melody hoefdraad

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Philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft on the Imagination and Its Seductive Power in Human Relationships

“These emotions … appear to me to be the distinctive characteristic of genius, the foundation of taste, and of that exquisite relish for the beauties of nature, of which the common herd of eaters and drinkers and child-begeters, certainly have no idea.”<p><i>“Independence I have long considered as the</i> …

Welcome to the age of anger | Pankaj Mishra

The seismic events of 2016 have revealed a world in chaos – and one that old ideas of liberal rationalism can no longer explain<p>The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States is the biggest political earthquake of our times, and its reverberations are inescapably global. It has fully …

Political Science

The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science

Scientific journal retracts 60 papers linked to fraudulent peer-review ring

One of the largest publishers of scientific journals is retracting 60 papers after an internal investigation found that they had been part of an orchestrated ring of fraud. In a statement released last week, Sage Publications said that it had uncovered a series of papers published in the <i>Journal of</i> …

Lead Exposure May Cause Depression And Anxiety In Children

Lead is well known for causing permanent behavioral and cognitive problems in children, but a study says it may also cause less obvious problems like depression, too, even at low levels.<p>That's the word from a study tracking the health of 1,341 children in Jintan, China, where the health effects of …

Newly Discovered Shrew May Look Like A Mouse, But It's More Closely Related To The Elephant

By Laura Zuckerman<p>(Reuters) - A new mammal discovered in the remote desert of western Africa resembles a long-nosed mouse in appearance but is more closely related genetically to elephants, a California scientist who helped identify the tiny creature said on Thursday.<p>The new species of elephant …

Genetically Altered Bacteria Prevent Mice From Getting Fat

The microbes appear to live in the gut and prevent obesity for up to four weeks.<p>By feeding mice a genetically modified version of <i>E. coli</i>, a bacterium that naturally lives in human and mice guts, scientists were able to prevent the animals from gaining as much weight as mice not given the treatment. …

The Mono-Mono Twins Are Cute, But Mostly They’re Rare—And Fascinating

The same internet that brought you "otters holding hands" has delivered new viral gold: newborn twins holding hands. Photos of the infants, born in Ohio last month, and their mother went viral from their sheer adorableness. But the twins' apparent affection for one another wasn't the only thing …

How Trauma Affects The Brain Of A Learner

Our public media colleagues over at KPCC, Southern California Public Radio, have a fascinating two-part report on the efforts of schools in the Los Angeles area to address the effects of "toxic stress" on student learning.<p>"As researchers work to solve one of the most persistent problems in public …

A lie detector on your phone

In an age of misinformation, fact-checking apps for our smartphones and computers could tell us when we’re being told lies.<p>Each week on The Forum, a global thinker from the worlds of philosophy, science, psychology or the arts is given a minute to put forward a radical, inspiring or controversial …

Lie Detection

Can synaesthesia be learnt?

Many people see words as colours, smells or sounds, and they swear it boosts their creativity. So could we all tweak our senses to see the world in this way?<p>Olympia Colizoli doesn’t see the world like you. “To me, all time and numbers are arranged in physical space. Days, weeks, months, years, …

Researchers Close In on the Dream of a Safe, Portable Brain Scanner

If research on the human brain is to come close to meeting the lofty hopes many researchers and government bodies have for it, one thing is going to …

Sleep after learning strengthens connections between brain cells and enhances memory

In study published today in <i>Science</i>, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center show for the first time that sleep after learning encourages the growth …

Light switches memories on and off | Mo Costandi

Researchers use optogenetics to provide the first hard evidence that long-term potentiation at brain synapses is crucial for memory formation<p>A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego, has determined the cellular mechanism of memory formation, putting an end to decades of …

Study: Electrical Signals Can Regrow Brain Cells

Researchers uncover a new kind of neuron that can tell the stem cells in a mouse brain to grow more neurons.<p><b>Scientists have found a kind of brain cell in</b> mice that can instruct stem cells to start making more neurons, according to a new study. In addition, they found that electrical signals could …

Bite your tongue! You might without this brain circuit

Scientists have mapped a brain circuit that keeps mice from biting their tongue every time they chew.<p>“Chewing is an activity that you can consciously …

Neurophilosophy

Caring for a baby changes a man's brain, study shows

Parenting a small child requires the forethought of a crisis planner, the reflexes of a professional goalkeeper, the energy of a cheerleader and the empathy of a therapist.<p>After eons of practice at such caregiving, it's clear that mothers have evolved some brawn in those parts of the brain that …

Dealing with stress—to cope or to quit? Neurons determine

We all deal with stress differently. For many of us, stress is a great motivator, spurring a renewed sense of vigor to solve life's problems. But for …

Skin Cell Research Suggests Schizophrenia Begins in Womb

Neurons generated from the skin cells of schizophrenia patients behave strangely in the early developmental stages, offering clues that might lead to …

'Sticky synapses' can impair new memories by holding on to old ones

(Medical Xpress)—A team of UBC neuroscientists has found that synapses that are too strong or 'sticky' can actually hinder our capacity to learn new …

Left Brain vs. Right: It's a Myth, Research Finds

It's the foundation of myriad personality assessment tests, self-motivation books and team-building exercises – and it's all bunk.<p>Popular culture …

Sound and vision: Visual cortex processes auditory information too

Scientists studying brain process involved in sight have found the visual cortex also uses information gleaned from the ears as well as the eyes when …

What Happens When Mice Eat Nothing But Powdered Food

Possible hints of the consequences of a long-term Soylent diet<p>A new study has found that eating powdered food for weeks on end gave mice higher blood pressure, higher levels of glucose in the blood, and higher levels of certain hormones in the blood. That's compared to mice who ate the exact same …

The 20 photographs of the week

The aftermath of the Soma mine disaster, the Glasgow School of Art fire, the Cannes film festival – the best photography in news, culture and sport from around the world this week

Brain's production of new nerve cells may account for loss of early memory

Have you ever been told about an incident that happened when you were little that you cannot recall? Perhaps the time you had an unstoppable crying fit at the mall, ate your first piece of pizza or hit your head on the coffee table and had to get stitches?<p>This inability to remember specific events …

How Tech Companies Tricked A Generation Into Working For Free

Last month Apple announced it would open beta testing access for its soon-to-be-revealed version of OS X to anyone with a compatible computer. Once a process reserved for a limited number of developers operating under non-disclosure agreements, the ability to have early access to new software from …

Richard Dawkins: 'I am a secular Christian'

The prominent scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins admits his nostalgia for religion at the Hay Festival 2014<p>Richard Dawkins, the prominent atheist and scientist, has admitted that he is a “secular Christian” because he hankers after the nostalgia and traditions of the church.<p>Speaking at the Hay …

Blocking Pain Receptors Extends Lifespan, Mouse Study Suggests

Scientists have found a way to beat back the hands of time and fight the ravages of old age, at least in mice. A new study finds that mice bred without a specific pain sensor, or receptor, live longer and are less likely to develop diseases such as diabetes in old age. What’s more, exposure to a …