All Going Mental Articles

Demystifying the human brain

  • Neuroeconomics: In Oxytocin We Trust

    Economic researchers are uncovering the chemical triggers in our brains that spark feelings of trust—and using their findings to better understand how markets work.

  • How Meditation Reshapes Your Brain

    Far from simply being a relaxed state, meditation is a period of heightened mental activity. Long-term practice can increase one's capacity for attention as well as compassion.

  • How Neuroscience Is Changing the Law

    As neuroimaging labs use scanners to reveal more and more details about how the brain works, their findings are increasingly affecting the legal system.

  • Can Computers Be Conscious?

    By studying the neural networks in the brain, scientists have constructed computer-based models that mirror the brain's complex biological networks. 

  • Neural Exercises Boost the Aging Brain

    Our memory peaks at the age of 30, and then it declines gradually with time. But if we train our brains to stay more active and focused, they can remain healthier longer.

  • ADHD and Stimulants: Brain Boost or Drug Abuse?

    Given that drugs like Ritalin and Adderall raise productivity indiscriminately, shouldn't everyone be using them? Dr. Harold Koplewicz, one of the nation's leading child psychiatrists, thinks ADHD—like the drugs...

  • How Modern Life Affects the Brain

    Social philosopher William Powers and scientist Gary Small say distractions in the digital age come at the cost of sustained, deep attention. 

  • The Neuroscience of Cocktail Party Conversation

    How is it that we're able to focus on a distant conversation while ignoring the person who is speaking right in front of us? Tony Zador, a neuroscientist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, breaks down the brain...

  • How the Brain Fears

    The amygdala, an almond-shaped structure in the limbic system, is where the the brain processes and reacts to frightening stimuli. Because of its mechanism, our emotional responses to situations that feel...

  • The Human Hard Drive: How We Make (And Lose) Memories

    There's no such thing as a verbatim, facsimile memory, says USC neuroscientist Antonio Damasio. When we reconstruct events in our minds, we are pulling together set sequences of specific details stored in...

  • Brain Confidence: How Our Neurons Make Decisions

    Confidence is a trait typically cast as a higher-order function in the brain. It’s at once the act of making a decision, recognizing the decision as thought, and measuring the degree to which that decision makes...

  • Speak, Memory: Language and the Brain

    Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker's research looks at how language exists in our minds, and how it informs the way we create social relationships.

  • Is Your Brain Addicted to Porn?

    Psychiatrist Norman Doidge, author of "The Brain That Changes Itself," discusses how neuroplasticity can be hijacked by an addition to pornography.

  • The Brain in Love

    What's going on chemically in your brain as you feel the pierce of cupid's arrow? Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher explains the cocktail of neurotransmitters that cause you to fall in (and out of) love.

  • Braingasm: Sex and Your Synapses

    It is a cliché that the brain is  the "largest sex organ," but the repetition of the phrase doesn't make it any less true. 

  • The Neurological Origins of Religious Belief

    It has been known for some time that religious belief and behavior affect the brain. But can we pinpoint specific chemicals, genes and clusters of neurons that give rise to religiosity, or to atheism?

  • Your Brain on Drugs: Dopamine and Addiction

    What is happening to the neurochemistry of an addict's brain that makes that person so unable to do without cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines?

  • Bizarre Disorders of the Brain

    Enjoying a piece of music or recognizing the face of a loved one seems like a simple, instantaneous process. But like all things associated with the brain, they aren't. Both these activities arise from complex,...

  • Is Schizophrenia Really a Black Disease?

    Who decides what "insane" means? This was the major question of Ken Kesey's countercultural classic "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," which illustrated how mental illness could be deployed by the establishment to...

  • The Neurobiology of Evil

    Is a person's propensity toward evil a matter of malfunctioning synapses and neurons? Michael Stone, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and author of “The Anatomy of Evil,” says it is. ...