Hunter-gatherer Ancestry May Be Why Our Brains Need Exercise

A radical new evolutionary neuroscience theory may explain how our hunter-gatherer ancestors inadvertently hardwired our modern day brains to thrive on everyday physical activity.

Are Smartphones Making Us Stupid?

A new study reports that the mere sight of one's own smartphone—even if the phone is turned off and face down—can create "brain drain" by depleting finite cognitive resources.

Decoding the Complex Brain Mechanics of Altruism and Empathy

A new study by a team of neuroscientists from Duke and Stanford University debunks the myth that a singular brain region is responsible for making decisions that affect others.

Heat Wave Temperatures Make It Tougher to Do the Right Thing

As millions of people endure record-breaking heat waves, a new study reminds us of the psychological impact high temperatures can have on prosocial behaviors.

A Diverse Spectrum of Positive Emotions Reduces Inflammation

Experiencing a wide range of daily positive emotions such as being calm, cheerful, enthusiastic, excited, inspired, etc. can reduce systemic inflammation, according to a new study.

Mind-Body Practices Downregulate Inflammation-Related Genes

A new systematic review of research on mind-body interventions reports that practices such as meditation or yoga can downregulate the genetic expression of inflammatory cytokines.

Decreasing Self-Centeredness May Also Help Reduce Loneliness

A study published today by John Cacioppo and colleagues reports that self-centeredness and perceived social isolation feed off one another as part of a reciprocal feedback loop.

"Little Brain" Plays Surprisingly Big Role in Mental Health

First-of-its-kind research has discovered that the cerebellum (Latin for "little brain") plays a significant—and previously unrecognized—role in a wide range of mental disorders.

New Research Explains Why Overthinking Can Hinder Creativity

A growing body of research helps to explain why "unclamping" the rigid intellectual machinery and executive function of your prefrontal cortex facilitates creativity.

Paying It Forward: Generativity and Your Vagus Nerve

Scientific research suggests that if each of us made an effort to improve our "vagal tone" that we could create an upward spiral that would make the world a better place.

The Psychophysiology of Flow and Your Vagus Nerve

New research offers fresh clues about the psychology and physiological components that come together to create what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi famously describes as a state "flow."

Kindness Towards Oneself and Others Tones Your Vagus Nerve

Having compassion towards yourself and others is the key to creating an "upward spiral" of well-being as marked by healthier vagal tone in your vagus nerve.

Awe Engages Your Vagus Nerve and Can Combat Narcissism

Recent research shows that experiencing a sense of awe promotes the "small self" and can combat narcissism by activating the parasympathetic vagal response to "tend-and-befriend."

Gutsy Third Person Self-Talk Utilizes Your Vagus Nerve

Excessive first person "self-talk" can increase egocentric bias. That said, using "non-first-person" pronouns and your own name has been found to promote healthy self-distancing.

Narrative Expressive Journaling Could Help Your Vagus Nerve

A new study found that "narrative expressive journaling" (in which you create a storyline with self-distancing) reduces stress better than extremely emotional "expressive writing."

Face-to-Face Connectedness, Oxytocin, and Your Vagus Nerve

A new study reports that oxytocin "love hormone" levels surge during a romantic crisis. These findings reaffirm a link between the vagus nerve and our need to "tend-and-befriend."

Tonic Levels of Physical Activity Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve

Moderate physical activity is a guaranteed way to engage your vagus nerve and create a "relaxation response" that counters the panic and anxiety of fight-or-flight responses.

Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercises and Your Vagus Nerve

Diaphragmatic breathing is one of the easiest ways to engage your vagus nerve and create a "relaxation response" that counters the panic and anxiety of fight-or-flight responses.

A Vagus Nerve Survival Guide to Combat Fight-or-Flight Urges

The vagus nerve's ability to lower stress and reduce inflammation has been underutilized for too long. This post offers nine easy "vagal maneuvers" to stimulate your vagus nerve.

Exercise Researchers Find "More Is Better" Mindset Overrated

A new study reports that you don't have to spend hours at the gym—or even break a sweat—to reap psychological benefits from small doses of low intensity, easy physical activity.

Superfluidity and the Transcendent Ecstasy of Extreme Sports

A trailblazing new study identifies some common themes that motivate people to push against their limits while transcending everyday states of consciousness through extreme sports.

More Proof That Breastfeeding Benefits Babies' Brains

New state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques confirm the widespread brain benefits of breastfeeding all infants—but especially vulnerable preemies—a mother's own breast milk.

Swearing Can Boost Strength and Reduce the Sensation of Pain

New research on the benefits of swearing out loud suggests that Mark Twain was right when he said, "Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.”

New MRI Study Leads to Roadmap of Bipolar Brains

The largest MRI meta-analysis ever conducted has identified a new "roadmap" of bipolar disorder and how it impacts the brain.

Facebook Can Create Psychological Safety Nets During Crises

Facebook has many pros and cons, as most of us know. Two recent studies have found that Facebook can create a surprisingly effective "safety net" in times of crisis and distress.

The Neuroscience of Hearing the Soundtracks of Your Life

Neuroscientists recently discovered that someone's favorite music—or any song you'd put on a "this is my life" soundtrack—activates brain networks in universally predictable ways.

Cognitive Benefits of Exercise Outshine Brain-Training Games

There is growing evidence that physical activity is more effective than sedentary "brain-training" games for maintaining robust cognitive function and "working memory" as we age.

Need a Midday Energy Boost? Skip the Caffeine, Take a Walk

Brief bouts of low-to-moderate intensity physical activity are more energizing than a 50 mg dose of caffeine (such as a can of soda or shot of espresso), according to a new study.

Beyond Recess: Synchronized Play Improves Kids' Cooperation

We all know the elated feeling of swinging side-by-side with someone in synchrony. Now, researchers have identified unexpected benefits of synchronized movement during childhood.

A Wide Range of Mental Disorders May Have Link to Cerebellum

A first-of-its-kind study from Duke University has identified a previously unknown link between the cerebellum (Latin for "little brain") and multiple mental health disorders.

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