What’s the underlying question for every brain study to answer?

Is the underlying question for every brain study to answer: How do our brains internally represent the external world? Is it: How did we learn what we know? How do we forget or disregard what we’ve learned? What keeps us from acquiring and learning newer or better information? How about: What affects how we pay … Continue reading What’s the underlying question for every brain study to answer?

Confusion may be misinterpreted as altruism and prosocial behavior

This 2015 Oxford human study of altruism found: “Division of people into distinct social types relies on the assumption that an individual’s decisions in public-goods games can be used to accurately measure their social preferences. Specifically, that greater contributions to the cooperative project in the game reflect a greater valuing of the welfare of others, … Continue reading Confusion may be misinterpreted as altruism and prosocial behavior

Lifelong effects of stress

A 2016 commentary A trilogy of glucocorticoid receptor actions that included two 2015 French rodent studies started out: “Glucocorticoids (GCs) belong to a class of endogenous, stress-stimulated steroid hormones. They have wide ranging physiologic effects capable of impacting metabolism, immunity, development, stress, cognition, and arousal. GCs exert their cellular effects by binding to the GC … Continue reading Lifelong effects of stress

Is the purpose of research to define opportunities for interventions?

In this 2014 review, a social scientist first presented an interpretive history of what he found to be important in the emergence of epigenetics. He proceeded into his ideas of “a possible agenda of the social studies of the life-sciences” in the “postgenomic age” with headings such as “Postgenomic biopolitics: “upgrade yourself” or born damaged … Continue reading Is the purpose of research to define opportunities for interventions?

Why do we cut short our decision-making process?

This 2014 Zurich study found that people adapt their goal-directed decision-making processes in certain ways. First, the researchers found that the subjects usually acted as though the computational cost of evaluating all outcomes became too high once the process expanded to three or more levels. Their approach to a goal involved developing subgoals. For example, … Continue reading Why do we cut short our decision-making process?