Category archives: Neuroscience

Can consciousness be explained by quantum physics? My research takes us a step closer to finding out

Can consciousness be explained by quantum physics? My research takes us a step closer to finding out

NeurosciencePhysics

By Invited Researcher

One of the most important open questions in science is how our consciousness is established. In the 1990s, long before winning the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for his prediction of black holes, physicist Roger Penrose teamed up with anaesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff to propose an ambitious answer. They claimed that the brain’s neuronal system forms […]

Earworms revisited

Earworms revisited

NeurosciencePsychology

By José Ramón Alonso

An earworm is a melody that arises spontaneously in the mind, perhaps after having heard it only once, and gets “stuck” in the head for hours or days. It is also called brainworm, catchy music, repetition of musical images, involuntary musical imagery and stuck song syndrome. We may come to feel that the tune is […]

Hungry lonely brains

Hungry lonely brains

Neuroscience

By Rosa García-Verdugo

When hungry, not only our bodies long for food, our brains do too. And it appears that when it comes to social interaction, a similar thing happens. Social deprivation leads to a brain angry for social contact. A recent study [Livia Tomova et al (2020) Acute social isolation evokes midbrain craving responses similar to hunger […]

IQ tests can’t measure it, but ‘cognitive flexibility’ is key to learning and creativity

IQ tests can’t measure it, but ‘cognitive flexibility’ is key to learning and creativity

NeurosciencePsychology

By Invited Researcher

IQ is often hailed as a crucial driver of success, particularly in fields such as science, innovation and technology. In fact, many people have an endless fascination with the IQ scores of famous people. But the truth is that some of the greatest achievements by our species have primarily relied on qualities such as creativity […]

Pseudo-hallucinations: why some people see more vivid mental images than others – test yourself here

Pseudo-hallucinations: why some people see more vivid mental images than others – test yourself here

NeurosciencePsychology

By Invited Researcher

Consider the statements below. What do they describe? A trip on psychedelics? A dream? I felt I could reach through the screen to get to another place. Lasers became entire fans of light sweeping around, and then it felt as if the screen began to expand. I saw old stone buildings … like a castle […]

Horses can recognise themselves in a mirror

Horses can recognise themselves in a mirror

EthologyNeurosciencePhilosophy of science

By Invited Researcher

If you ask people to list the most intelligent animals, they’ll name a few usual suspects. Chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants are often mentioned, as are crows, dogs and occasionally pigs. Horses don’t usually get a look in. So it might come as a surprise that horses possess an unusual skill, widely considered an indicator of […]

Transcranial direct current stimulation and depression

Transcranial direct current stimulation and depression

NeurobiologyNeuroscience

By José Ramón Alonso

Depression is a psychiatric and psychological diagnosis that describes a temporary or permanent mood disorder characterized by feelings of dejection, unhappiness and guilt. Depressed people show a low mood and an aversion to activity and are characterized by sadness, difficulty thinking and concentrating, and a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping […]