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

Empty Man Syndrome

By Alex Korb Ph.D. on March 01, 2015 in PreFrontal Nudity
For some people depression is a hole they can't ever seem to climb out of. Often there are several factors conspiring against them.

The First 100 Days: Be A Stranger (As Long As You Can)!

By Tim Leberecht on February 28, 2015 in The Romance of Work
When you start a new job, your story has already started before you walk through the office door for the first time. The beginning of your tenure is a great opportunity to capitalize on being an outsider and to make new mistakes.

Overcome Hopelessness Thinking and Stop Feeling Depressed

By Bill Knaus Ed.D. on February 28, 2015 in Science and Sensibility
Can you think your way out of feeling depressed?

Envy and Social Propinquity

Did you ever notice how you will envy those most like you in some important way? If you love chess you won't envy Yitzhak Perlman, just as if you play violin you won't envy Bobby Fisher. What is the deeper meaning beneath this phenomenon and how can it help us better understand those pangs of envy we sometimes feel?

How to Get a Date by First Asking a Simple Question

Have you ever wanted to ask out someone you know, or get a date with an attractive stranger? In either case, you can increase your chances of getting a "yes" by first asking a simple question, or making a small request. Find out what the research has to say here...

One Man’s Sorrow, Enlightened by Grief

By Nancy Berns Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Freedom to Grieve
Paul said he was surprised by his grief: “I don't think that I had any inkling that I had any depth or capacity for that much grief. It just took me by surprise.”

Healthy Relationships Overlooked in Search for a Quick Fix

By Amy Banks on February 28, 2015 in Wired For Love
Simply thinking about your strongest relationships can change your brain chemistry in a positive way. Imagine the benefits of being face to face with the people you love!

How Fault-Finding Destroys Loving Relationships?

Do you really understand what destroys relationships?

Not Allowed to Dance?

By Kimerer LaMothe Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in What a Body Knows
It is always interesting to look back to those twists and turns in the path that have gotten you where you are. This week, I’ve done just that, prompted by some quality time with Yvonne Daniel’s thoughtful, thorough book, Dancing Wisdom: Embodied Knowledge in Haitian Vodou, Cuban Yoruba, and Bahian Candomble (2003).

Is Writing a Hit TV Series In Your Future?

By Katharine Brooks Ed.D. on February 28, 2015 in Career Transitions
Is writing for television one of your career dreams? If you’re ready to transform your ideas into reality, here’s a book that can help you every step of the way.

How I Try to Make My Work Life Healthy

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in How To Do Life
We're working longer and harder. At least we can work healthier.

What Your Pet Can Teach You About Being Human

By Susan Weinschenk Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Brain Wise
What's important in life? How can we be happy and at peace? Maybe our pets can tell us.

Understanding the Islamic State - A Fool's Errand?

By Frank T McAndrew Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Out of the Ooze
Attempts to identify the beliefs that define the "truth" of any religion are doomed to fail because of our own cognitive biases and the nature of religion itself.

What Happened to Lunch?

By Susan M. Pollak MTS, Ed.D., on February 28, 2015 in The Art of Now
Why have we stopped eating lunch?

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 Rationality, 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