For Patients with Parkinson's Disease, Expensive Placebo Works Better

In a recent study, an "expensive" salt solution was shown to to be significantly more effective at managing the symptoms of patients with Parkinson's disease than an "inexpensive" one. The salt solutions were identical placebos. » 2/01/15 7:30am 2/01/15 7:30am

How Did Brains Evolve?

Humans have asked where we come from for thousands of years, across all cultures. But only recently have we started to address the mystery of the evolution of the human brain — the organ that's the source of those existential questions, not to mention our evolutionary success itself. » 11/19/14 12:28pm 11/19/14 12:28pm

How Can Dreams Control Your Body? The Science Of Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking is equal parts fascinating and terrifying. The notion we can be in control of our bodies without having any responsibility for what we do is incredibly unnerving. But what actually happens in your brain (and your body) when you sleepwalk? Here's what science has found out. » 9/30/14 11:18am 9/30/14 11:18am

Doctors Discover A Woman With No Cerebellum

A 24-year-old woman complaining of dizziness and nausea was admitted to a hospital in Shandong Province recently, where she told doctors she had struggled with balance all her life. When doctors performed a brain scan, they immediately noticed the problem: The woman was missing her cerebellum. » 9/11/14 9:20am 9/11/14 9:20am

Why People Who Feel Calm Experience Pathological Laughter and Crying

Here's one of the eerier conditions out there. Pathological laughter and crying can cause patients to go into fits of laughter, or tears, out of the blue. The people who have it generally feel calm, but can't physically restrain themselves in any way. Why? » 8/13/14 11:51am 8/13/14 11:51am

You Could Wake Up Convinced You're In a Duplicate World

Or, at least, that you're in a duplicate town, house, and hospital. Reduplicative paramnesia victims believe that someone or something has constructed a duplicate structure, that looks exactly like the one they remember being in. What part of the brain can make you think you're on the set of your own life? » 8/05/14 11:00am 8/05/14 11:00am

PETA Tries To Pretend Dairy Products Have Something To Do With Autism

This is the most cynical, horrifying thing I've heard in ages. PETA has restarted a campaign to try and pretend there's some link between "autism and dairy products," in an attempt to scare people into going Vegan. Update: We have a response from PETA. » 5/28/14 2:35pm 5/28/14 2:35pm

The Science—And Neuroscience—Behind Bruce Lee's Amazing One-Inch Punch

One inch. That's as far away from you Bruce Lee's hand needed to be to deliver a devastating punch that could knock you across the room. Lee accomplished this amazing blow not just with physical mastery, but mental mastery as well. » 5/25/14 12:00pm 5/25/14 12:00pm

Scientists Discover Area Of Brain Responsible For Loving Johnny Cash

Brains are funny things. Injure them or mess with them, and people change — they change personalities, they change languages, and sometimes, they change their opinions on the Man in Black, Johnny Cash. » 5/23/14 1:50pm 5/23/14 1:50pm

The First Map Showing All the Connections in Your Brain's White Matter

Scientists have created the first map of the ways that the white matter in our brains connects with itself, and with our grey matter. The takeaway? It works like a scaffold, researchers say — and some connections are much more important than others. » 2/11/14 1:39pm 2/11/14 1:39pm

Why you can scratch one spot on your body and feel it somewhere else

Ever scratched your arm and felt a scratch over your ribs? How about pinching your leg and feeling a phantom twinge in your back? That sensation is called referred itch or mitempfindung. And here's why scientists think it happens. » 12/27/13 11:12am 12/27/13 11:12am

Why are yawns contagious? All the theories in one super-cute video

It's probably morning where you are, and you may find yourself surrounded by yawning coworkers — which makes you, in turn, break into a yawn. Why does someone else's yawn make you yawn? This cute video from TED-Ed offers a few theories, along with the science of yawning. » 11/08/13 7:07am 11/08/13 7:07am

What color is an orgasm?

People with a condition known as synesthesia are prone to swapping their senses. They can feel colors, see music, and smell words. This raises an important question for science: What's it like to have sex when you've got synesthesia? Thanks to some inquisitive researchers, we have the answer. » 10/21/13 12:57pm 10/21/13 12:57pm

Don't believe the hype: We haven't cured Down Syndrome in mice

Have you heard? Scientists have discovered a drug that cures Down syndrome with a single injection! Only they haven't. They've cured Down syndrome in mice with a single injection. Except... well... they haven't really done that, either. » 9/06/13 11:39am 9/06/13 11:39am

Patients suffering from locked-in syndrome can speak with their pupils

Locked-in syndrome (LIS) is the harrowing condition that leaves fully conscious patients unable to communicate due to complete paralysis. Now, researchers have uncovered a new way to help victims of LIS communicate with the outside world — by measuring changes in the diameter of their pupils. » 8/06/13 9:00am 8/06/13 9:00am

Man's Parkinson's disease symptoms vanish with the push of a button

In 2009, Andrew Johnson, 35, was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's disease. Last November, and again in February, he underwent a procedure, during which surgeons implanted a device in his brain that controls his tremors. Today, you'd never guess he suffers from Parkinson's – but watch what happens when he turns… » 6/27/13 7:40am 6/27/13 7:40am

Deaf Boy Hears Dad’s Voice for First Time Following Brain Stem Implant

Deaf since birth, three-year-old Grayson Clamp was born missing his cochlear nerves. Recently, however, Grayson became the first child from the U.S. to receive an experimental auditory brain stem implant. This video shows his reaction upon hearing his dad's voice for the first time. » 6/21/13 4:53pm 6/21/13 4:53pm

How could we engineer humans to have more empathy?

People are capable of amazing kindness, but also of unbelievable callousness. We go out of our way to help strangers, but we also turn a blind eye to misery. But what if you could make human beings kind all the time? What does science teach us about empathy, and how to create it in people? We decided to ask the… » 6/19/13 5:14pm 6/19/13 5:14pm

We've Found the Molecule That Causes Itchiness

Researchers have discovered the molecular link between the cells in skin that sense itching and the nerve cells that relay the perception of that itch to the brain. Take that molecule away, and the itchy sensation vanishes. So far, the molecules, cells and circuitry in question have been identified in mice, but this… » 5/23/13 11:03am 5/23/13 11:03am

Was Michael Crichton right about a link between epilepsy and violence?

The Terminal Man, a book published by Michael Crichton in the 1972, links explosive violence with epilepsy. This isn't the first book to put the two together — the idea that epileptic seizures could cause violence goes back into antiquity. But is there any truth to this notion? » 5/21/13 11:06am 5/21/13 11:06am