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

Why Your Brain Likes a Good Handshake

October 21, 2012, 6:15 PM
Handshake%20action%20ss

What's the Latest Development?

Advances in neuroscience are adding scientific support to long-held beliefs such as the importance of offering a warm and friendly handshake whenever we greet someone. According to new research involving the use of fMRI machines, the brain's "nucleus accumbens, which is a reward processing region, showed greater activity for Handshake than for No-handshake conditions"thus demonstrating a link to "the positive effect of handshake on social evaluation." The new research will be published in the December edition of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

What's the Big Idea?

Evolutionary biologists believe the handshake emerged as a friendly gesture because it shows that neither party is holding a weapon in their hand. Today, it seems that our ancestors' traditions still run deep. The recent study "found that [handshakes] not only increase the positive effect toward a favorable interaction, but they also diminish the impact of a negative impression. Many of our social interactions may go wrong for one reason or another, and a simple handshake preceding them can give us a boost and attenuate the negative impact of possible misunderstandings."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

 

 

Why Your Brain Likes a Good...

Newsletter: Share: