Author Archives: Rose Hendricks

Getting a scientific message across means taking human nature into account

We humans have collectively accumulated a lot of science knowledge. We’ve developed vaccines that can eradicate some of the most devastating diseases. We’ve engineered bridges and cities and the internet. We’ve created massive metal vehicles that rise tens of thousands of feet and then safely set down on the other side of the globe. And […]

A metaphorical tour of the brain

Albert Einstein once said: “The only source of knowledge is experience.” Not to undermine Einstein’s authority, but there are many phenomena, especially in science, that we just can’t experience directly. We can make diagrams, but we can’t actually see or touch things like dopamine or gravity. And although we’re constantly experiencing both of those things, […]

Here's an example of the first author's face normally, digitized, and age-progressed January 22

Present you vs. Future you

It’s almost the end of January. How are your New Year’s Resolutions holding up? If you haven’t stuck to them, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in the majority. There are many reasons we don’t meet our well-intentioned goals to go to the gym more, quit smoking, or go to bed earlier at night. One […]

Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/modenadude/3279714819/ September 25

Why we LOL

Humor is a difficult concept to articulate. We might not always know why things are funny, but we do tend to know what kinds of things are funny. It comes in many forms, and general consensus is that things like videos of treadmill mishaps, cynical comics and corny puns are funny. Luckily, there’s a pretty large […]

“Butterfly Apple,” Vladimir Kush, 1978 June 28

Synesthesia: The sky, the number 7, and sadness are all blue

If you were shown the shapes below and told that one is called a “kiki” and the other a “bouba,” which name would you attribute to which shape? Between 95 and 98% of people agree that the more rigid shape is “kiki,” and the curvy one is “bouba.” This is not because they learned these names […]

MonkeyCounting3 April 17

Numbers in the brain

If you look around, number quantities are inescapable: our culture is based on precisely measuring time, distance, and quantities. However, even creatures that aren’t exposed to sophisticated human number systems are inevitably exposed to quantities of things. Animals in the wild come into contact with varying quantities of other animals and of their food, and […]

(7) December 19

Reclaiming stability with Deep Brain Stimulation

Ever since I can remember, my grandmother has had shaky hands. Although shakiness and aging often go hand-in-hand, her unsteadiness was diagnosed as an essential tremor (ET), the most common form of pathological tremor (1). ET affects about 4% of people over 40 years old (2), and is characterized most often by a tremor of […]