and what psychologist, Martin Seligman, has referred to as “the common cold of psychopathology.” Common being the operative word, as it is estimated that 5 to 20 per cent of us will suffer a major, life threatening, depression at … Continue reading Anhedonia Venom
In the 1930’s psychology was dominated by the behaviourist school of thinking. This facet of psychological thought is based on the premise that all behaviours are maintained and learnt, or rather conditioned, either through positive or negative reinforcement i.e. an elicited behaviour must be followed by a reward for it to be repeated. B.F. Skinner, … Continue reading Dopamine: A Memoir of Reward, Addiction and Online-shopping.