Understanding Empathy: A Global Perspective

Imagine – while eating lunch, you observe that a spider is slowly crawling across a friend’s forearm. Immediately, your own arm tingles uncomfortably, but when you briefly glance downwards, no such spider is crawling up your own arm. Your mind has seemingly tricked your body into experiencing the sensation. Or, you are visiting a hospital nursery, and one newborn begins …

Turning Back the Clock on Environmental Damage

The Hackensack River winds for forty-five miles through southeastern New York, the suburbs of New York City, and northeastern New Jersey before emptying into the Newark Bay[1]. Its meandering, brown-tinged waters once contained a toxic brew of industrial pollutants and pesticides, and some areas are still littered with plastic bottles, bags, and other waste from the densely populated surrounding areas …

Personality Neuroscience: How the Brain Relates to Personality

On February 17, 2013, a New York Times article was the first to announce the Obama administration’s plans to unveil a long-term neuroscience project in March [1]. The multi-billion dollar, decades-long Brain Activity Map (BAM) project aims to map each of the 100 billion neurons whose activity underlies normal and diseased brain function, in an effort to better understand how …

The Musician’s Steroid: The Controversy Surrounding Beta Blockers

Imagine sitting in a concert hall listening to the melodious strains of a Brahms symphony. It only takes a single wrong note for the entire performance to quickly turn sour. The very fragility of performances places an incredible amount of pressure on musicians to constantly perform at their absolute best, and this pressure often causes performance anxiety. An increasing number …

Flavor Tripping and the Wonders of the Miracle Berry

That strawberry lemonade you just tasted? It was actually lemon and hot sauce. The chocolate shake you just drank? Guinness mixed with lemon sorbet. Call it flavor hallucinating, call it a taste illusion, call it whatever you want—you are flavor tripping. Remember that red fruit you ate just a few minutes ago, before your world was flipped upside down? Well …

Print journal: Why We Should Be Skeptical of the Science of Sexuality

By: Hannah LeBlanc, writing for The Science in Society Review In the past decade or so, several efforts to uncover the science of homosexuality have been published and received great media attention. From reports of “gay” animals to searches for the “gay gene” to the differences between “gay” and “straight” brains, there have been many reports in the popular media about …