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


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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


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

Forcing a Smile: How Botox Helps Relieve Depression

July 2, 2014, 11:00 AM

What's the Latest?

Los Angeles dermatologist Eric Finzi has published two studies suggesting that Botox injections can relieve symptoms of depression by keeping the face from expressing sorrowful or painful emotions. The second study, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, was coauthored with Dr. Norman Rosenthal, a professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School. "The study found a 47 percent reduction in scores on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale among those injected with Botox. The members of the control group, who were injected with saline, exhibited a 20.6 percent reduction."

What's the Big Idea?

Expressing emotion, it turns out, is an important part of experiencing emotion. A phenomenon known as the facial feedback hypothesis holds that because your face is such a sensitive area of the body, it communicates information to your brain about how you feel. "The idea is that you’re not just frowning because you’re sad; you’re also sad because you’re frowning. Emotions aren’t emotions at first; they’re thoughts, and the physiological reactions to those thoughts shape and magnify how we feel." This is also true of empathy, however. Without the ability to express sorrow at another person's sorrow, you may feel indifferent to their suffering. 

Read more at Pacific Standard

Photo credit: Poznyakov/Shutterstock


Forcing a Smile: How Botox ...

Newsletter: Share: