Psychology Digest on Flipboard

By Hugo Alves | The best cognitive science and psychology articles from all around the web.

Dos and don’ts to preserve your brainpower

From changing your diet to partying like you’re 21, here are six tips for protecting your brain from the ravages of time.

Like any good machine, the brain needs a little care and attention as it ages to ensure it continues to run in good working order. If only there were a manual to its maintenance …


Why Men Think Women Are Flirting: "The Science of Us" Episode 7

Why We Can’t Get Over Ourselves - Issue 27: Dark Matter

“You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.”—David Foster Wallace, Infinite JestYou …


Hookup culture isn’t the real problem facing singles today. It’s math. - The Washington Post

There’s a scene in “The Fires of Autumn,” Irene Nemirovsky’s novel set in 1920s France, in which a young war widow named Therese thinks she is being courted for marriage by her childhood friend Bernard — only to discover that he wants nothing more than a fling.

He, in turn, is baffled by her …


Aphantasia: A life without mental images

Close your eyes and imagine walking along a sandy beach and then gazing over the horizon as the Sun rises. How clear is the image that springs to

Computers Can Predict Schizophrenia Based on How a Person Talks

A new study finds an algorithmic word analysis is flawless at determining whether a person will have a psychotic episode.

Although the language of thinking is deliberate—let me think, I have to do some thinking—the actual experience of having thoughts is often passive. Ideas pop up like dandelions; …


People Love Your Sarcasm, Really

When Richard Laermer walked into an eyeglass store in Paris, he was surprised to find fewer than 10 frames for sale, each displayed on top of its own large pedestal. He looked for another room or some sign of a second floor. But that was it.

A clerk stopped dusting. “Hmmm?” he asked.

Mr. Laermer says …

Columbia University

Why Neuroscience Needs Hackers

There was a time when neuroscientists could only dream of having such a problem. Now the fantasy has come true, and they are struggling to solve it. …

Life Sciences

When Freud Meets fMRI

The emerging field of “neuropsychoanalysis” aims to combine two fundamentally different areas of study—psychoanalysis and neuroscience—for a whole new way of understanding how the mind works.

I am in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, surrounded by psychoanalysts. At moments, if I …

Life Sciences

Mary Lou Jepsen: Could future devices read images from our brains? | TED Talk |

As an expert on cutting-edge digital displays, Mary Lou Jepsen studies how to show our most creative ideas on screens. And as a brain surgery patient …

The Brain

The Widening World of Hand-Picked Truths

Nearly half a century ago, in what passed as outrage in pre-Internet times, people across the country became incensed by the latest edition of Time magazine. In place of the familiar portrait of a world leader — Indira Gandhi, Lyndon B. Johnson, Ho Chi Minh — the cover of the April 8, 1966, issue …

Civil Liberties

Look into my eyes: can 10 minutes of staring make you hallucinate?

The first two minutes are the trickiest. My partner, C, and I are seated opposite one another in our bedroom, staring into each other’s eyes. As she does every single morning after finishing her breakfast, our dog saunters in and burps resonantly, as close to our faces as she can aim. We burst into …


How a New Father's Brain Changes

Dad’s mental shifts are different from mom’s

The Brain

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? The rise of mind control

Ahundred electrodes are pressed tightly against my scalp and a mixture of salt water and baby shampoo is dripping down my back. The goings-on in my slightly agitated brain are represented by a baffling array of graphs on a screen in front of me. When I close my eyes and relax, the messy spikes and …

The Brain

How We Speak Reveals What We Think, with Steven Pinker


My name is Steve Pinker, and I’m Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. And today I’m going to speak to you about language. I’m …


The Obscure Neuroscience Problem That’s Plaguing VR

Virtual reality has a less-than-obvious problem with how your eyes focus called vergence-accommodation conflict.The post The Obscure Neuroscience …

Virtual Reality

The world’s first true “smart drug” enhances cognition and is deemed safe by health experts

Most people looking for a cognitive boost in the morning reach for a cup of coffee or tea. But all caffeine really does is lift up your mood and improve focus, and that is why it isn’t considered a “pure cognitive enhancer.”

There is, however, a real contender for that title: modafinil (also sold as …


Does belief in God enhance gratitude? Here’s what psychology suggests.

Recent findings in positive psychology point to the enormous psychological and even physical benefits of gratitude. Giving thanks leads to increased energy, generosity, enthusiasm, sociability, health and resiliency in the face of stress. Gratitude is an empirically proven path to a longer, happier …


Why We Laugh—or Do We?


In order to laugh at something, it is necessary (1) to know what you are laughing at, (2) to know why you are laughing, (3) to ask some people why they think you are laughing, (4) to jot down a few notes, (5) to laugh. Even then, the thing may not be cleared …


How Friendship Fights Depression

A new study shows that a healthy mood can spread through friend groups.

“As everyone knows, depressed people are some of the most boring people in the world,” Mindy Kaling writes in her book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? “I know this because when I was depressed, people fled. Except my best …


LEGO Kits and Your Creative Soul

Should you take web development classes? Or poetry writing? Is it more important to think like an engineer, or an artist?Turns out the answer may be …


Exploring Racial Bias Among Biracial and Single-Race Adults: The IAT

It’s hard to talk about race. Fear of saying the wrong thing, fear of expressing an unpopular view or simply the fear of offending others can dampen …


How this chemist unwittingly helped spawn the synthetic drug industry - The Washington Post

UNINCORPORATED JACKSON COUNTY, N.C. — The chemist who unwittingly helped spawn the District’s synthetic drug epidemic is a hard man to find. His phone numbers are listed under his wife’s name. Strangers who call his laboratories at Clemson University are told he doesn’t return messages.

To find him, …


Brain drain: ‘Missing link’ discovered in the brain

“Throw out the textbooks” and “missing link” are words rarely heard anymore in science, but that’s what researchers around the world are saying about the recent discovery of microscopic lymphatic vessels connecting the brain to the immune system.

That physical link was long thought absent, …

The Brain

The Origins of Human Language: One of the Hardest Problems in Science

How human language began has been a question pestering researchers for centuries. One of the biggest issues with this topic is that empirical …

Scientific Research

The Evolutionary Psychology of the Bad-Mouther

Humans come armed with an arsenal of social strategies. And there are multiple routes to social success. One strategy that can be just as unpleasant …


Why Sam Harris is Unlikely to Change his Mind

The New Atheist Sam Harris recently offered to pay $10,000 to anyone who can disprove his arguments about morality. Jonathan Haidt analyzes the


We now have a way to objectively determine how upset someone is

When a patient walks into a therapist’s office, there’s no way to know just how upset he or she is feeling. A serious bout of depression in one patient could look like a bad day for another. Unfortunately, there’s no good objective measurement for emotions, but that could be about to …


Brains Sweep Themselves Clean Of Toxins During Sleep

While the brain sleeps, it clears out harmful toxins, a process that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, researchers say.

During sleep, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases dramatically, washing away harmful waste proteins that build up between brain cells during waking hours, a …