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Psychology

Essays and videos offering insights into the self, relationships, cognition and neuroscience
Super-cooperators | Aeon
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essay

Philosophy of mind

Super-cooperators

Clear and direct telepathic communication is unlikely to be developed. But brain-to-brain links still hold great promise

Gary Lupyan & Andy Clark

What does dying really feel like? | Aeon
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video

Ageing and death

Death is a trip – how new research links near-death and DMT experiences

9 minutes

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

Freefall into darkness | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Freefall into darkness

Scientists study animals to illuminate human psychology. So why are we blind to the mental lives of our caged subjects?

Garet Lahvis

Thalia Wheatley: social neuroscience | Aeon
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video

Neuroscience

The brain repurposed our sense of physical distance to understand social closeness

5 minutes

Help! Brain overload | Aeon
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Technology and the self

Help! Brain overload

As tasks mount up, our brain’s ability to juggle goes down. Neuroergonomic tactics can relieve the cognitive burden

Emily Willingham

The turbulent brain | Aeon
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Neuroscience

The turbulent brain

Energy flow between brain and environment drives the non-equilibrium that sustains life. Could turbulence help us thrive?

Morten L Kringelbach & Gustavo Deco

Becoming a centaur | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Becoming a centaur

The horse is a prey animal, the human a predator. Our shared trust and athleticism is a neurobiological miracle

Janet Jones

Anjan Chatterjee: neurological disorder and art | Aeon
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video

Neuroscience

Artists can flourish after brain damage. What does this say about neurology and aesthetics?

7 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

Art from a mind at sea | Aeon
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Art

Art from a mind at sea

Louise’s Parkinsonism didn’t tamp her artistic drive, but exposed the link between perception, thought and creativity

Michael Stanley

The fog of grief | Aeon
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Life stages

The fog of grief

The five stages of grief can’t begin to explain it: grief affects the body, brain and sense of self, and patience is the key

April Reese

The addiction trap | Aeon
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Addiction

The addiction trap

Our inability to treat substance use disorders stems from a narrow-minded view that brains and genes are their real cause

Judith Grisel

Attached | Aeon
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Childhood and adolescence

Attached

From cradle to grave, we are soothed and rocked by attachments – our source of joy and pain, and the essence of who we are

Mostafa El-Kalliny & Zoe R Donaldson

World wide open | Aeon
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Mental health

World wide open

Deep brain stimulation not only treats psychiatric disease – it changes the whole person, boosting confidence and openness

Julian Kiverstein, Erik Rietveld & Damiaan Denys

Out of mind | Aeon
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video

Neurodiversity

What it’s like to have aphantasia, the inability to visualise images in the mind’s eye

14 minutes

The warped self | Aeon
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Neuroscience

The warped self

Social media makes us feel terrible about who we really are. Neuroscience explains why – and empowers us to fight back

Mark Miller & Ben White

Phrenology: the weirdest pseudoscience of them all? | Aeon
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video

History of science

The ‘dangerous nonsense’ of phrenology shows how pseudoscience takes hold

4 minutes

Brains in a dish | Aeon
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Human evolution

Brains in a dish

What pea-sized brain organoids reveal about consciousness, the self and our future as a species

Alysson Muotri

Nightmares becalmed | Aeon
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Sleep and dreams

Nightmares becalmed

I’m a dream engineer. Through touch, scent and sound, we help people rescript the dramas of their sleeping lives

Michelle Carr

Brain wifi | Aeon
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Consciousness and altered states

Brain wifi

Instead of a code encrypted in the wiring of our neurons, could consciousness reside in the brain’s electromagnetic field?

Johnjoe McFadden

Am I my connectome? | Aeon
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Neuroscience

Am I my connectome?

Each human brain possesses a unique, intricate pattern of 86 billion neurons. If science can map it, immortality beckons

Phil Jaekl

Myth and the mind | Aeon
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Neuroscience

Myth and the mind

Saturated with rites and symbols, psychology feeds a deep human need once nourished by mythology

Rami Gabriel