Our Top-Down Brains and How They Help Us Adapt to the World

What the gold-white, blue-black dress debate reveals about how our brains work

Why We Hate It When People Invade Our Space

John Travolta and Joe Biden put it in the news, but it's an everyday problem.

Born to Gossip

Every sentence is a juicy tidbit about who did what to whom.

Living in the Here and Now

Chronic restlessness has blinded me to my life’s many blessings.

The Surprising Benefits of Documenting Ordinary Experiences

Research suggests that we tend to underestimate the joy of rediscovery.

Can Law Improve People's Lives?

It certainly can, and it should. Here is a starting point.

The Latest

How To Keep Resolutions?

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Science of Choice
Personal rule as a self-control strategy helps people see current decisions as predictors of future behavior and the awareness of this linkage help them overcome temptation.

Minimize Distraction: When Customers Feel They Aren’t Heard

By Joseph Cardillo Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Attention Training
As you shift from one situation to another, pay attention to how you are paying attention.

How Old is an Old(er) Woman?

The new BOND female lead is FOUR YEARS OLDER than Edith Bunker. There's more for women over fifty to do with their hands these days.

Aging Mindfully

By Christa Smith Psy.D. on February 28, 2015 in Shift
Aging Mindfully

Dismantling “Major Depression”

Almost forty years after the publication in 1980 of the epic third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association, it is starting to become apparent that psychiatry made a historic mistake in getting rid of its traditional three or four depressive illnesses.

Finding The Sweetness in LIfe Even When Times Are Tough

By Allison Carmen on February 28, 2015 in The Gift of Maybe
I had just found out my mother had breast cancer, and I was walking to meet her for dinner. My mind was seized by the most frightening thoughts of losing my mother and what this illness would mean. All of a sudden, a beautiful breeze hit my face and an enveloping peace and joy ran through me. Was it okay for me to feel this joy when danger was looming over my family?

Modern Intellectual History of Cognitive Sciences

By Sean X. Luo M.D., Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Hooked on Patterns
Did cognitive science come out of Einstein or Darwin?

Leonard Nimoy's Mr. Spock and Us - Who is Superior?

By Eyal Winter on February 28, 2015 in Feeling Smart
Mr. Spock , Emotions, Super Rationaliy, Leonard Nimoy

Blaming the Victim

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Memory Medic
"What did we do to make them hate us so much?"

How to Find Proof That Hope is Not Lost

By Gregg McBride on February 28, 2015 in The Weight-ing Game
The little, seemingly innocuous ways you take care of yourself are your proof that you care about yourself. And this "proof of caring" can be the first step toward committing yourself to lasting and permanent change when it comes to other matters like losing weight, embracing wellness, and/or getting healthier.

Our Top-Down Brains and How They Help Us Adapt to the World

What you see is often not a matter of the stimuli that are in front of you, but a matter of your expectations. The “affair of the dress,” and whether you see it as white-gold or blue-black is just another example of our top-down brains.

ADHD and Early Death: A False Assumption

By Claudia M Gold M.D. on February 28, 2015 in Child in Mind
Space and time to listen to the story are critical to effective treatment of problems of regulation of attention, behavior and emotion. Perhaps the risk of early death in individuals diagnosed with ADHD lies in the absence of recognition and treatment of complex underlying causes.

Gangs: Protecting Today’s Youth - Part One

Gangs are a problem plaguing our nation. While trends show a steady decrease from the past, gangs are still prevalent in many communities throughout the U.S. Unfortunately, many gangs lure susceptible youth into their ranks leading them down a path of criminal activity, drugs and ultimately destruction.

Where’s The Market For Organs (And Sex)?

By Jesse Marczyk on February 28, 2015 in Pop Psych
Sometimes you aren't allowed to sell things that you are free to give away; a curious bit of moral psychology

How (Not) to Win the War on Terrorism

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Jacob's Staff
How can we protect society against a few committed radicals who can disrupt society by marshaling powerful communications networks? In the good old days, we tracked the movement of physical assets as early warning signs of trouble. What can we do now, when weapons are intangible and untraceable? Might it be possible to mobilize the mainstream as a balancing force?

What Sex Teaches Us About Leadership

Paying attention to sex can make you a better leader

Waldeslust - Joy of the Forest

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in One Among Many
Spending a little time in Nature can break the yoke of self-domestication and bring peace and happiness. Begin with a walk in the woods.

Kicking the Bucket List

What is the difference between a bucket list and a five-year plan?

Addiction Speaks

By Abigail Brenner M.D. on February 27, 2015 in In Flux
Addiction comes in many shapes and forms. Not all addictions are alike in their severity and duration. Even those addictions that are less severe and less life-threatening can hold us in its clutches for years on end. This entry includes a letter written to Veronica by her "addict self." What emerges from our own depths and from our own will to heal is often poignant.

On Art And Madness

By Sheila Kohler on February 27, 2015 in Dreaming for Freud
My mother would often warn me, “Now Sheila, you don’t want to be too clever for your own good.” Obviously she equated “cleverness” with something dangerous. She was much more interested in how people had reacted to my dress after a party, “Did they like your dress?” she would ask, rather than my report card.

The Bystander Effect

By Rosemary K.M. Sword on February 27, 2015 in The Time Cure
We’d all like to think that when we see something bad happening that we’d step forward to render aid. But in reality most of us don’t. And although some people won’t take the initiative to help, they will take the time to photograph or videotape the event and post it on the internet. Why?

The Girl Who Wanted to be Spock: A Tribute to Leonard Nimoy

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Good Thinking
Spock was stable as a ocean-liner in stormy seas, a place of solace and practicality when crisis hit. He saw things clearly and keenly. And my fascination with him made me become a cognitive scientist.

The Blue/Black White/Gold Dress Controversy: No One Is Right

By David Kyle Johnson Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in A Logical Take
The blue/black, or white/gold, dress controversy reveals more than meets the eye.

Are Friends Really Worth That Much?

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Creating in Flow
Have you ever reflected on the role of female friends in your own life? Do you maintain lifelong friendships? If not, do you wish you could?

4 Keys to Great Sex

By Kimberly Key on February 27, 2015 in Counseling Keys
Sex with the wrong partner can have deleterious effects on your self-esteem. Learn the four keys to an awesome sex life.

Winning Moves in "Searching for Bobby Fischer"

By Skip Dine Young Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Movies and the Mind
"Searching for Bobby Fischer" is a movie about greatness in chess. But more than that, it is about maintaining compassion as one pursues excellence. It is also a caution to parents who may be tempted to overly identify with their children's success.

Intimate Partner Abuse: Walk Away Before the Cycle Starts

We should never live in fear of the people who say they love us.

Schizophrenia and Violence, Part II

By Betsy Seifter Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in After the Diagnosis
The insanity defense fails again, but mentally ill offenders need treatment, not punishment.

Sexting and Selfies

Sexting and intimate selfies have become almost routine-but should they be?

Does Neuroimaging Provide the Ultimate Answers?

By Daniel Voyer Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Perceptual Asymmetries
Does the state of knowledge and methodology on neuroimaging warrant the confidence we have on results obtained with these methods?