giz asks
Can You Remember Being a Baby?

Every life-stage has its share of novelty – first kiss, first tax return, first twinge of certain death – but when it comes to new experiences most of us peak in infancy. Just laying there, gargling and soiling our diapers, we as infants cycle through thousands of firsts. It would be nice to remember some of them, as our lives slow down – as we settle into the same office chair for the 200th time, and sip from the same novelty coffee mug. But infancy scans as a blank for most of us. Read More >>

science
Your Earliest Memory Might Not Have Happened

If life is but a tapestry, then memory is the thread. But some of those threads may simply be imagined. A new study out today in Psychological Science suggests that our earliest memories often couldn’t have happened the way we remember them. Read More >>

giz asks
Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails?

Cats are enigmatic little creatures. It’s hard to get a read on the species. Does your cat love you, or would it gladly stab you in your sleep, if only it had thumbs and a slightly larger brain? The cat never tells—it thrives on inscrutability. But it can’t help betraying certain signs of its inner life: it’s hard to play things totally cool when you have a large, ungainly tail sticking out of your back, swishing this way and that for no immediately clear reason. Do these movements actually mean anything? Or is this just the species’ way of distracting us from whatever it is they’re really feeling? Read More >>

history
Pioneering Psychologist Hans Asperger Was a Nazi Sympathiser Who Sent Children to Be Killed, New Evidence Suggests

The term “Asperger’s syndrome” will never be heard the same way again, owing to new research showing that Hans Asperger—the Austrian pediatrician for whom the disorder was named—was an active participant in the Nazi eugenics program, recommending that patients deemed “not fit for life” be sent to a notorious children’s “euthanasia” clinic. Read More >>

science
New LSD Research May Help Explain the Brain Chemistry of Depression and Schizophrenia

Anyone who’s taken the psychedelic drug LSD (formally known as lysergic acid diethylamide), or had the joy of listening to their favourite relative talk about it over Christmas dinner, knows it can be a utterly bonkers experience. A small new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience seems to offer some insight into what’s happening in the brain while we’re on a LSD trip. And it might even provide a hint as to how certain mental disorders develop. Read More >>

science
23andMe Data Shows That Kind People Might Have Empathy in Their Genes

Scientists have long been interested in understanding the underpinnings of empathy. Being able to share the feelings of another person plays a critical role in our inner lives, how we behave towards others, and the way human societies function as a whole. Harnessing the power of empathy, some suggest, could go a long way toward solving problems like racism and sexism, and help us better understand non-neurotypical people. At the same time, another corner of the research world worries that constant immersion in technology is making it harder for today’s kids to empathise. Read More >>

science
One of Déjà Vu’s Most Striking Features is Just an Illusion

You’ve been here before. You’ve read this article already. Every word feels familiar. Even the room you’re sitting in feels the same. You know exactly what happens next. Read More >>

psychology
Why Booze Makes You Mean

Dramatic mood shifts while drinking alcohol are normal, but for some of us, booze takes us down a path toward nasty, belligerent, and downright aggressive behavior. By studying brain scans of drunk men, Australian scientists have pinpointed the parts of our brain that go weak when we drink, making us meaner than usual. But like so many aspects of human psychology, it’s a lot more complicated than that. Read More >>

giz asks
How Much Should I Regret Not Buying Bitcoin?

The first bitcoin transaction ever was by man who bought two pizzas. That arrangement would be worth over a $100 million today. Regret was baked into Bitcoin from the beginning. Last year, somewhat inexplicably, Bitcoin’s price rose more than 1,000 percent. That number has since dipped, but a single bitcoin is still, as of this writing, worth around $11K. Read More >>

science
Experimenter’s Gender Can Skew Science

There could be a crisis in science, especially in the social and even medical sciences: Results are difficult to reproduce. Groundbreaking papers might reveal a first set of results, but attempts to repeat the studies reveal a different and sometimes even conflicting new set. Read More >>

science
Man Had So Many Prostate Orgasms He Couldn’t Stop, According to New Paper

One 63-year-old man had so many prostate orgasms that he couldn’t stop. Read More >>

science
A Surprising Number of Young Kids Think Birthday Parties Are the Cause of Ageing

New research shows that many young children, prior to reaching the age of six or seven, mistakenly believe that birthday parties cause ageing. It’s a truly adorable finding, but the study also offers an important glimpse into the developing brain and our early tendency to seek out causal explanations for the unfolding world around us. Read More >>

science
This Revolting Poster Could Increase Teen Smoking Risk, If Teens Are to Be Believed

A recent study, in which American teens shopped in a pretend convenience store, found that gruesome anti-smoking ads might actually encourage kids to buy cigarettes, since they make smoking seem more edgy. But don’t take this finding at face value yet, as some other outlets have, because history has shown that teenagers like to mess with scientists. Read More >>

science
Artificial Intelligence Detects Suicidal Tendencies in People Using Brain Scans

Recent scientific progress has allowed us to begin decoding the significance of many different patterns of activity in the brain. Researchers have begun to understand patterns associated with disorders such as depression, in hopes of correcting it. Other research has zeroed in on how language and speech is signalled in the brain. In one often-cited experiment, researchers were even able to convert the MRI readouts of the test subjects’ brains into approximate renditions of the movie clips shown to participants. Read More >>

giz asks
Why Do People See Ghosts?

You live and then you die and then you rot in a hole—or so say the elites, with their glasses, and their PhDs in neuroscience. This bummer reality has never appealed much to Americans, 72% of whom believe in some kind of afterlife. It’s a comparatively rarer, though still sizeable, breed of American who believe in some spectral middle ground, in which, instead of rotting or going to hell, you float around and freak out your kids, or the new residents of the house where you were brutally murdered a hundred years ago. Read More >>