Do Students Know What’s Good for Them? Of Course They Do, and Of Course They Don’t.

By Dr. Tom Stafford / 10.07.2016 Lecturer in Psychology and Cognitive Science University of Sheffield Putting a student at the centre of their own learning seems like fundamental pedagogy. The Constructivist approach to education emphasises the need for knowledge to reassembled in the mind of the learner, and the related impossibility of its direct transmission[…]

This is Your Brain on God: Spiritual Experiences Activate Brain Reward Circuits

An fMRI scan shows regions of the brain that become active when devoutly religious study participants have a spiritual experience, including a reward center in the brain, the nucleus accumbens. Powerful spiritual feelings were associated with activation in the nucleus accumbens, an area of the brain associated with reward, a new study reports. By Natalie[…]

Awe: Common Misconceptions about an Elusive Emotion

By Maria Polonchek / 09.09.2016 According to researchers across the country, experiencing awe can lower stress levels, expand our perception of time, and improve social well-being. As a parent, I’m especially intrigued by findings that awe encourages altruism and empathy, discourages entitlement and narcissism, and boosts creativity and academic performance. Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor[…]

How the Brain Recognizes Faces

Image: Massachusetts Institute of Technology From MIT News / 12.01.2016 MIT researchers and their colleagues have developed a new computational model of the human brain’s face-recognition mechanism that seems to capture aspects of human neurology that previous models have missed. The researchers designed a machine-learning system that implemented their model, and they trained it to[…]

Veterans Arrive at Standing Rock to Act as ‘Human Shields’ for Water Protectors

Water protectors on horseback at the Oceti Sakowin camp. (Photo: Reuters) “I signed up to serve my country and my people.” By Nika Knight / 12.02.2016 As tensions grow in North Dakota, with multiple eviction orders facing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline, U.S. military veterans on Friday[…]

Gravity’s Reverb: Listening to Space-Time

Black holes merging By Dr. Stefan Helmreich / 11.2016 Etting E. Morison Professor of Anthropology Massachusetts Institute of Technology I heard gravitational waves before they were detected.1 I was sitting in a pub in May 2015 with MIT physicists Scott Hughes and David Kaiser, my headphones looped into a laptop. Hughes was readying to play[…]

Prayer to Thoth for Skill in Writing

Prayer to Thoth for skill in writing. The prayer is written in hieratic script, found at Thebes sometime prior to c. 1830 CE, and purchased by the British Museum in 1839 CE from the collector Giovanni Anastasi. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 11.17.2016 Professor of Philosophy Marist College The Prayer to Thoth for Skill[…]