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Universal Linguistic Decoders are Everywhere

Pereira et al. (2018) - click image to enlarge No, they're not. They're really not. They're “everywhere” to me, because I've been listening to Black Celebration. How did I go from “death is everywhere” to “universal linguistic decoders are everywhere”? I don't imagine this particular semantic leap has occurred to anyone before. Show More Summary

The Selective Skepticism of Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an author and leading alternative health proponent who was the foil for my first ever Neuroskeptic post, nearly 10 years ago. Ever since then I have occasionally been following McTaggart's output. McTaggart is believer...Show More Summary

Is Human Adult Neurogenesis Dead? And Does It Matter?

Does the human brain continue creating new neurons throughout adult life? The idea that neurogenesis exists in the adult human hippocampus has generated a huge amount of excitement and stimulated much research. It's been proposed that...Show More Summary

What Does Any Part of the Brain Do?

How can we know the function of a region of the brain? Have we been approaching the problem in the wrong way? An interesting new paper from German neuroscientists Sarah Genon and colleagues explores these questions. According to Genon et al., neuroscientists have generally approached the brain from the standpoint of behavior. Show More Summary

Dietary Intake of Omega Fatty Acids and Brain Health

Omega fatty acids are well known to be important for the normal functioning of our body. These fatty acids are essential for the formation of the cell membrane. They play a critical role in brain health. In addition, they are crucial for fertility, visual acuity, and optimal cardiovascular health. Omega-3 fatty acids also have an […]

Race and Genetics

Dare I venture into this politically and emotionally charged issue? When researching the questions regarding our evolutionary biology as I do, ignoring the question of race as it relates to species would be negligent. On the other hand, trying to discuss it in a short blog such as this could be considered foolhardy. This sounds […]

Opportunistic Exercise: Use One Minute Exercises for Positive Aging

Would you believe me if I said that 95 percent of people are living today just as they did yesterday, a month ago, a year ago, without anything changing? Renewal doesn’t just happen; it comes to those who consciously pursue it. Just like only those who open their eyes at daybreak can see the dawn, […]

Is Your Own Mind Trapping Your True Self?

If you were to ask most people if they are in charge of their life, the majority of people would likely respond that they themselves were. Yet what most people don’t understand is the tremendous power their subconscious mind has on the choices they make and how they approach life on a daily basis. In […]

Medicinal Plants and the Brain – Ginkgo, Lemon Balm, and Rhodiola

This is the second article in the series on the influence of medicinal plants on the brain. I am describing plants where we have at least one positive double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in humans that supports their medicinal use in brain-related disorders. The last article described St. John’s wort, ashwagandha, and American skullcap, and we can […]

Handedness: What Does It Say About Your Brain Structure?

Left-handedness, as a relatively uncommon phenomenon, never fails to fascinate people. There is a common perception that left-handed people are more talented and artistic. To what extent these assumptions are correct, and what your preferred use of right or left hand can tell you about your brain structure? Handedness represents the better performance or preference […]

Cerebral Congestion: Why Giving Your Brain a Break Improves Productivity

Eureka moment often strikes when a person is taking a break, relaxing, lying down, or walking. Nevertheless, the importance of recess or downtime remains unappreciated. But does being busy truly mean being productive? What about psychological congestion? Most people, earlier or later in life, have felt the burnout effect on their work, especially when their […]

Why Do Children Learn Foreign Languages So Easily?

Many researchers believe that learning foreign language before the puberty and even better earlier allows children to speak more fluently, almost like native speakers.  In addition, learning more than one language at early age improves lifelong ability to communicate with others and contributes to cognitive development and cultural awareness. Show More Summary

Nicotine: A Powerful Nootropic?

Smoking kills. It increases the risk of lung cancer, it leads to peripheral vascular diseases and peripheral neuropathy, it causes cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and so on. But can it make you smarter??? It seems yes, although not the smoking itself but the main neurostimulant in tobacco called nicotine. This addictive alkaloid compound […]

Your Behavior—How to Understand and Change It!

Richard Pfau, who holds a doctorate in science education and an undergraduate degree in psychology, wrote Your Behavior: Understanding and Changing the Things You Do as a reaction to what he sees as the current state of psychology. In his own words, the psychology field today is “scattered and speculative”. Pfau’s goal with Your Behavior is to synthesize […]

Vitamin D and Brain Health

Although the main functions of vitamin D include maintaining phosphorus and calcium homeostasis (and hence providing a positive effect on bone health), vitamin D plays other important roles in the body. Consequently, vitamin D deficiencies can be felt in the whole body, including the brain. Vitamin D is an important member of fat-soluble vitamins that […]

How Mindfulness Can Kill Your Cravings

A new study from the U.K. suggests mindfulness strategies may help prevent or interrupt cravings for food, cigarettes, and alcohol. Craving can be defined as an intense, conscious desire, usually to consume a specific drug or food. There is also a significant body of research that suggests it is causally linked to behavior. Investigators reviewed […]

Artificial General Intelligence — Is the Turing Test Useless?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is all the rage today. It permeates our lives in ways obvious to us and in ways not so obvious. Some obvious ways are in our search engines, game playing, Siri, Alexa, driving cars, ad selection, and speech recognition. Some not-so-obvious ways are finding new patterns in big data research, solving complex […]

Scientific Salami Slicing: 33 Papers from 1 Study

"Salami slicing" refers to the practice of breaking scientific studies down into small chunks and publishing each part as a seperate paper. Given that scientists are judged in large part by the number of peer-reviewed papers they produce, it's easy to understand the temptation to engage in salami publication. Show More Summary

About that New Antidepressant Study

A new Lancet paper about antidepressants caused quite a stir this week. Headlines proclaimed that "It's official - antidepressants work", "Study proves anti-depressants are effective", and "Antidepressants work. Period." Wew. The truth...Show More Summary

Human Chains: "Prayer Camp" Psychiatry Study Raises Ethical Questions

A new medical paper raises complex questions over ethics and human rights, as it reports on a study that took place in a religious camp where mentally ill patients were chained up for long periods. The paper's called Joining psychiatric care and faith healing in a prayer camp in Ghana and it's out now in the British Journal of Psychiatry. Show More Summary

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