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Acts of Kindness Explained [Video]

        // Editor's note: Brain Basics from Scientific American Mind is a series of short video primers on the brain and how we feel, think and act.

June 10, 2014 — Ingrid Wickelgren

What Is Vertigo? [Video]

  // Learn what causes dizziness in this new video from Scientific American‘s Instant Egghead series. In this short movie, I explain how your inner ears work to help you balance, orient yourself and see what’s around you in a stable fashion...

May 12, 2014 — Ingrid Wickelgren
Who Needs Stimulants for ADHD?

Who Needs Stimulants for ADHD?

In 1970, 150,000 U.S. children were taking stimulant medications. By 2007, that number had risen to 2.7 million, according to pediatrician Sanford Newmark of the University of California, San Francisco...

February 13, 2014 — Ingrid Wickelgren
How To Coach Parents [Audio]

How To Coach Parents [Audio]

Most moms and dads are not taught how to parent. We are supposed to just know what to do, I suppose. But even if you have a relatively calm and obedient child, moments inevitably arise when you could really use an owners manual...

February 13, 2014 — Ingrid Wickelgren

To Patch a Visual Gap, Turn that Text Around

Reader, be proud. Youre a perceptual expert. As you read, your eyes alternately focus and move along each line of text in a seamless sequence honed over years of practice.

January 30, 2014 — Molly Sharlach
The Search for a Nobel Prize-Winning Synapse Machine

The Search for a Nobel Prize-Winning Synapse Machine

2013s Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine honors three researchers in particular – but what it really honors is thirty-plus years of work not only from them, but also from their labs, their graduate students and their collaborators...

December 10, 2013 — Ben Thomas

Plenty of Pheromones in the Sea

As we sat in my car outside a silent movie theater in Los Angeles, my friend anxiously opened a plastic bag containing a white T-shirt she’d slept in for the past three nights.

December 6, 2013 — Julia Calderone
The Potential of LSD, Heroin, Marijuana and Other Controlled Substances in Brain Research

The Potential of LSD, Heroin, Marijuana and Other Controlled Substances in Brain Research

Imagine being an astronomer in a world where the telescope was banned. This effectively happened in the 1600s when, for over 100 years, the Catholic Church prohibited access to knowledge of the heavens in a vain attempt to stop scientists proving that the earth was not the center of the universe.  ‘Surely similar censorship could [...]..

November 27, 2013 — David Nutt
How to Erase Bad Memories

How to Erase Bad Memories

I’ll never forget it. They strapped electrodes to my wrist, cranked up a black dial on a frightening electronic device encrusted with switches and knobs, and shocked me repeatedly with jolts of electricity...

November 25, 2013 — R. Douglas Fields

Creativity, Madness and Drugs

San Diego—Would we have Poe’s Raven today if the tormented author had taken lithium to suppress his bipolar illness? Not likely, considering the high frequency of psychiatric illnesses among writers and artists, concluded psychiatrist Kay Jamison of Johns Hopkins Medical School speaking last week at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego...

November 22, 2013 — R. Douglas Fields
The Dark Side of Power Posing: Cape or Kryptonite?

The Dark Side of Power Posing: Cape or Kryptonite?

In 1942, the mild mannered Clark Kent excused himself from his friend Lois Lane to take an important call. Clark slipped into a phone booth (remember those?), and moments later Superman emerged...

November 21, 2013 — Jay Van Bavel
Read the Thoughts of a Boy with Autism

Read the Thoughts of a Boy with Autism

Reprinted with permission from SFARI.org, an editorially independent division of the Simons Foundation. (Find original story here.) The autism described in The Reason I Jump is quite different from the mostly social disorder that I, as a researcher and clinician, find in textbooks and journal articles...

November 20, 2013 — William Mandy
Catching Ourselves in the Act of Thinking

Catching Ourselves in the Act of Thinking

From 1934 to 1970, Louie Mayer worked as a cook and housekeeper for writers Virginia and Leonard Woolf at their home in Rodmell, England. Her very first day on the job, she noticed something strange...

November 18, 2013 — Ferris Jabr
The Ancient Marriage between Music, Movement and Mood

The Ancient Marriage between Music, Movement and Mood

Think back to that moment when you first heard your favorite song. What about it made you stop in your tracks? Was it the incessant buildup, soaring high, filling you with a sense of elation?...

November 18, 2013 — Shelly Fan
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