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How Climate Change Affects Our Brains

Call it what you want — global warming or climate change — but we can all agree that it isn’t beneficial for anyone. In fact, the latest studies are beginning to show just how much of an impact climate change has had in the past, is currently having, and may have on the way human beings evolve in the future. [ … ]

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Why Is Facebook So Hard to Quit?

Consider this: two decades ago, there was no Facebook. Twitter hadn’t yet been conceived. Researchers and psychologists were still learning that the internet — and more so, computer games — could indeed be addictive. We hadn’t yet programmed ourselves to share intimate details of our lives on a minute-to-minute basis. [ … ]

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Are You Really Hungry?

Take this two-minute test to find out if your body needs food, or if it’s trying to tell you something else. When did you eat your last meal? A. Less than an hour ago. B. One to three hours ago. C. More than four hours ago. Which statement best matches how you feel? [ … ]

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Learning to Eat Less

When you think about getting healthier or losing weight, tricking your brain probably isn’t on the list of things you’ve chosen to do. But it might be the most important. Research shows that a lot of how you eat and drink affects the way your brain processes that information and how it subsequently asks the rest of your body to treat it. [ … ]

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Notes to Live By: Why Your Brain Craves Music

Music isn’t essential for our survival. You won’t die if you go without listening for a week, and it’s not necessary for procreation. So why does your brain crave music? In an issue of Science, neuroscientists reported that music triggers activity in the nucleus accumbens, the same brain structure that releases dopamine, the “pleasure chemical,” during sex and eating. [ … ]

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The Odor of Your Dreams

I woke up last week convinced that I could smell coffee. My husband, the coffee drinker in our household, was away for business and my 20-month-old son hasn’t yet discovered the substance so it seemed odd that there would be the familiar comforting aroma in the air. Within seconds of my waking up [ … ]

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The Sweet Smell of Marketing

Unlike our other senses, our sense of smell is closely linked to the brain’s centers for emotion, memory, and creativity, according to the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that researches taste and smell. What this means is that when it comes to smell, we process it first with our emotional brain, and it’s only then that we actually think about it. [ … ]

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Marketing to Your Mind

What if our brains could tell marketers our deepest preferences and our biases even if we weren’t consciously aware of them, leading them to design products that would appeal to us even when we insisted they wouldn’t? That’s not science fiction. In fact, marketing to us using our brains is [ … ]

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Inside The Dream Mind

What goes on inside your brain when you’re dreaming? Well, as it happens, no one seems to know exactly. Not the mystics with the crystal balls, not the dream interpreters, and not even, as you might suspect, scientists. While several theories are floating about in both the scientific and non-scientific worlds about what dreams are [ … ]