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Psychology

Essays and videos offering insights into the self, relationships, cognition and neuroscience
The politics of pain | Aeon
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essay

History

The politics of pain

Medical science can only tell us so much. To understand pain, we need the cultural tools of history, philosophy and art

Rob Boddice

En pointe! | Aeon
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video

Dance and theatre

From calluses to burnt shoes, the elegance of ballet is built from the ground up

4 minutes

The middle of the world | Aeon
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video

Consciousness and altered states

You need to make friends with pain to run through the Grand Canyon and back

5 minutes

Adem’s island | Aeon
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video

Mood and emotion

Alone on a small island in Belgrade, a father grieves his daughter in quiet solitude

12 minutes

Skin hunger | Aeon
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video

Wellbeing

A unique theatre performance explores what touch means in an age of lockdown

17 minutes

Music and sex | Aeon
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essay

Music

Music and sex

A song can take you on a journey of ecstatic arousal. Is music imitating sex, inviting it, or something else altogether?

Michael Spitzer

Fear not | Aeon
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essay

Film and visual culture

Fear not

You might think that horror movies are a delicious, trashy pleasure. But watching them has surprisingly wholesome effects

Mathias Clasen

The diamond | Aeon
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video

Nature and landscape

An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty

16 minutes

How to breathe in Kern County | Aeon
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video

Sports and games

After a day’s toil in California’s fields, labourers let loose in street races

9 minutes

Apocalypse, please | Aeon
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essay

Pleasure and pain

Apocalypse, please

The COVID-19 pandemic, like other catastrophes before it, got some of us hooked on phobic energy and terror. Why?

Travis Alexander

Mathematics for gamblers | Aeon
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essay

Mathematics

Mathematics for gamblers

If philosophers and mathematicians struggle with probability, can gamblers really hope to grasp their losing game?

Catalin Barboianu

You and the thing that you love | Aeon
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video

Pleasure and pain

After losing his sight, a skateboarder takes an unexpected path to realising his dreams

12 minutes

The Starr sisters | Aeon
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video

Love and friendship

After traumatic childhoods, two sisters dedicate their golden years to fun

15 minutes

The need to touch | Aeon
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essay

Neuroscience

The need to touch

The language of touch binds our minds and bodies to the broader social world. What happens when touch becomes taboo?

Laura Crucianelli

All inclusive | Aeon
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video

Pleasure and pain

The ritualised excess of life aboard a cruise ship is tragic and parodic by turns

10 minutes

Nostalgia reimagined | Aeon
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essay

Neuroscience

Nostalgia reimagined

Neuroscience is finding what propaganda has long known: nostalgia doesn’t need real memories – an imagined past works too

Felipe De Brigard

The hysteria accusation | Aeon
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essay

Pleasure and pain

The hysteria accusation

Women’s pain is often medically overlooked and undertreated. But the answer is not as simple as ‘believing all women’

Elizabeth Barnes

The swimmer | Aeon
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video

Consciousness and altered states

‘It makes sense of everything I am.’ The transcendence of the long-distance swimmer

12 minutes

It’s hard to fool a nose | Aeon
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essay

Cognition and intelligence

It’s hard to fool a nose

Theories of perception are heavily tilted to the visual: we have much to learn from our surprisingly acute sense of smell

Ann-Sophie Barwich

Vive le tour: refuelling | Aeon
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video

Sports and games

Grab bags, café raids and booze – how Tour de France cyclists refuelled in the 1960s

3 minutes

Why Epicurean ideas suit the challenges of modern secular life | Aeon
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idea

Thinkers and theories

Why Epicurean ideas suit the challenges of modern secular life

Temma Ehrenfeld

Catching desires | Aeon
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essay

Pleasure and pain

Catching desires

That drink, that cigarette, that dance: wanting things is highly contagious. Can you be immunised against the infection?

Bence Nanay

Do spoilers actually ruin stories? | Aeon
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video

Pleasure and pain

Spoiler alert: does knowing how it ends make fiction more fun?

4 minutes

Wait for it: how schizophrenia illuminates the nature of pleasure | Aeon
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idea

Pleasure and pain

Wait for it: how schizophrenia illuminates the nature of pleasure

Ann M Kring