14 Stories

Ruling: Brain Is a Muscle, So Bridge Is a Sport

Chess and board games may soon join the ranks as 'mind' sports

(Newser) - It turns out that your 60-something aunt retired to Florida to be a jock, and the "mind games" she dominates aren't the ones you're thinking of. Rather, bridge is an actual sport because the brain is a muscle, a judge in the UK has ruled, and other... More »

Scientists Link Brains of Two Rats

Signals from one affect the other, say researchers

(Newser) - It is, in the words of Wired , a "rodent mind meld." A Duke neuroscientist planted electrodes in the brains of two rats and discovered that signals from one could control the actions of the other, reports the New York Times . In one experiment, the rats were trained to... More »

Embrace Your Inner Zombie

Auto-pilot zombies can set free the rest of us, muses philosopher

(Newser) - Maybe so many of us love zombie movies because we are, at heart, zombies. That's a view considered by philosopher Alva Noë, who on NPR notes that we seem to be partial to the idea that we aren't really the authors of what we do but function pretty... More »

Do We Actually Exist?

'I think, therefore I am' doesn't always hold true

(Newser) - The fact that we exist is inarguable, right? After all, if the world were just a dream, we'd need to be dreaming to experience it, writes Julian Baggini for the Independent . Maybe not. Throughout the ages, people have claimed that the self actually doesn't exist—and such claims are gathering... More »

The Power of Negative Thinking

Better to acknowledge bad feelings than recite phony good ones

(Newser) - Deliberate positive thinking—from Norman Vincent Peale to Stuart Smalley—has long been touted as a way to overcome feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt. But a new study suggests that repeating positive mantras may often backfire, making people with low self-esteem feel even worse about themselves. For many, it may... More »

Toyota Rolls Out Mind-Controlled Wheelchair

Chair can translate thoughts into commands within milliseconds

(Newser) - Toyota has unveiled research on a mind-controlled wheelchair that can read its user's thoughts much faster and more accurately than any previous efforts, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The chair's interface reads brainwave activity and responds to imagined hand and foot movements within 125 milliseconds with up to 95% accuracy,... More »

Think Hard: Telekinetic Toys On Their Way

Concentration 'magically' lifts ball in tube

(Newser) - Two companies are set to release toys this fall that kids can operate using only their minds—and that’s just the beginning of a telekinetic revolution, experts say. To use one toy, intrigued individuals wear a headset and concentrate on anything. The toy senses the brain’s electrical activity... More »

Darwin Skeptics Separate Mind From Gray Matter

Debate focuses on whether the brain and mind function in tandem

(Newser) - To undermine Darwinian theories about the emergence of life, skeptics have a new weapon in mind: the brain, NPR reports. They’re challenging the notion that a cluster of cells could produce such high-level mental processes as consciousness and free will. “It doesn’t hang together,” says one... More »

Jacko Needed $350K 'Mind Guru'

Bahraini prince paid consultant to help juice singer's creative process

(Newser) - The sheikh who is suing Michael Jackson says he spent nearly $350,000 on a brain guru for the star, the New York Daily News reports. Mind-mapping and motivational guru Tony Buzan spent one week with the King of Pop in an effort to unlock his creativity, thus allowing him... More »

Lack of Control Breeds Superstition

(Newser) - Superstitions and conspiracy theories all boil down to control issues, a new study says. When subjects in a University of Texas test were made to feel out of control, they saw more patterns that did not exist—whether images in a fuzzy picture or links between unconnected actions. Which is... More »

Mind-Reading Edges Closer to Reality

New computer can determine what you're looking at

(Newser) - Mind-reading has taken a step toward possibility with a new computer that can decode brain activity to determine what a person is looking at with up to 90% accuracy, the Independent reports. With improvements, the technology could be able to reconstruct any image a person could conjure up—and someday,... More »

Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind

From memories to sleep to consciousness itself, scientists still can't agree

(Newser) - Debated for centuries, the human mind still holds a mystery or two in modern times. Here are LiveScience's top 10:
  1. Consciousness. Still the biggest human puzzle since Socrates.
  2. Cryonics. Can gray matter be revived from a 320-degree deep freeze?
  3. Aging. An unappreciated benefit, or simply cell decay with no purpose?
... More »

The Mind Thinks More Than It Knows

Subconscious works behind the scenes of decisions, judgments

(Newser) - After just handling a stranger’s coffee, people make subconscious judgments about personality, psychologists say. Asked to hold a lab assistant’s cup of hot or iced coffee, Yale students associated cold drinkers with selfish personalities, the Times reports. The experiment is part of a body of research that leads... More »

10 Books to Blow Your Mind

Best takes on psychological journeys, from a British novelist/therapist

(Newser) - Sebastian Beaumont, the author of Thirteen, offers his list of books that "blur the boundaries of consensus 'reality' and psychological reality."
  1. Journey to the East, Hermann Hesse
  2. Le Grand Meaulnes, Henri Alain-Fournier
  3. Fight Club, Chuck Palahnuik
  4. Vurt, Jeff Noon
  5. Steppenwolf, Hermann Hesse
More »

14 Stories