Why do we hate seeing photos of ourselves?

There you are, clicking through your friend's Facebook album, when suddenly you happen upon a picture of yourself — or rather, a slightly less attractive version of yourself. The "real" you appears to have been abducted, replaced with some second-rate knock off. What gives? you ask yourself. Is that really what I look… » 10/22/13 10:35am 10/22/13 10:35am

Think you can walk in a straight line, blindfolded? Guess again.

Here's a fun experiment to try next time you find yourself in an open field. Close your eyes (or wear a blindfold) and set off walking, taking care to walk in as straight a line as possible. Have a buddy monitor your route (and warn you of obstacles). Sounds simple enough, right? Turns out it's harder than you think. » 9/25/13 10:40am 9/25/13 10:40am

A computer that can read letters directly from your brain

By using brain scan data and a set of computer algorithms, scientists from the Netherlands were able to determine which letters a person was looking at. The breakthrough suggests it'll soon be possible to reconstruct human thoughts at an unprecedented level of detail, including what we see, remember — and even dream. » 8/22/13 10:36am 8/22/13 10:36am

Can animals see optical illusions? Kitty says YES.

Youtuber rasmusab has posted a video that's as adorable as it is thought provoking. In it, a small orange kitten with white feet appears transfixed by an 8.5 x 11 printout of the famous "rotating snakes" illusion (just one variation on the "peripheral drift illusion" — see an example for yourself below). The kitten… » 3/07/13 6:40am 3/07/13 6:40am

This disorienting room has "gravitational mystery spots" that will…

The art installation seen here is named, menacingly but appropriately, Demon Hill #2. It is the work of LA-based artist Julian Hoeber, and to step inside it is to abandon sensations of balance, proprioception, and general physical stability — all thanks to some fiendish architectural trickery. » 10/25/12 1:40pm 10/25/12 1:40pm

Why a rat's whiskers are a lot like human hands

Rats, like humans, can deduce an impressive amount of information about their physical surroundings with their sense of touch. Humans do this most effectively with their hands and fingertips, while a rat experiences a significant portion of its tactile sensation via its whiskers. What's intriguing about this parallel… » 8/17/12 9:20am 8/17/12 9:20am

Why do we hate seeing photos of ourselves?

You know what I'm talking about. There you are, clicking through your friend's Facebook album, when suddenly you happen upon a picture of yourself — or rather, a slightly less attractive version of yourself. The "real" you appears to have been abducted, replaced with some second-rate knock off. What gives? you ask… » 7/27/12 2:25pm 7/27/12 2:25pm