What can Avicenna teach us about the mind-body problem?

The Persian polymath and philosopher of the Islamic Golden Age teaches us about self-awareness.

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Philosophers of the Islamic world enjoyed thought experiments.
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Aphantasia: the rare brain condition that darkens the mind’s eye

A new study provides validation for the recently identified phenomenon.

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  • Aphantasia, a recently identified psychological phenomenon, describes when people can't conjure visualizations in their mind's eye.
  • A new study published in Cortex compared the visual memories of aphantasic participants with a group of controls.
  • Its results found experimental validation for the condition.
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Loneliness is wired into the human brain. Here's what it looks like.

A large study shows changes in the brain scans of lonely people in the area involved in imagination, memory, and daydreaming.

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  • A study of 40,000 participants shows specific signatures in the brain scans of lonely people.
  • Loneliness is linked to variations in grey matter volume and connections in the brain default network.
  • This area of the brain is connected to the use of imagination, memory, future planning, and daydreaming.
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Crazy dreams help us make sense of our memories

A new theory suggests that dreams' illogical logic has an important purpose.

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  • If consolidating memories as we sleep is like machine learning, maybe dreams keep our "algorithms" on track.
  • Machine learning is optimized by the injection of a certain amount of nonsense data.
  • Maybe dreams are just weird enough to do the same for us as we sleep.
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    Why schools should not teach general critical-thinking skills

    Schools have become captivated by the idea that students must learn a set of generalized critical-thinking skills to flourish in the contemporary world.

    Eric A. Clement/U.S. Navy/Getty Images
    Being an air-traffic controller is not easy.
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