We are all conspiracy theorists

In each of our minds, we draw a demarcation line between beliefs that are reasonable and those that are nonsense. Where do you draw your line?

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  • Conspiracy theories exist on a spectrum, from plausible and mainstream to fringe and unpopular.
  • It's very rare to find someone who only believes in one conspiracy theory. They generally believe in every conspiracy theory that's less extreme than their favorite one.
  • To some extent, we are all conspiracy theorists.
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Why does life flash before your eyes in a life-threatening scenario?

The experience of life flashing before one's eyes has been reported for well over a century, but where's the science behind it?

Photo by Kalea Jerielle on Unsplash

At the age of 16, when Tony Kofi was an apprentice builder living in Nottingham, he fell from the third story of a building. Time seemed to slow down massively, and he saw a complex series of images flash before his eyes.

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The power of authority: how easily we do what we’re told

Milgram's experiment is rightly famous, but does it show what we think it does?

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  • In the 1960s, Stanley Milgram was sure that good, law-abiding Americans would never be able to follow orders like the Germans in the Holocaust.
  • His experiments proved him spectacularly wrong. They showed just how many of us are willing to do evil if only we're told to by an authority figure.
  • Yet, parts of the experiment were set up in such a way that we should perhaps conclude something a bit more nuanced.
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The science of sex, love, attraction, and obsession

The symbol for love is the heart, but the brain may be more accurate.

Videos
  • How love makes us feel can only be defined on an individual basis, but what it does to the body, specifically the brain, is now less abstract thanks to science.
  • One of the problems with early-stage attraction, according to anthropologist Helen Fisher, is that it activates parts of the brain that are linked to drive, craving, obsession, and motivation, while other regions that deal with decision-making shut down.
  • Dr. Fisher, professor Ted Fischer, and psychiatrist Gail Saltz explain the different types of love, explore the neuroscience of love and attraction, and share tips for sustaining relationships that are healthy and mutually beneficial.

Could flickering lights fight Alzheimer's? Early research looks promising

An early feasibility study finds a potential new treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

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Mind & Brain

For the past few years, Annabelle Singer and her collaborators have been using flickering lights and sound to treat mouse models of Alzheimer's disease, and they've seen some dramatic results.

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How a rubber hand could treat OCD

A well-known psychology trick called the "rubber hand illusion" could be useful for treating patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Mind & Brain
  • It is easy to trick your brain into believing that a rubber hand belongs to your body.
  • OCD is a crippling condition afflicting 1 in 50 people.
  • The "rubber hand illusion" could offer a novel strategy to treat this condition.
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