Researchers have identified an area of the dog brain dedicated to processing human faces

The dogs' ability to recognise and process human faces surpasses even that of monkeys. This newly-identified brain region may be the reason why.

Mind & Brain

If you want to know about the special relationship between human and canine you need only watch a dog owner slavishly feed, cuddle and clean up after her furry companion, day after day after day. But is this unique cross-species relationship also reflected at a deeper level, in the workings of the canine brain? A recent study in Learning and Behavior suggests so, finding that highly trained dogs have a dedicated neural area for processing human faces, separate from the area involved in processing the faces of other dogs.

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Some perfectly healthy people can’t remember their own lives

Three study participants described their own memories as almost completely lacking a first-person perspective or involving any sense of "re-experiencing."

Mind & Brain

Psychologists in Canada think they've identified an entirely new memory syndrome in healthy people characterised by a specific inability to re-live their past. This may sound like a form of amnesia, but the three individuals currently described have no history of brain damage or illness and have experienced no known recent psychological trauma or disturbance.

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“My-side bias” makes it difficult for us to see the logic in arguments we disagree with

"Our results show why debates about controversial issues often seem so futile," the researchers said.

A supporter of Democratic healthcare reforms (L), argues with a reform opponent before a Town Hall meeting held by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on August 11, 2009 in Alhambra, California. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Mind & Brain

In what feels like an increasingly polarised world, trying to convince the "other side" to see things differently often feels futile. Psychology has done a great job outlining some of the reasons why, including showing that, regardless of political leanings, most people are highly motivated to protect their existing views.

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Photo by Ben Sweet on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

It's a question that's reverberated through the ages – are we humans, though imperfect, essentially kind, sensible, good-natured creatures? Or deep down are we wired to be bad, blinkered, idle, vain, vengeful and selfish? There are no easy answers and there's clearly a lot of variation between individuals, but this feature post aims to shine some evidence-based light on the matter. Here in the first part of a two-part feature – and deliberately side-stepping the obviously relevant but controversial and already much-discussed Milgram, Zimbardo and Asch studies – we digest 10 dispiriting findings that reveal the darker and less impressive aspects of human nature:

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