Deep areas of the brain.

Where is fear?

Is the feeling of fear instantiated in some brain area or is fear just a word we use to describe a series events distributed across the brain which make us avoid things that are bad? Do other animal experience the same subjective state that we experience when we are afraid? Those are some of the questions that are asked in a recent review paper published by Ralph Adolphs in Current Biology. Continue reading

Posted in Across the Lifespan, Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Diseases & Disorders, Evolution, Mood, Neuroanatomy, Psychiatric Disorders, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving, Stress and Anxiety
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Not about the bike, after all

We are suckers for Horatio Alger stories. We love it when the underdog defies the odds, pulls out the last minute jumper, or makes the save. It’s a surrogate for those times when we do the same thing. We know — on a lesser scale — what it’s like to be behind and losing, and to sometimes squeak one out when nobody expected it. Even when we can’t, we appreciate it when others do it. That’s one reason why the Lance Armstrong revelations hurt. They ram a stake in the heart of our childlike sense of what’s possible. Even with growing doubts, up until he confessed I wanted to believe Lance — didn’t you? Continue reading

Posted in Brain Basics, by Dwayne Godwin, Educators, Evolution, In Society, Neuroethics, Psychiatric Disorders, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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Young chimpanzees playing.

Chimpanzees and fairness.

Sometimes, ethologists find behaviors in animals that evoke similarities with behaviors that were previously thought unique to humans. Those cases are interesting in two ways; they can show us that we underestimate what animals can do, and sometimes they also suggest that we might be overestimating the complexity of what we do as humans. Frans de Waal is one of the researchers who has pioneered the study of cooperation and aggressive behaviors in non-human animals. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Diseases & Disorders, Evolution, In Society, Language, Neuroeconomics, Psychiatric Disorders, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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Social Network Analysis

Us and them, and our brains.

Political arguments, moral judgment and social conflicts are among the most complex social behaviors that humans engage in, yet we perform these things with a brain that is not so much different from that of a chimpanzee. There is definitely an interest in understanding what happens in the brain when people argue, fight, judge, stereotype or segregate, but scientific advancement on this controversial issue is rather slow1,2,3,4. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Diseases & Disorders, Evolution, Language, Learning and Memory, Mood, Psychiatric Disorders, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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