Consciousness and the Brain – Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts by Stanislas Dehaene

In the late 1800s, psychology began as the study of the mind. Then the behaviorists convinced everyone to abandon the study of mind and consciousness, for good reasons. At the time, the only way to study consciousness was introspection, a source of no reliable information. Through most of the next century, experimental psychologists avoided notContinue reading “Consciousness and the Brain – Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts by Stanislas Dehaene”

Does your hair stand up when listening to music or watching a movie?

Listen to this Have you ever been listening to a great piece of music and felt a chill run up your spine? Or goosebumps tickle your arms and shoulders? Most people can experience a  deep and visceral reaction to music, strong enough to elicit a physical, bodily response. The experience is called frisson (pronounced free-sawn), a French term meaning “aestheticContinue reading “Does your hair stand up when listening to music or watching a movie?”

How do you define intelligence?

What makes you intelligent? Intelligence is a difficult term to define. It can mean different things to different people. In fact, the scientific community has been debating its meaning for a long time and there is still controversy over its exact definition and the ways to measure it. The “IQ” test was once regarded asContinue reading “How do you define intelligence?”

The three brain phases used in cults

The Christians may have been the first to successfully formulate brainwashing, but we have to look to Pavlov, the Russian scientist, for a technical explanation. In the early 1900s, his work with animals opened the door to further investigations with humans. After the revolution in Russia, Lenin was quick to see the potential of applyingContinue reading “The three brain phases used in cults”

Dementia – how does it feel to be uncertain about your wits in retirement?

King Lear is one of the greatest portrayals of ageing in Western literature. It explores the sense of uncertainty that can result from retirement, and the role-reversal that often comes with ageing, as the children become the parents. Throughout the play, Lear’s behaviour is changeable. At times he grows irrationally angry, while at others heContinue reading “Dementia – how does it feel to be uncertain about your wits in retirement?”