Brain-To-Brain Interfaces And The Science Of Telepathy

Recent advances in brain-computer interfaces are turning the science fantasy of transmitting thoughts directly from one brain to another into reality. » 3/09/15 12:30pm 3/09/15 12:30pm

Our Sense Of Free Will Diminishes When We Need To Pee Or Desire Sex

Embodied cognition theory states that our thoughts and emotions are profoundly affected by our physical bodies. A new study takes this idea further, claiming that our bodily states — particularly when they're urgent — can even influence our metaphysical beliefs. » 9/05/14 9:20am 9/05/14 9:20am

How Pigeon Bones Forced Us To Rethink Neanderthal Cognition

We may think of pigeons as "flying rats," but research published today in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that their wild counterparts were an important source of nutrition for some Neanderthals. » 8/07/14 1:02pm 8/07/14 1:02pm

Our Ability To Smell Depends On Our Culture

Common wisdom holds that smell is the least important sense for our species. But that conclusion may be flawed because we've ignored non-Western cultures. New research on a small tribe in southern Thailand challenges that assumption. » 4/04/14 10:39am 4/04/14 10:39am

Crows Understand a Fundamental Part of Logical Reasoning

Crows are far more rational than we had realized. New research shows that wild New Caledonian crows can compete with 7-year-old children when it comes to understanding causality, or how one action causes another. » 3/27/14 7:32pm 3/27/14 7:32pm

Another remarkable example of how smart elephants are

Elephants are widely regarded as one of the world's most intelligent creatures, able to use tools, show grief and exhibit remarkable memory. New research now shows African elephants can do something no other wild animal has been shown to do: They can understand human pointing gestures without any kind of training. » 10/11/13 9:20am 10/11/13 9:20am

Evidence that wild orangutans are scary smart

Humans pride ourselves on our ability to make plans for the future. But it turns out that we're not the only animals who think ahead. Scientists have observed wild orangutans planning their travel routes a day in advance, and communicating their itinerary to community members. » 9/13/13 11:56am 9/13/13 11:56am

8 Things We Simply Don't Understand About the Human Brain

Despite all the recent advances in the cognitive and neurosciences, there’s still much about the human brain that we do not know. Here are 8 of the most baffling problems currently facing science. » 7/29/13 10:05am 7/29/13 10:05am

New evidence that humans developed big brains to cope with society

For the past several decades, scientists have been fascinated by the "social brain theory" — the idea that certain animals evolved big, powerful brains to cope with the complexities of social life. A new computer simulation has now shown that this assertion is likely correct. » 6/26/13 9:10am 6/26/13 9:10am

At what age do we understand sarcasm?

We're used to kids being sassy, but not toddlers. At what age does sarcasm become understandable to a developing brain? The answer depends on the way that that sarcasm is delivered. » 5/26/13 8:00am 5/26/13 8:00am

Watch baboons show off their human-like math skills

No, we're not quite at the point where baboons can tackle calculus or trigonometry, but they do show an ability to count that's at least as good as that of a human child, as this video from the University of Rochester reveals. » 5/05/13 4:00pm 5/05/13 4:00pm

Like humans, dragonflies are capable of focusing their attention

Scientists have discovered that dragonflies can do something they didn't think invertebrates were capable of. It's called ‘selective attention.' Like primates, dragonflies have special brain cells that allow them to lock on to specific targets when hunting their prey, while simultaneously ignoring potential… » 12/21/12 12:20pm 12/21/12 12:20pm

Puppy superpower #837: immunity against contagious yawning

Humans, chimps and other primates have all been shown to be susceptible to contagious yawning. Previous research has suggested that dogs are, too, unless — according to newly published findings — that dog is a puppy younger than seven months. » 10/24/12 9:49am 10/24/12 9:49am

A handy guide to lucid dreaming, with additional tips from Richard…

Anyone who's had one will tell you: lucid dreams are ridiculously, comically, and sometimes obscenely fun — but they're also notoriously difficult to experience. In their latest video, the folks at AsapSCIENCE serve up a series of quick, scientifically informed tips on how to experience nighttime reveries on your… » 10/11/12 9:30am 10/11/12 9:30am

People are more likely to believe in magic spells that are repetitious…

Many people around the world believe in magic spells and rituals, but that doesn't mean that it's enough to wave a wand and mutter a few unpronounceable words to convince a believer that the magic will work. A new study out of Brazil suggests that people are most likely to believe in the power of a magical ritual when… » 8/04/12 4:00pm 8/04/12 4:00pm

An Illusion that Explains Why Typos Are So Hard to Catch

Every time you type an email or a document, errors are likely to creep in — and no matter how carefully you proof read, you might not catch everything. Why do we have such a hard time noticing typos and repeated words? » 7/10/12 2:18pm 7/10/12 2:18pm

Everyone Around You Is An Impostor: Inside the Mind's Most Bizarre…

Imagine that your best friend has been replaced by an exact double, or that everyone you meet is really the same person wearing lots of disguises. These aren't just plots of The Prisoner episodes — they're all real mental delusions. » 4/11/12 3:44pm 4/11/12 3:44pm

Veterans' brain damage reveals the most detailed map of intelligence…

The brain is arguably the most complex structure in the known universe, which makes linking specific regions to particular mental functions almost impossible. Now, 182 Vietnam vets have helped us get a huge step closer to unlocking the brain's secrets. » 4/10/12 3:24pm 4/10/12 3:24pm

When rats are as smart as humans

In a battle of wits, humans and rats are way more evenly matched than you'd think. While we obviously have an advantage in overall intelligence, our ability to read situations and make decisions is actually no better than a rat's. » 3/13/12 4:30pm 3/13/12 4:30pm

Are these little birds the most stressed out animals in the world?

At first glance, the behavior of scrub jays seems like a sign of intelligence. Whenever they notice another bird looking at their food, they will hide their food as far away as possible...then start doing that over and over again. » 3/06/12 9:40am 3/06/12 9:40am