Why relaxing is so much work.
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How culture shaped the human brain
John Parrington Ph.D.
Did psychedelic drugs and alcohol boost consciousness in our ancestors? What can new imaging methods tell us about the effects of drugs on consciousness?
Brain waves coordinate the different regions of our brains. They regulate attention and memory and potentially have quite unique roles in humans compared to other species.
New findings about the role of the cerebellum in creativity suggest that teaching approaches based on making the student consciously ‘work’ at learning may be counter-productive.
Can anxiety and post-traumatic stress be inherited from parents? Animal experiments suggest so, but the evidence from human studies is controversial.
Glial cells are the main type of brain cell besides neurons. Formerly thought to only play a supporting role, they are increasingly recognized as highly dynamic and interactive.
Some people have genetic differences that make them naturally optimistic and resistant to depression. But changes in behavior, like daily exercise, can also help foster optimism.
Trying to explain the inner workings of human consciousness is one of the most difficult unsolved issues in science. An important first step is recognizing the role of language.
Our consciousness differs qualitatively from that of other species because our interactions with the world and each other through tools and language are also qualitatively unique.
Only humans seem to have self-conscious awareness based on our powers of language and technology use.
The question of how our minds work has fascinated philosophers for millennia. But what is the material basis of consciousness and will science ever explain its subjective aspects?
John Parrington, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at the University of Oxford, and a Tutorial Fellow in Medicine at Worcester College, Oxford.