Category Archives: Neuroscience

Researchers identify brain circuit for spirituality

Brigham and Women’s Hospital reports: More than 80 percent of people around the world consider themselves to be religious or spiritual. But research on the neuroscience of spirituality and religiosity has been sparse. Previous studies have used functional neuroimaging, in which an individual undergoes a brain scan while performing a task to see what areas… Read More »

Could mitochondria be the key to a healthy brain?

Diana Kwon writes: Long before the earliest animals swam through the water-covered surface of Earth’s ancient past, one of the most important encounters in the history of life took place. A primitive bacterium was engulfed by our oldest ancestor — a solo, free-floating cell. The two fused to form a mutually beneficial relationship that has… Read More »

The English professor who foresaw modern neuroscience

Christopher Comer and Ashley Taggart write: In the 21st century, neuroscience has been able to extend our understanding of the brain beyond brain anatomy to an increasingly functional view of cognition. Every year brings new insights on memory and imagination, and reveals often surprising areas of convergence with fields such as anthropology and philosophy. Yet… Read More »

Do we have free will? Maybe it doesn’t matter

Jim Davies writes: Belief is a special kind of human power. Agustin Fuentes, an anthropologist at the University of Notre Dame, eloquently claims as much in his recent book Why We Believe: Evolution and the Human Way of Being. It’s the “most prominent, promising, and dangerous capacity humanity has evolved,” he writes, the power to… Read More »

That is not how your brain works

Lisa Feldman Barrett writes: As a neuroscientist, I see scientific myths about the brain repeated regularly in the media and corners of academic research. Three of them, in particular, stand out for correction. After all, each of us has a brain, so it’s critical to understand how that three-pound blob between your ears works. Myth… Read More »

Martin Luther rewired your brain

Joseph Henrich writes: Your brain has been altered, neurologically re-wired as you acquired a particular skill. This renovation has left you with a specialized area in your left ventral occipital temporal region, shifted facial recognition into your right hemisphere, reduced your inclination toward holistic visual processing, increased your verbal memory, and thickened your corpus callosum,… Read More »

How the brain responds to beauty

Jason Castro writes: Pursued by poets and artists alike, beauty is ever elusive. We seek it in nature, art and philosophy but also in our phones and furniture. We value it beyond reason, look to surround ourselves with it and will even lose ourselves in pursuit of it. Our world is defined by it, and… Read More »