Study: Where We'll Sympathize With an Individual, We Throw the Book at a Group

"Similarly, a purely logical mind would look at a collection of human beings—say, the citizens of Iran—and see an agglomeration of individuals, very few of whom have any say over whether their government develops nuclear weapons. But the human mind is tuned for signs of people operating together as a team. So we say things like "Iran is trying to obtain nuclear weapons" or "Iran deserves to be annihilated.” In fact, according to this paper, the more we see people as part of a coherent group, the more harshly we judge their actions.”

Why It’s Good to Have 400 Fake Friends

"Your maximum number of real friends is 150, according to Robin Dunbar, a finding often cited to show that having a large number of Facebook friends is silly. The idea behind “Dunbar’s number,” as it’s usually called, is that human beings can’t maintain meaningful relationships with more than (roughly) 150 people. There is a cognitive upper limit on friendship—our brains can’t handle more buddies.”

Childhood abuse may stunt growth of part of brain involved in emotions

"Three key areas of the hippocampus in the brain were smaller in people who reported maltreatment in childhood"

Why Spanking Doesn’t Work

"A new analysis concludes that spanking fails to alter kids’ behavior in the long term. What it does instead is amp up their aggression."

What's Wrong With the Teenage Mind?

"Children today reach puberty earlier and adulthood later. The result: A lot of teenage weirdness. Alison Gopnik on how we might readjust adolescence."

Brain Bugs: Hallucinations, Forgotten Faces, and Other Cognitive Quirks

"For neurologists like Ramachandran, "the question of how neurons encode meaning and evoke all the semantic associations of an object is the holy grail of neuroscience, whether you are studying memory, perception, art, or consciousness." Ramachandran studies patients with cognitive abnormalities for two reasons: clinical interest in improving the life of the patient, as well as the fact that cognitive quirks and disorders provide insight into the broader mystery of human perception. "

Profit vs. Principle: The Neurobiology of Integrity

"Let your better self rest assured: Dearly held values truly are sacred, and not merely cost-benefit analyses masquerading as nobel intent, concludes a new study on the neurobiology of moral decision-making. Such values are conceived differently, and occur in very different parts of the brain, than utilitarian decisions."

Who Are You Online? A 360-Degree View

"The truth, of course, is that people are their real selves online — but they make wildly divergent choices about which part of that real self they’re going to share and project."

An Introvert's Guide to Networking

"Introversion is simply a preference for the inner world of ideas because this is where we get our energy. By understanding and accepting this preference, introverts can optimize time spent with their ideas to refine them and recharge. This allows them to be as powerful and persuasive as possible when networking situations arise."

NexNote: For peeps like me.

The neuroscience of happiness

"New discoveries are shedding light on the activities that make us happy. An expert explains"

Survival’s Ick Factor

"Disgust is having its moment in the light as researchers find that it does more than cause that sick feeling in the stomach. It protects human beings from disease and parasites, and affects almost every aspect of human relations, from romance to politics."

Looking for benefits in birdsong

"Conservation charities and scientists are beginning a research project to find out whether birdsong has any impact on people’s mental wellbeing."

Brain scans of happy people help explain their 'rose-tinted' outlook

"The brains of people with a happy disposition seem to respond more strongly to positive things in their environment"

Your Brain Knows a Lot More Than You Realize

"Neuroscientist David Eagleman explores the processes and skills of the subconscious mind, which our conscious selves rarely consider."

Decoding the Brain’s Cacophony

"Social constructs like good judgment and free will are even further removed, and trying to define them in terms of biological processes is, in the end, a fool’s game. "