Did we evolve to see reality as it exists? No, says cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman.

Cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman hypothesizes we evolved to experience a collective delusion — not objective reality.

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  • Donald Hoffman theorizes experiencing reality is disadvantageous to evolutionary fitness.
  • His hypothesis calls for ditching the objectivity of matter and space-time and replacing them with a mathematical theory of consciousness.
  • If correct, it could help us progress such intractable questions as the mind-body problem and the conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics.
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The cabbage roll epiphany: Our best chance at depolarizing the United States

If ever there was a food that holds a lesson for building bridges in a fractured America, it's the cabbage roll.

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  • Dr. Kurt Gray of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill unpacks a psychological and political phenomenon: reactive devaluation.
  • This negative phenomenon is driving polarization in the U.S.. The good news? It has an equally powerful counterpart: benevolence.
  • Understanding how humans create meaning in the world is the key to a more unified and a more rational America.
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Read a Harvard geneticist's plan for redesigning humans

Professor George Church creates a gene "wishlist" that can lead to superhuman abilities.

  • Harvard geneticist George Church makes a list of genes that could be modified to enhance human abilities.
  • The list tracks both positive and negative effects.
  • Redesigning humans can lead to posthumans or transhumans.
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It's never really now: 4 ways your brain plays with time

We don't perceive time in an objective fashion; instead, the brain interprets time in a complex and amorphous way.

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  • Time seems like it flows steadily from the past to the future. In fact, this is a complicated illusion that our brains work hard to create.
  • In reality, our brains are constantly managing our perception of time.
  • These four temporal illusions demonstrate the subjective nature of time and the influence the subconscious has over our lived experience.
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Young cannabis users worse at spotting changes in facial emotions

A new study found that smoking cannabis at a young age is associated with reduced brain volume in a region responsible for processing emotions on people's faces.


MARTIN BERNETTI
/Contributor
  • The study involved using MRIs and emotional processing tasks to compare 20 regular cannabis users to 35 non-users.
  • The results showed cannabis users had lower brain volumes in a region called the left rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC).
  • Still, the researchers noted that their study didn't establish causality.
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