Our brain-computer interfacing technology uses music to make people happy

Numerous studies have shown that listening to music leads to changes in activity in core brain networks known to underpin our experience of emotion. These networks include the deep brain areas such as the amygdala, cerebellum, and cingulate gyrus. But they also consist of cortical areas on the surface of the brain including the auditory cortex, posterior temporal cortex,… Read More >> 0 comments

Call Me ‘They’

The singular “they” is inclusive and flexible, and it breaks the stifling prison of gender expectations. Let’s all use it. … “Part of introducing the concept of gender-neutral pronouns to people is to get them to ask, ‘Why does this part of society need to be gendered in the first place?’” said Jay Wu, director… Read More >> 0 comments

‘Tomboy’ is anachronistic. But the concept still has something to teach us.

The attempt to fix the tomboy by marrying her off invites disturbing associations with real-life medical practices that “correct” high levels of hormones associated with masculine characteristics. Though less physically invasive, the creative industries have their own ways of imposing corrective measures. Alcott, who never married, was well aware of the narrative constraints she and Jo faced.

Don’t misread Darwin: for humans, ‘survival of the fittest’ means being sympathetic

Video: Human survival instinct to be kind & the effect of social class on generosity…. In this short video, the psychologist Dacher Keltner at the University of California, Berkeley puts kindness in evolutionary context, connecting his own recent neural-imaging work on compassion with Darwin’s view that sympathy is a cornerstone of human flourishing.  

On ‘Pose,’ dancing isn’t just about self-expression. It’s a survival skill for trans women.

This scene was transformative on a personal level, Burnside says afterward. “As the camera started rolling, all I could think about is my uncle and the other men in my life who policed my behavior and the way I moved and way I spoke and expressed myself, citing it as not being for boys, or… Read More >> 0 comments

The dancing species: how moving together in time helped make us human

Alternatively, a raft of sociological and anthropological explanations focus on community, asserting that dancing is one of the first means by which the earliest humans solidified strong social bonds irrespective of blood lines. In these accounts, dancing is eventually replaced by more rational and effective means of social bonding that the dancing itself makes possible, such… Read More >> 0 comments

How a mother’s voice shapes her baby’s developing brain

The answers to these questions remain unknown, but it is now scientifically proven that most of us carry a mother’s voice in the neural patterns of our brain: bedtime stories, dinnertime conversation and the chatter we heard before birth identify us, uniquely, as surely as the fingerprint, enabling emotional development and social communication in childhood… Read More >> 0 comments

Dance seems to be the ultimate frivolity. How did it become a human necessity?

Video. Every culture dances. Moving our bodies to music is ubiquitous throughout human history and across the globe. So why is this ostensibly frivolous act so fundamental to being human? The answer, it seems, is in our need for social cohesion – that vital glue that keeps societies from breaking apart despite interpersonal differences.

Does wearing a school uniform improve student behavior?

About half of schools around the country have dress codes policies. A dress code identifies what clothes cannot be worn to school. A school uniform policy defines what clothes must be worn to school. Dress codes limit clothing options while school uniforms define clothing options. I believe school uniforms may be part of a broad array of programs and approaches that a school may adopt… Read More >> 0 comments

A Theory of Style

The notion that fashion is based on imitation – a way for individuals to feel that they belong to something ‘bigger’ than themselves, for example a social class or a nation – was first articulated by the Anglo-Dutch philosopher Bernard de Mandeville in his Fable of the Bees (1714).

How the hard-man mask can affect a prisoner’s sense of self

They marched down the corridor with over-developed muscles, projecting authority and machismo, hollering to their friends and acquaintances, displaying a front of the ‘hard man’ as they headed to their classrooms. However, when they entered, their demeanours changed dramatically. Their swagger would disappear as they took their seats, and looked at me with apprehension, uncertain… Read More >> 0 comments

Why People Conform

Despite costs to individual liberty, we comply with whims of groups. … Other evidence shows that the more people are required to invest in a group, the more connected to that group they feel, and the more likely they are to behave altruistically towards fellow members.