giz asks
What’s the Best Song, According to Science?

Some songs stick to your soul like ectoplasm. Whether you’re at the club or Chuck E. Cheese, sometimes you hear a certain song that brings you back to a moment in your life you’d forgotten. Good music is fun but ephemeral—the best music stays with you forever, sometimes a little too long. Seriously, stop buying Phish t-shirts. Read More >>

neuroscience
Scientists Demonstrate Ability to Decode Images of Human Faces by Scanning Monkeys’ Brains

A group of researchers published a study this week in which they showed off an ability to reconstruct a photo of a human face just from recording the brain waves of a monkey that was viewing the photo. It represents a huge leap in our understanding of how the brain recognises faces and a potential window into recording what the brain is seeing. Read More >>

futurism
When Will Robots Deserve Human Rights?

Films and TV shows like Blade Runner, Humans, and Westworld, where highly advanced robots have no rights, trouble our conscience. They show us that our behaviours are not just harmful to robots—they also demean and diminish us as a species. We like to think we’re better than the characters on the screen, and that when the time comes, we’ll do the right thing, and treat our intelligent machines with a little more dignity and respect. Read More >>

awww
Why Prairie Voles Cuddle The Shit Out Of Their Partners

Here’s some news you desperately need today: A team of intrepid scientists has boldly gone where others have never dared, into the minds of tiny prairie voles in love. By studying the neural circuits of these adorable rodents, the researchers have uncovered some of the mechanisms behind their social bonding. Apparently, prairie voles cuddle for the same reasons we do—to show affection toward our partners—and goddamn is that cute. Read More >>

science
Can a Pill Make You More Moral?

It’s a reasonable goal to want everyone on Earth to be more moral. Maybe there’d be less suffering, and people would be happier or more prosperous. But what is morality? Are there any drugs that can make us more moral humans? Are they ready for us to debate about their use? Read More >>

medicine
This Brain Scanning Technique Can Measure Your Baby’s Pain

Babies can’t tell us how much pain they’re in, which poses a problem for healthcare practitioners who are trying to manage their care. A new technique that uses non-invasive brain scans overcomes this frustrating limitation by providing what may be the first objective measure of infant pain. Read More >>

science
Barking Mad Head Transplant Doctor Claims He’ll Revive Frozen Brains in Three Years

An Italian neuroscientist who says he’s planning to perform the world’s first head transplant later this year has told a German magazine that he intends to thaw a cryogenically preserved brain and transplant it in a donor body within three years. It’s a preposterous claim given the current limitations of medical science, and a complete misreading of how the fledgling cryonics industry works. It’s also a significant credibility fail for a doctor who’s already struggling to be taken seriously. Read More >>

neuroscience
The Brains of Blind People Really Are Wired to Enhance Other Senses

It’s often said that the loss of one sense improves the others. New research shows the dramatic extent to which this is true in blind people, and how their brains make new connections to boost hearing, smell, touch — and even cognitive functions such as memory and language. Read More >>

animal intelligence
Monkeys Learn to Pass a Classic Test For Self-Awareness

The ability to look into a mirror and recognise oneself is a cognitive skill we all take for granted, but very few animals outside of humans are able to do it. New research shows that monkeys can be trained to pass the so-called “mirror test”, suggesting that more species may be self-aware than previously thought. It’s a fascinating result, but one that shows how far we are from being able to accurate gauge consciousness in another animal. Read More >>

science
Reminder: Blue Monday Isn’t Real

Today is so-called 'Blue Monday,' allegedly the most miserable day of the year. Sure, it's cold, we're all poor from Christmas and a literal cartoon supervillain is being sworn into power later this week, but we don't need made-up reasons to be grumpy alongside the real ones. Read More >>

mind control
Scientists Create Mind-Controlled Hunting Zombie Mice

Flash one light, and the mouse goes on the prowl, zombielike, stalking any prey in its path. Flash another, and it delivers a killing blow with its teeth. The mouse doesn’t hunt out of hunger — scientists are in control. Read More >>

science
Brain Implant Allows Paralysed Woman to Communicate With Her Mind

Researchers in the Netherlands have successfully tested a brain implant that allows a patient with late-stage ALS to spell messages at the rate of two letters per minute. Read More >>

science
Brain Implant Allows Paralysed Monkey to Walk Again

For the first time ever, a neural device has been used to restore locomotion in paralysed primates. It may be years before clinical trials can begin for humans, but this latest breakthrough marks an important step in that direction. Read More >>