What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Going Mental Posts

Demystifying the human brain

Previous | 1

Going Mental

Neuroeconomics: In Oxytocin We Trust

Neuroeconomics
over 3 years ago

The concept of trust is in many ways the connective tissue of society—governing everything from our personal relationships to our common use of currency. Most, if not all, of the decisions we make every day rely on one form or another of trust. But what if our capacity for faith is simply the ...

Going Mental

How Neuroscience Is Changing the Law

Law
over 3 years ago

As leading-edge neuroimaging labs use scanners to reveal more and more details about how the brain works, their findings are increasingly affecting other fields as well. The legal system, in particular, is now being forced to assess the potential implications of new information about how issues ...

Going Mental

Can Computers Be Conscious?

I-robot-470px
over 3 years ago

Computers have seem "mind-like" to people since they were invented in 1950s. In the early days they were widely called "electronic brains" for their ability to process information. But the similarity between computers and brains isn't just superficial: at their most fundamental levels, computers ...

Going Mental

ADHD and Stimulants: Brain Boost or Drug Abuse?

Adderall-big
over 3 years ago

The narrative of personal improvement is as American as baseball—almost as American as a fondness for illegal and prescription drugs. From steroids and human growth hormones on the baseball diamond to amphetamines in college libraries and quadrangles, performance enhancing drugs combine a desire ...

Going Mental

How Modern Life Affects the Brain

Brain
over 3 years ago

Now that the Internet and the devices through which we connect to it have made ever-increasing amounts of information available to us all the time, scientists and social philosophers have begun to wonder whether our neural pathways can sustain the panoply of distractions that this information glut ...

Going Mental

How the Brain Fears

Whos-afraid-of-big-bad-wolves1
over 3 years ago

Emotions are messy, complicated phenomena—not just for lovers, but for neuroscientists as well, because they combine cognition with physiology. Scientists once thought of emotion as a purely mental activity which elicited bodily responses, but they now see the mind and body as equally responsible ...

Going Mental

Speak, Memory: Language and the Brain

Wmefeb-brain-celljpg1
over 3 years ago

In the field of neuroscience, we know far less about language than about other brain mechanisms like emotion, memory, or sensation. The inherent difficulty of studying language is that it is so closely linked to thought. There are certainly parts of the brain in which language is concentrated, but ...

Going Mental

Is Your Brain Addicted to Porn?

Censored_brain
over 3 years ago

Not long ago, scientists thought of the brain as being "hard-wired." Neural networks are formed at a young age and remain inflexible throughout the rest of one's lifetime, they believed. But one of the great discoveries of recent decades is that the brain remains highly adaptable, or plastic, even ...

Going Mental

The Brain in Love

Kiss3
over 3 years ago

There are precious few love songs that mention the brain, which is unfortunate because the brain, according to research by biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, is at the heart of love. According to Fisher there are three components to love. The first is lust, or the craving for sexual ...

Going Mental

Braingasm: Sex and Your Synapses

Orgasm-682_729284a
over 3 years ago

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 mechanics of its role during sex are less obvious and less well understood than that of the body's other sex organs, but by using brain imaging scans, neuroscientists ...