How Well Does Your Brain Know You?
Metacognition is the science of introspection. How well we know ourselves compared to how well we think we know ourselves could have profound consequences for medicine and philosophy.
What's the Latest Development?
Determining how well the brain can judge its own behavior is a tricky matter because it requires thinking about thinking—in other words, introspection. Dr. Steve Fleming of New York University has been designing experiments to measure the difference between what we think we know about ourselves and who we really are. In one experiment, people were shown different shades of gray and asked to choose the darker shade. People consistently picked the darker shade but rated their ability to distinguish between them at very different levels.
What's the Big Idea?
Strangely, there is often a gap between what we think we should do and what we actually do, not in terms of moral fortitude but in much simpler situations. Sometimes we tell ourselves we want a Snickers but might pick up a Twix instead. The excuse, 'I just wasn't thinking', is not uncommon in our culture. Using MRI machines, Fleming found that differences in brain biology, particularly in the frontal cortex, correlate to differences in the accuracy of our self-reflection. When it comes to ascribing blame and punishment, a pillar of our justice system, the accuracy of self-reflection is often taken as given.
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Researchers discover a link between nonverbal synchronization and relationship success.
- Scientists say coordinating movements leads to increased intimacy and sexual desire in a couple.
- The improved rapport and empathy was also observed in people who didn't know each other.
- Non-verbal clues are very important in the development stages of a relationship.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
The comics titan worked for more than half a century to revolutionize and add nuance to the comics industry, and he built a vast community of fans along the way.
- Lee died shortly after being rushed to an L.A. hospital. He had been struggling with multiple illnesses over the past year, reports indicate.
- Since the 1950s, Lee has been one of the most influential figures in comics, helping to popularize heroes that expressed a level of nuance and self-doubt previously unseen in the industry.
- Lee, who's later years were marked by some financial and legal tumult, is survived by his daughter, Joan Celia "J.C." Lee.
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