Rejections are the most common psychological injury we encounter in daily life. The one thing all rejections have in common is -- they hurt! So, what exactly happens in our brains that makes rejections so painful?
Watching TV doesn't necessarily equal zoning out -- kids' brains may actually be picking up cues for maturation from naturalistic educational programming. How's that for an argument for keeping PBS funded?
In Pride and Prejudice, the reward for meticulous critical scrutiny is self-consciousness, intellectual expansion and moral growth. Long before the invention of fMRIs, Jane Austen knew that close reading was good for the brain... and for the soul.
In study after study, researchers have discovered clear signs of active consciousness in dozens of vegetative patients. A 2009 study found that 40 percent of patients diagnosed as vegetative are at least somewhat conscious.
The reigning theory of human thinking argues not only that algebra and language share a neurological foundation, but that mathematical reasoning co-opted the evolved machinery of language for non-linguistic tasks.
Consumers of science prefer simple messages and have heightened confidence in biological evidence to explain behavior. That may be human nature, but scientists should be careful not to play into these pervasive biases.