Psychological biases and frames often prevent us from admitting the possibility of environmental calamity, despite the overwhelming evidence for climate change. Here I describe two simple principles that guide our thinking, and how understanding them can help us improve communication and cooperation to solve some pressing problems.
MIT neuroscientist Sebastian Seung is using the eyes to examine the brain, and he invites you to help him. Learn about what the study of cell-to-cell connections is telling us about some fundamental principles of brain organization, and how you can join his virtual lab and become an internet brain scientist.
Connectomics—the study of our brain’s wiring diagram—is exciting science. But the notion that this is the Big Idea that will crack the neural code has led to some pretty fringe ideas, like the possibility of mind-uploads. In fact, the brain is more complicated than that. No matter how thin you deli-slice your brain, you’re guaranteed to be missing something.
In a study of 182 patients with focal brain injuries, Dr. Aron Barbey and colleagues use a simple but elegant method known as voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping to identify the many regions of the brain that are causally related to general intelligence.
The 2010 publication of "Testing predictions from personality neuroscience: Brain structure and the big five" marked the beginning of a small personal test of the "just let it die" neuroscience-without-criticism approach to bad ideas. Just over a year and 46 citations in many prominent journals later, I think we can safely say the results are in. It's time to be critical.