March 22

“Find My Friends”, Brain edition

Have you ever felt hyper-aware of where another person is, almost like you’ve got some internal GPS that’s automatically tracking their location? Perhaps you’ve felt this way (however creepily) when you’ve had a major crush on someone, to the point that you’re exceptionally tuned in to where that person is in a room at any […]

March 15

Remember Tomorrow?

  We humans have an impressive ability to plan for the future — lapsed New Year’s resolutions and overambitious project planners notwithstanding. We can make decisions in the present (like bringing an umbrella) that make our lives easier in the future (we stay dry). Among the animal kingdom, this capacity is distinctly rare. Even animals […]

March 08

The Art of Brainwashing

[En español] Have you ever tried to convince someone of something? Or have you ever been convinced of something? Of course you have. Everyone has. We are constantly bombarded with commercials for products to buy, and exposed to people’s rants, in real life or online, about how we should be voting, and what we should […]

March 03

Battling A Brain Tumor The Loki Way

Recently a friend of mine took on the duty of bringing me up to speed on the Marvel cinematic universe. When we got around to watching the first installment in the Thor series, I was expecting more levelheadedness on the part of Thor, the soon-to-be crowned king of Asgard. Shortly after the opening sequence however, […]

February 22

Conscious in Dreamland: The Neuroscience of Lucid Dreaming

I do a lot of weird things while sleeping. I talk, walk, and experience vivid dreams, all without conscious awareness. Despite the fact that my dreams are often absurd, I don’t question their content while I’m in them. (Oh, I’ve been hired to make a documentary about Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz and his […]

February 15

Botox: The good, the bad and the beautiful

Awards season is upon us. From the Golden Globes to the Grammys to the Oscars, we’ve seen celebrities posing on the red carpet, chatting with TV hosts, and accepting awards on stage. All the while I’ve found myself wondering, “Is he happy?” “Is she disappointed?” “Are emotions just out this season?” The star behind that […]

February 08

Did you do that?

Limited only perhaps by my emotional fortitude and physical abilities, I am unquestionably in control of myself. This sense is perhaps drawn most into question first thing in the morning when I play both sides of an internal civil war: on one side, my bed, on the other, the cold cruel world. Both sides battle […]

February 01

A Recipe for the Brain

How confident would you be in making a Victorian Tennis Cake, given a set of ingredients and the recipe? What about with a vague list of instructions instead of a detailed recipe? If you’ve ever watched The Great British Baking Show, this concept is familiar to you as the “technical challenge”. Britain’s best amateur bakers […]

January 25

Instant Gratification: Weighing the Psychological Benefits and Costs of MDMA Use

Can a pill exist that brings instant happiness without any negative side effects? Probably not.

January 18

I Feel Your Pain – The Social Transmission of Pain in Mice

We all know that emotions are contagious.  Your trip to the DMV might see you infected with that peculiar emotion – something halfway between apathy and misanthropy – that is endemic to the DMV.  On the other hand, your ray-of-sunshine coworker just may brighten up your day (unless you happen to work at the DMV). […]