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Psychology

Essays and videos offering insights into the self, relationships, cognition and neuroscience
How to get better at video games (according to babies) | Aeon
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Computing and artificial intelligence

Teaching an AI to beat video games still takes human imagination

5 minutes

A sliver of reality | Aeon
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Knowledge

A sliver of reality

Science and mathematics may never fully capture the physical universe. Are there hard limits to human intelligence?

David H Wolpert

Connected-up-brains | Aeon
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Evolution

Connected-up-brains

Bat friends, monkeys sharing, and humans holding hands: the brains of social animals synchronise and expand one another

Sofia Quaglia

Imaginology | Aeon
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Knowledge

Imaginology

We need a new kind of approach to learning that shifts imagination from the periphery to the foundation of all knowledge

Stephen T Asma

Modular cognition | Aeon
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Cognition and intelligence

Modular cognition

Powerful tricks from computer science and cybernetics show how evolution ‘hacked’ its way to intelligence from the bottom up

Michael Levin & Rafael Yuste

Karl Friston: embodied cognition | Aeon
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Philosophy of mind

Embodied cognition seems intuitive, but philosophy can push it to some strange places

14 minutes

The art of the plot twist | Aeon
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Stories and literature

The art of the plot twist

Some twists infuriate; others are brilliant. But they both use the surprise story as a self-exploding confidence game

Vera Tobin

Homo imaginatus | Aeon
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Human evolution

Homo imaginatus

Imagination isn’t just a spillover from our problem-solving prowess. It might be the core of what human brains evolved to do

Philip Ball

On the origin of minds | Aeon
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Cognition and intelligence

On the origin of minds

Cognition did not appear out of nowhere in ‘higher’ animals but goes back millions, perhaps billions, of years

Pamela Lyon

Blinkity blank | Aeon
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Film and visual culture

A Palme d’Or-winning animation toys with the way our eyes perceive light

5 minutes

The Rashomon effect | Aeon
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video

Knowledge

What can a Kurosawa classic tell us about reality, knowledge and truth?

5 minutes

Enduring memory | Aeon
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Biology

Enduring memory

How can animals whose brains have been drastically remodelled still recall their kin, their traumas and their skills?

Thomas R Verny

A theory of my own mind | Aeon
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Cognition and intelligence

A theory of my own mind

Knowing the content of one’s own mind might seem straightforward but in fact it’s much more like mindreading other people

Stephen M Fleming

Around is around | Aeon
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video

Film and visual culture

A series of animated illusions illustrates how we project depth on to flat surfaces

8 minutes

ORIGINALCharting animal cognition | Aeon
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Cognition and intelligence

How a ‘periodic table’ of animal intelligence could help to root out human bias

5 minutes

The Mozart effect | Aeon
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video

Cognition and intelligence

No, Mozart isn’t a brain hack for babies – here’s how music really affects intelligence

5 minutes

The misinformation virus | Aeon
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Information and communication

The misinformation virus

Lies and distortions don’t just afflict the ignorant. The more you know, the more vulnerable you can be to infection

Elitsa Dermendzhiyska

A philosophy of sound | Aeon
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Beauty and aesthetics

A philosophy of sound

From the Big Bang to a heartbeat in utero, sounds are a scaffold for thought when logic and imagery elude us

Christina Rawls

The gender of dementia | Aeon
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Ageing and death

The gender of dementia

Are women really at greater risk from dementia? Until we reckon with social roles and inequalities, it’s impossible to say

Kate Gregorevic

How to be a genius | Aeon
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Cognition and intelligence

How to be a genius

I travelled the world and trawled the archive to unearth the hidden lessons from history’s most brilliant people

Craig Wright

On the same wavelength | Aeon
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Cognition and intelligence

On the same wavelength

The urge to align our minds and emotions with those we care for, whether they are near or far, makes our species unique

Hayden Kee

The science of wisdom | Aeon
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Cognition and intelligence

The science of wisdom

Psychological science can now measure and nurture wisdom, superseding the speculations of philosophy and religion

Igor Grossmann

The value of uncertainty | Aeon
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Philosophy of mind

The value of uncertainty

In fiction, it grips us. In life, it can unravel us. How can brains hooked on certainty put its opposite to good use?

Mark Miller, Kathryn Nave, George Deane & Andy Clark

The physarum experiments | Aeon
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video

Biology

Creeping through mazes, repelling threats – the slo-mo smarts of slime moulds

5 minutes