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Epigenetics: Where Consciousness Meets DNA

The study of epigenetics is illuminating more of the intricacies of how our genes affect, and are affected by, our life. “Epi” comes from Greek, meaning “upon,” “over,” or “near,” so epigenetics is the study of mechanisms “on top of” or “near” the classical mechanisms that affect gene expression. I [ … ]

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Dreaming on Demand: Becoming A Lucid Dreamer

Lucid dreaming is the act of dreaming while maintaining consciousness during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. This type of dreaming allows you to tell yourself that “you are dreaming” without waking up. Awake consciousness, if used correctly, gives one the opportunity to keep on participating in the dream while defining it to be something else. [ … ]

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Road Map of the Mind: Understanding Functional MRI

What if I told you it was possible to read, or even hear, your thoughts? Mind reading has been the stuff of science fiction for some time — something that 50 years ago would have been thought impossible. Even today, there’s quite a bit of doubt, but what can be seen is the activity across brain regions each time we produce thoughts. While sending messages through brain waves [ … ]

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The Transposed Mind: How Self-Aware Are We?

When it comes to capturing and transferring the activity of the mind, imagine some sort of neural scanner that can read the on/off states of every neuron in your brain, and is then able to transpose these into a computer program or even into another human brain. Might the “I” you can feel living in your body shake its new head, blink its eyes, and say “I think, therefore I am”? [ … ]

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You’re Fired! Your “Subordinate” Brain At Work

In our market-based economy, everyone has a boss. Most of us answer to a manager or supervisor, but even the CEO answers to shareholders. So the pressures of being judged for your work hardly vanish the further up the ladder you climb. And if you asked them, many business leaders would probably tell you they miss the responsibility-free days of being file clerks. [ … ]

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Game Theory: A Q&A with Dr. Adam Gazzaley

Dr. Adam Gazzaley has studied attention, memory, and perception for 25 years. He earned his M.D. and Ph.D. in neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York before completing a clinical residency in neurology at the University of Pennsylvania and postdoctoral training in cognitive neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley. [ … ]

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Discovering Happiness By The Numbers

Are you happy? Fewer questions are more open-ended or catch us by surprise than this one. How happy should we be and how often? Our usual instinct is to say “yes” — but we probably answer more reluctantly than usual. It’s a moment when it’s almost impossible to not compare the life [ … ]