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Sometimes When We Touch

The skin is our largest organ. Its nerve endings and pressure receptors are tactile pathways, activated through touch, which our brain uses to interpret and explore the world around us. But recent research suggests that the brain’s response to touch serves an even wider purpose, providing critical stimulation during all stages of life. [ … ]

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How Secrets Make Us Sick

Are you familiar with the 2005 film “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”? It’s a fantastic romantic action comedy about two married assassins who work for competing firms. The punch line here is that each of them believes their spouse to be a regular civilian — that is, until their companies team up and try to have them kill each other. [ … ]


Neuroplasticity In Action

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change under the influence of experience and activities. Neuroplasticity used to be thought of as a limited phenomenon, mostly restricted to the early years of life. More recently it has been demonstrated that neuroplasticity continues throughout life, even in advanced age. [ … ]

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Modes of Manipulation

When most people think of a brainwashed individual, they imagine someone whose mind is completely controlled. Some evil but powerful authority is manipulating his or her will. In the most extreme cases — as when a cult leader instructs his followers to commit suicide, or when an oppressive political regime demands unquestionable [ … ]

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Does Yoga Benefit the Brain?

The answer is an overwhelming yes. One study employed MRI scans to reveal that there were increases in grey matter in the brains of yogis. These gains were seen in a variety of regions, including “the somatosensory cortex, which contains a mental map of our body, [ … ]

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An Explorer’s Guide to Epigenetics

You just might be stuck with that crooked nose or receding hairline, but no longer are you sentenced to cancer, diabetes, depression, and other unwelcome inheritances from your forebears. The science of epigenetics is teaching us how we can better understand and perhaps override specific genetic tendencies. [ … ]