What is Life?

The question of when human life begins is critical to most people’s view on abortion, and more often than not, on who they vote for. Given this fact it is unfortunate that few people, especially politicians, attempt to carefully define what they mean by the word life.

How Does Your Brain Tell Time?

Animals time events on scales that span from microseconds to days and beyond. But, in contrast to the man made clocks, we have no single master clock. Nature has devised a collection time keepers each suited for a different purpose.

Temporal Myopia: Making Bad Long-term Decisions

The United States is $16 trillion in debt. There is widespread agreement among scientists that the planet is warming and water levels are rising as a result of man-made causes. The average American household holds $6,770 in credit card debt. Is the human brain inherently ill-suited to make long-term decisions?

The Weak Link in the Democratic Process? The Human Brain

Like performing mental long division, or memorizing pages of a telephone book, voting seems to involve a recipe of cognitive operations that are not among the brain’s natural strengths.

Your Brain on Marketing (What Happened to the $ Sign on Menus?)

Humans beings are unique in the extent to which our decisions and habits can be shaped by marketing in ways that are not in our own best interests. Perhaps one of the most poignant reminders of this fact is the tragic success of cigarette advertising, which contributed to approximately 100 million smoking related deaths in the 20th Century.

What Do Cows Drink? (The Associative Architecture of Human Memory)

It is difficult to overstate how much our mental faculties rely on the brain’s ability to link the sounds, sights, concepts, and feelings it experiences. Indeed, special receptors in our synapses can pick up the "associations" between neurons. But the associative architecture of the brain is responsible for many of our memory bugs and cognitive biases.

Why Does the Most Complex Device in the Universe Epically Fail at Math?

As individuals and as members of society we'd all be a bit better off if we acknowledged the natural strengths and flaws of the organ calling all the shots.