Mind & Brain, Psychology

Overthinking and neuroticism could be cornerstones of creativity, opinion paper suggests

Image via themonitordaily

A new opinion paper published in the September 2015 edition of the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, suggests that the part of the brain associated with self-generated thoughts — the sort involved in both rumination and introspection — tends to be overactive in neurotic people, leading to unhappiness as well as creative problem-solving.

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, Research

Can Hearing Aids Also Save Your Memory?

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If you’ve ever lived with someone who’s hard of hearing, or have struggled with hearing difficulties yourself, you know it can be a hard condition to live with. Thankfully, modern technology has given us a wide variety of hearing implements that can let us salvage this precious physical sense. But hearing loss can come with a number of related symptoms

Feature Post, Mind & Brain

Are you a hoarder? Complete this checklist [infographic]

hoarding behavior infographic

We’re all guilty of bringing home useless items like flyers or old computer electronics from time to time, hoping that one day we’ll use them. Don’t kid yourself. It rarely happens. For some people though, hoarding seems to be a way of life, bordering obsessive compulsive disorder. In fact, psychologists class hoarding behavior as a distinct disorder which affects 2 to 5 percent of Americans.

Mind & Brain, News

Modafinil is the first confirmed drug that makes you smarter

smart drugs

Though initially made for narcoleptics (people having trouble sleeping), many soon caught on that modafinil can enhance cognitive abilities. Right now, it’s a favorite among students who use it when preparing for exams with visible results, they claim. But modafinil isn’t the first such “smart drug” we’ve come across. It’s likely that you’ve seen some TV or internet ads marketing ‘smart pills’ that supposedly enhance cognitive abilities, but with mere anecdotal evidence backing it up. In contrast, modafinil really seems to be a legit smart drug, according to a systematic review of reports documenting the effects of the drug. The meta-analysis was made by a team at University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School.

Domestic Science, Mind & Brain, News, Science, Studies

Raise’em right! Only we’re not – modern parenting may hinder brain development

mother with son on sundown kiss by nose

Several cultural beliefs and modern social practices may hinder children’s mental, moral and emotional development, finds a study by an interdisciplinary body of research presented recently at a symposium at the University of Notre Dame.

Mind & Brain, News, Psychology

Yawning is contagious, unless you’re a psychopath

Psycopaths aren't impressed by yawning. Image: Dexter

When someone yawns near us, we naturally feel an irresistible urge to yawn in response. Even dogs seem to yawn when humans do it. This contagious behavior has fascinated psychologists and behaviorists for many years, and while there are many reasons scientists have proposed for why people yawn (it’s a bit complicated, what we know for sure is that’s important and actually has a purpose), social cohesion might play an important role. The more emphatic you are, the likelier it is you’ll yawn in response. On the contrary, psychopaths barely register yawns and seem impenetrable.

Mind & Brain, News

Looking into someone’s eyes for 10 minutes alters your state of mind and can cause hallucinations

Image via Imgneed.

Staring straight into someone’s eyes can be pretty intense, and is usually avoided by most people. But a team of researchers has shown that it’s even weirder than you’d think: it actually alters your consciousness, and often causes hallucinations.

Mind & Brain, News

Psychosis and violence are not really linked together, study finds

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Television has perpetuated the already classic image of a violent, psychotic criminal, up to the point where we basically associate the two. We often tend to think of violent people as psychotic, and psychotic people as violent. But as a new study has found, that’s not really the case: there’s no strong correlation between violence and psychosis.

Mind & Brain, News, Psychology

Be sarcastic! It’s good for you, scientists find

Bill Murray's sarcastic humor has made him a favorite of many - yours truly included. Image via Memecrunch.

Using and understanding the intricacies of sarcasm is a fine art; one does not simply “become” sarcastic – you must dive into it, let it embrace you. You must become sarcasm. But jokes aside, sarcasm is a strange thing – we don’t know exactly how it appeared and why. The best theory seems to be that it developed as a cognitive

Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

A language that sounds like birdsong, whistled Turkish, uses both brain hemispheres

Whistled Turkish Involves Both Cerebral Hemispheres in Its Processing. Image: Capital Wired

One of the most peculiar languages in the world, whistled Turkish, is challenging the long-standing idea that the left brain hemisphere is solely responsible for processing language and extracting meaning. Any language, be it spoken, written or signed is processed in the left hemisphere, but whistled languages are processed equally by both sides of the brain. It’s a striking discovery that suggests people devoid of left hemisphere processing abilities, following a stroke for instance, can still communicate using their right hemisphere. Just whistle.