Essential Reads

Your Brain on Chocolate

Cocoa has the potential for numerous beneficial effects on the brain.

The Truth About Being Left-Brained or Right-Brained

Do you think of yourself as a right- or left-brained person and does it matter?

How Long Will Your Dog Live?

A dog's remaining life expectancy can be predicted by its size and current age.

What You Need to Know About a Know-it-All

The illusion of knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Recent Posts on Neuroscience

Observing the damaged brain for clues about dreaming

By Michael J Breus Ph.D. on June 02, 2015 in Sleep Newzzz
In recent years, a number of important scientific breakthroughs in understanding dreams have come from research involving neurological conditions.

Can a Second Language Help You Learn a Third?

What role does your second language play in the process of third language learning? Is it an asset that facilitates and speeds up the process or is it an obstacle that interferes and slows it down?

Is There a Relationship between Playfulness and Trainability

Recent data leads to the conclusion that if you test a puppy's eagerness to play with a person you may actually be testing its trainability as well.

The Mysteries of Madness

In Madness and Civilization, Andrew Scull reviews how the struggle between those who understand madness as a supernatural phenomenon, those who viewed it as a problem originating in the biochemistry of the body and the brain, and those who advanced social and psychological explanations of the afflictions has persisted over two millennia in countries throughout the world.

The Psychology of Hallucinations

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on June 02, 2015 in A Sideways View
How are hallucinations different from illusions or delusions? What causes them? How do we explain them?

James Holmes' Notebook

Contents of James Holmes' notebook are released. Will they prove insanity?

BA's In-Flight Meditation: Good PR. Bad Psychology

Meditation can help a person keep anxiety-producing thoughts out of mind. It works only if the flight is smooth. If turbulence begins, no matter how deep the meditation, when the plane drops, stress hormones are released that push whatever is being focused on out of awareness, and refocus the person on thought of possible danger

Do Smartphones Give A Head Start In Life?

By Susan Greenfield Ph.D. on June 01, 2015 in Mind Change
Babies as young as six months old are being given smartphones to play with. Pediatric experts have weighed in on the benefits and risks of giving infants smartphones.

Anxiety And Ice Cream

By Alex Korb Ph.D. on June 01, 2015 in PreFrontal Nudity
Once when I got sick after eating ice cream, I learned something about how the brain deals with trauma. We often tell ourselves that our anxieties are all mental, and other people will often tell us the same, but it's not always true. There is usually something deeper at play.

Your Brain on Chocolate

Chocolate, a fermented extract of the seed pods of the Theobroma cacao plant, is one of the world’s most popular foods. Given the active caffeine, theobromides, and rich number of flavanols in chocolate, it’s no surprise that cocoa has been used as a medicine for at least 3000 years. Could it have beneficial effects on the brain?

Creative Rehabilitation For Brain Injury. Part 1: Concussion

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on May 31, 2015 in Trouble in Mind
Often good rehabilitation facilities for brain-injured people are not readily accessible or affordable. Creative programs involving family and friends as the rehabilitation support team can be very effective in these cases, and are in place for the long term, unlike rehab centers. In this first post I focus on concussion.

Decision-making 401

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on May 30, 2015 in Memory Medic
You can learn how to make better decisions.

The Cerebellum May Be the Seat of Creativity

In a revolutionary discovery, new research from Stanford University published on May 28, 2015 reports that the cerebellum may be the seat of creativity.

Diametric Mentalizing Imaged in Autistic & Psychotic Brains

As predicted by the diametric model, brain scanning reveals hyper-active mentalism in schizophrenics but the opposite in autistics.

Stroke / Aneurysm: Neurofeedback Treatment

Have you or a loved one suffered a stroke or aneurysm? Neurofeedback is a treatment that can be the answer to all of your problems. Don't lose hope!

"Surf Therapy" and Being in the Ocean Can Alleviate PTSD

Recently I spoke with filmmaker Josh Izenberg about his new documentary "Resurface." The short film is about military veterans who learn to surf as a way to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and transform their lives.

How Does Yoga Relieve Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain triggers changes in brain structure that are linked to depression, anxiety, and impaired cognitive function. New research shows that yoga can have the opposite effect on the brain as chronic pain.

How Long Will Your Dog Live?

New data shows that a dog's size has a greater influence on its life expectancy then we had previously believed.

Bicycling Can Sharpen Your Thinking and Improve Your Mood

Pedaling a bike helps build a better brain, structurally and functionally.

Men Have Bigger Brains--So What Does That Mean?

By Temma Ehrenfeld on May 26, 2015 in Open Gently
Don't trust what you hear about male and female brains.

Detoxing after Detox: The Perils of Post-Acute Withdrawal

Detoxification is only the first of a two phase process of withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs. A common misconception is that soon after the offending substances are out of the body, life will get noticeably better and “normal” functioning will return. If only that were true.

The Four R's - Reading, 'Riting, "Rithmatic and Resonance

By Amy Banks on May 26, 2015 in Wired For Love
Connection and cooperation are part of the everyday lives of most people and a strong mirror neuron system is essential in each and every one of life’s negotiations. It is high time that we add the fourth “R” to the basic skills taught in education—reading, ‘riting, ’rithmetic, and resonance!

Religion and Addiction: Void-Fillers?

By Marc Lewis Ph.D. on May 26, 2015 in Addicted Brains
When addicts face the prospect of permanent abstinence, they stare into a frightening abyss. But that's not so different from the experience of religious people who are losing their faith. For both, the neural circuitry of desire has been harnessed to a fundamental need for connection. And that's a terrible thing to lose.

Lobotomy Cuts Both Ways (Diametrically Speaking)!

A patient cured of epilepsy by brain surgery acquired hyper-mentalistic symptoms as implied by the diametric model and predicted by the imprinted brain theory.

Conversation with a Mother about Sleep Training her Baby

Dear Dr., I need help! I have a lovely 11 month old baby girl and my husband and I both work full-time… I resorted to sleep coaching recently… I am afraid that we have already done irreparable damage to our sweet baby.

The Wacky Neuroscience of Forgetting How to Ride a Bicycle

A new experiment with a "backwards brain bicycle" illustrates how easy it is to forget everything you thought you knew about riding a bicycle. In this blog post, I'll explore the neuroscience behind learning—and forgetting—how to ride a bicycle.

No Way Did I Want to Die

Adolescents want to feel pleasure, takes risks and be social. Add in a brain that is impulsive and emotional and you have a set up for potential addiction. This is a story about just such a teen.

Four Quick Videos On Anticipatory Anxiety And Fear of Flying

A vicious cycle can hold you captive in a state of anticipatory anxiety. The thought of your plane crashing - or of having a panic attack - can trigger the release of stress hormones. Once released, these hormones keep your thinking locked on those thoughts, which, in turn, trigger even more stress hormones. How can you break out of this vicious cycle?

Dog's Brains Are Tuned to Recognize Human Faces

Recent fMRI data shows that dogs' sensitivity to human faces and expressions may be wired into the canine brain.