Brain Scans Reveal When Your Decisions Are Getting Risky

For the first time, scientists have shown that they can predict when people will make risky decisions based on brain activity patterns. Could this lead to a world where we consult brain scans to predict whether we're making a risky choice or not? » 2/06/14 11:39am 2/06/14 11:39am

Comment of the Day: Science of Fear Edition

In today's comments we speculated on which of our favorite on-screen characters were just one step away from a pink slip, chose the super powers we would most like to have in our arsenal of fun, and (just in time for Halloween!) unlocked some secrets of what the brain does with fear. » 10/29/13 4:40pm 10/29/13 4:40pm

Why do we feel the pain of bad guys more than the good guys?

Whether it be in movies or real life, we don’t tend to feel sorry for the villains. But strangely, and even a bit disturbingly, we often empathize more with the pain they experience. A new study offers a potential answer to this puzzling phenomenon — and it may have something to do with wanting to keep our enemies… » 10/17/13 8:00am 10/17/13 8:00am

Scientists say they've found the neural origin of humans' "sixth sense"

Answer as fast as you can: how many cats are in the image up top? Did you answer without counting them individually? Probably not – but if you were pushing yourself, there's a good chance you tallied them in groups of three or four. Now, researchers say they've identified a small tangle of neurons that makes this… » 9/09/13 5:17pm 9/09/13 5:17pm

Man in coma uses his thoughts to tell doctors, 'I'm not in pain'

Back in 2010, neuroscientists confirmed that it was possible to communicate with some patients locked in a vegetative state by using an fMRI scanner. Though limited, the breakthrough suggested that more meaningful dialogue with patients in a coma could someday be possible. And now, two years later, it has finally… » 11/13/12 6:30am 11/13/12 6:30am

Did you just take a vitamin C tablet, or a hit of ecstasy?

Above, New Scientist's Graham Lawton describes his experience as a test subject in a groundbreaking study on MDMA, the recreational drug commonly known as ecstasy. The research is being led by David Nutt, a former chief drug advisor to the UK who was dismissed from his position in 2009 after criticizing the… » 9/18/12 5:00pm 9/18/12 5:00pm

This man can read the minds of vegetative patients

Neuroscientist Adrian Owen estimates that 20 percent of patients in a so-called "vegetative state" are, in fact, capable of communicating with the outside world. This is not a delusion. Using brain imaging techniques like fMRI, Owen — pictured above — has provided some remarkably compelling evidence that "non-responsive"… » 6/15/12 12:40pm 6/15/12 12:40pm

10 Awesome Online Classes You Can Take For Free

Back in August, we told you about a free course on artificial intelligence being offered by Stanford University, and co-taught by two world-renowned AI experts. The class officially started today, so if you managed to register for it on time, then good on you. » 10/10/11 10:25am 10/10/11 10:25am

An objective way to measure pain? It's closer than you think.

Many doctors rely on patients to indicate levels of pain and discomfort, and while these self-reports are certainly subjective, they can still provide physicians with valuable clinical information. But what happens when patients are unable to talk with their doctors, like in cases of severe cognitive or communicative… » 9/13/11 3:21pm 9/13/11 3:21pm

The Next Witness for the Prosecution Could Be Your Brain

Earlier this year, an Indian court convicted Aditi Sharma of murdering her fiancé » 10/17/08 2:20pm 10/17/08 2:20pm. Although she maintains her innocence, Sharma was convicted based on a brain electrical oscillation signatures test, which the prosecution claimed proved that she possessed experiential knowledge of the crime. Now some individuals are…