Every winter the cycle repeats itself: we look outside our windows and despair to the sight of a cloudy winter sky, with no trace of the sunny days. But the familiar “winter blues” feelings might not be just a “phase”: for some people such periods of low light exposure represent a serious problem to face, and that’s where the term “seasonal affective disorder” (SAD) comes in place. Why does SAD start, and can a look at the neurobiology of the brain help us to understand it more? Continue reading SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD): A “WINTER BLUES” IN OUR BRAIN?
This week’s post is about the mystery of yawning. Do
we yawn to stay alert? when we are bored? Does thinking about
yawning makes you do it? Continue reading The yawning mystery
As you’re reading this, your heart is beating somewhere between 60 and 100 times per minute, it’s generating electrical signals in the heart to maintain that pace, and your blood is being pushed against your artery walls with each beat. The autonomic nervous system, which regulates not just the heart but also other internal organ functions like digestion, respiration, and sexual arousal, is extremely active. … Continue reading Think with your head, AND with your heart
People are disgusted by a myriad of objects and situations ranging from rotten tomatos, the concept of incest, or even by observing a malicious betrayal. How did disgust evolve from being a mere guardian of the mouth to a more general guardian of the social community? Continue reading Yuck! How did we get from oral to moral disgust?
A BRIEF GAZE AT THE NEUROSCIENCE OF EYE GAZE The eyes are the window to your soul. ―William Shakespeare The eye has been frequently referred to as an opening, a portal into our souls. Making eye contact is a fundamental tool in establishing rapport between humans and some other animal species. It’s needed for all types of connections – social, romantic and professional. Surely there … Continue reading A BRIEF GAZE AT THE NEUROSCIENCE OF EYE GAZE
Tears are an almost unavoidable part of life. But have you ever asked yourself why we cry when we are sad? Continue reading A small insight into the tears we cry
Neuroscience might have the answer: GABA, a neurotransmitter that plays a major role in suppressing unwanted thoughts and memories. And there’s good news: You can actually help your brain to improve this process! Continue reading How does your brain stop unwanted thoughts?
A word of wisdom for the modern age… What can we learn from contemplative science? How do centuries-old techniques change our brain and body? Let’s look at ancient concepts with contemporary ideas… Continue reading Compassion and meditation – towards contemplative sciences
If I were to tell you that you could learn to control your brain’s activity you might be at least somewhat sceptical. However, learning to regulate neural activity is not unlike learning to control other physiological processes. Take your heartbeat for example. If you lay your hand flat on your chest you can easily monitor your current heartbeat. If I were to ask you now … Continue reading Face your fear with neurofeedback
The diminished ability to experience pleasure is called anhedonia, and it is a core symptom of depression. For a very long time, we thought that people with anhedonia have reduced capacity to like, i.e. feel less when they are doing something enjoyable, but recent research has shown that it might not be as simple as that. Continue reading Anhedonia: In search of pleasure