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

Hacking the Programs in Your Mind: Interview with Evolutionary Psychologists Leda Cosmides & John Tooby

“Human behavior is the most amazingly flexible behavior of any animal species,” says UC Santa Barbara anthropology professor John Tooby, “but you …


Hashtag is 'children's word of year'

Hashtag has been declared "children's word of the year" by the Oxford University Press.

OUP analysed more than 120,421 short stories by children aged …

Oxford University Press

Inbox Zero vs. Inbox 5,000: A Unified Theory

There are two types of people in the world: those with hundreds of unread messages, and those who can’t relax until their inboxes are cleared out.

For some, it’s a spider. For others, it’s an unexpected run-in with an ex. But for me, discomfort is a dot with a number in it: 1,328 unread-message …

Georgia Institute of Technology

Mortal Motivation

In October 1984, a young Skidmore College professor, Sheldon Solomon, traveled to a Utah ski lodge to introduce what would become a major theory of …


I wore ‘pheromone perfume’ for a week to turn myself into a sex goddess

After years of going to the gym and working out in silence, one day, my male kickboxing partner wanted to talk. “What do you do for a living?” the …

Life Sciences

The Behavioral Economics Diet: The Science of Killing a Bad Habit

Diets don’t work. Studies show that temporary fixes to old habits actually make people gain weight. Essentially, the dieter’s brain is trained to …


Google has patented a potentially offensive way to predict what you like by your accent

If you say “tom-ay-to” and I say “tom-ah-to,” Google may someday suggest a tall latte for you and a nice cuppa tea for me.

In a patent awarded today, Google outlined a voice search system that would assess users’ accents and predict their preferences for restaurants, places, and movies based off …


How the Eyes Reveal What We're Thinking

Not only do they reflect what's happening in the brain, they influence how we remember and make decisions.

We've all heard the saying that eyes are the window to the soul. Turns out, our eye movements may reveal what we're thinking as well.

According to Tobias Loetscher and his colleagues at the …


Hacking Our Nervous Systems

When Maria Vrind, a former gymnast from Volendam in the Netherlands, found that the only way she could put her socks on in the morning was to lie on …


Brain Box: What does fMRI measure?

What does fMRI measure?

Fig 1. From Kuo, Stokes, Murray & Nobre (2014)

When you say ‘brain activity’, many people first think of activity maps …

The Brain

Nature or nurture? Twins suggest it’s a tie

The question of whether nature or nurture governs our health is one of science’s great debates.Scientists reviewed almost every twin study across the …


Mixed Signals: Why People Misunderstand Each Other

The psychological quirks that make it tricky to get an accurate read on someone's emotions

In her new book No One Understands You and What To Do About It, Heidi Grant Halvorson tells readers a story about her friend, Tim. When Tim started a new job as a manager, one of his top priorities was …


Why This Beautiful Human Behaviour is Highly Infectious - PsyBlog

The wonderful human behaviour that elevates all our morals.

Acts of kindness can spread surprisingly easily between people — just by observing someone …


How Do You Motivate Kids To Stop Skipping School?

It seems like a no-brainer: Offer kids a reward for showing up at school, and their attendance will shoot up. But a recent study of third-graders in a slum in India suggests that incentive schemes can do more harm than good.

The study, a working paper released by the Hong Kong University of Science …


Henry Marsh’s “Do No Harm” - The New Yorker

For the schoolteacher, the changes had come slowly. First, his walking had grown unsteady; then his hearing had worsened. He had become stooped, and …

The Brain

Why Do We Experience Awe?

HERE’S a curious fact about goose bumps. In many nonhuman mammals, goose bumps — that physiological reaction in which the muscles surrounding hair follicles contract — occur when individuals, along with other members of their species, face a threat. We humans, by contrast, can get goose bumps when …


A preliminary taxonomy of the voices inside your head

Psychologists are taking an increasing interest in the way we all speak to ourselves in our heads. Unpleasant, uncontrollable inner voices can be a …


Neuroscientists Are Making an Artificial Brain for Everyone

I’m fairly new to San Francisco, so I’m still building my mental database of restaurants I like. But this weekend, I know exactly where I’m heading …

The Brain

Why Men & Women Remember Things Differently

A study of over 3000 people discovered that men and women have yet another difference: the way they process emotions. According to researchers, this …


Why women talk less

This week on Newsnight, Evan Davis talked to three women about all-male panels—a subject made topical by the recent popularity of a tumblr set up to …

Women's News

The Darker Side of the 'Love Hormone' - The Crux

By S Craig Roberts, University of Stirling | May 21, 2015 9:40 am

A decade ago, a revolutionary paper showed that a hormone called oxytocin can …


How a Gay-Marriage Study Went Wrong

How a Gay-Marriage Study Went WrongA study that had excited researchers and journalists alike now looks suspect. What happened? Photograph by Andy …

Same-sex Marriage

Building Spiritual Capital

Lisa Miller is a professor of psychology and education at Columbia University. One day she entered a subway car and saw that half of it was crowded but the other half was empty, except for a homeless man who had some fast food on his lap and who was screaming at anybody who came close.

At one stop, …


The hard problem: Tom Stoppard on the limits of what science can explain

When Tom Stoppard was writing The Hard Problem, his play about the conundrum of human consciousness, one of the scientists he consulted was American evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson. The play offers, among other things, a challenge to Wilson’s view that altruism, as a consciously motivated …


Infidelity Lurks in Your Genes

AMERICANS disapprove of marital infidelity. Ninety-one percent of them find it morally wrong, more than the number that reject polygamy, human cloning or suicide, according to a 2013 Gallup poll.

Yet the number of Americans who actually cheat on their partners is rather substantial: Over the past …

Life Sciences

Your Nostalgia Isn’t Helping Me Learn

Rethinking recent “common sense” claims about technology as distraction in the classroom.

By Michael Oman-Reagan

It’s become popular to claim that …


Does Color Even Exist?

Does Color Even Exist? What you see is only what you see

Color perception is an ancient and active philosophical problem. It’s an instance of the …


You Sound Sad, Human

Imagine a future where your phone can analyze your emotional state by the sound of your voice. That's not as improbable as it sounds; computers are …


Neuroscientists Are Making an Artificial Brain for Everyone

Nara Logics is creating AI for all the businesses and people who could benefit from access to an artificial brain but can't build it themselves.The …

The Brain