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.
World Renowned Bloggers
Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.
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.
What's the Latest Development?
University of Milan Bicoccia scientist Zaira Cattaneo and her team asked 12 test subjects to view and rate paintings done in different styles. They then used transcranial direct current stimulation on some of the subjects to deliver a small amount of electric current to a portion of the brain involved in emotion processing. On the other subjects, they performed a similar treatment that used no current. When asked to view and rate the paintings again, those who received the current rated certain paintings -- those depicting real-world scenes -- more highly than before. Their ratings didn't change for abstract works.
What's the Big Idea?
It's hard to say exactly what motivates an individual's appreciation for certain types of art, but scientists working in the relatively young field of neuroaesthetics hope to provide some clarification in the future. Commenting on Cattaneo's study -- which was published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience -- University of Pennsylvania neurologist Anjan Chatterjee says, "The effect of stimulation was subtle, but still pretty remarkable considering the participants were basically just putting a battery on their head."
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com