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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.

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Going Mental Posts

Demystifying the human brain

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Going Mental

Bizarre Disorders of the Brain

Mind_storm
about 4 years ago

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, interconnected networks in the brain—networks that we normally take for granted, until ...

Going Mental

Is Schizophrenia Really a Black Disease?

O1
about 4 years ago

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 crush the individual. But a recent book by University of Michigan psychiatry ...

Going Mental

The Neurobiology of Evil

Evil
about 4 years ago

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.  Ever-more-detailed brain scans are revealing the biological origins of psychological ...

Going Mental

The Shaking Woman: A History of Hysteria

Document.php
about 4 years ago

In 1895 Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer published "Studies on Hysteria," a series of case studies of female patients with bizarre symptoms that had no obvious biological cause. Some patients complained of convulsive seizures and others of temporary blindness. Anna O, the most famous of the cases ...

Going Mental

What Is Intelligence?

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about 4 years ago

What makes some brains smarter than others? Are intelligent people better at storing and retrieving memories? Or perhaps their neurons have more connections allowing them to creatively combine dissimilar ideas?

Going Mental

What Is Consciousness?

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about 4 years ago

We all think we know what it means to be conscious, but it is hard to pin this down in a precise, scientific way—as USC neuroscientist Antonio Damasio explains in our video. Every weekday in September, Big Think will offer a new insight into the human brain in our new "Going Mental" blog.