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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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Devil in the room

8 minutes

A world between dream and reality: the science – and horror – of sleep paralysis

Have you ever woken from a deep sleep, totally lucid but unable to move? Devil in the Room explores this space between dream and reality, explaining the science and history behind sleep paralysis, a mystifying and often terrifying phenomenon in which dreams intrude upon waking life. Through evocative stop-motion animation and puppets, the film recreates these waking dreams, bringing vividly to life spiders that seem to crawl out from under the bed, and the feeling of a monstrous presence lurking just out of sight.

Director: Carla MacKinnon

Producer: James Mullighan

ORIGINAL
Video/Cognition & Intelligence

For millennia, we’d never seen anything like film cuts. How do we process them so easily?

7 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Cognition & Intelligence

There’s a lot more to conversation than words. What really happens when we talk

6 minutes

Video/Mathematics

Going from A to B isn’t always a straight line – but it can be very good fun

2 minutes

Essay/Neuroscience

Where pain lives

Fixing chronic back pain is possible only when patients understand how much it is produced by the brain, not the spine

Cathryn Jakobson Ramin

Idea/Psychiatry & Psychotherapy

The history of brainwashing is a red flag for techno-therapy

David Saunders

Video/Childhood & Adolescence

What to make of a Riot Grrrl? A snapshot of feminism and high school in the 1990s

18 minutes

Essay/Human Evolution

Imagination is ancient

Our imaginative life today has access to the pre-linguistic, ancestral mind: rich in imagery, emotions and associations

Stephen T Asma

Idea/Love & Friendship

Keeping it in the family: why we pick the partners we do

Tamsin Saxton

Video/Cognition & Intelligence

Why can concave surfaces look convex when viewed from overhead (and vice versa)?

4 minutes