fMRI

SEX OBJECT: Empathy Erosion via the Female Form

SEX OBJECT: Empathy Erosion via the Female Form

Disclaimer:

Strong language, of the non-sciencey sort, will be used in the following piece. The content may be disturbing to readers denying the gender based violence women experience on a daily basis in the workplace, traveling to the workplace, getting a coffee outside the workplace, leaving the workplace, oh – and being hired in the workplace to begin with. Lewd thoughts/gestures/remarks and the occasional pussy-grabbing affect the objectifier as much as the objectified. Learn why. And change it.  

Reading with discretion is advised.

How to be funny: Get out of your head

How to be funny: Get out of your head

The spontaneous chuckle erupting out of you requires creativity, attuned observation skills and precise timing on the behalf of the comedian. To make someone laugh, as another comedian puts it, “is a preposterous thing. I am forcing you to have an involuntary reaction to something I say.” Professional comedians (like Louis C.K.) are experts at combining these skills and generating humorous ideas for our enjoyment, and indeed – making us laugh. How is a joke set in motion within the brain networks of a professional humor maker?  

(Un) Attractive: The impact of birth control on partner desirability

(Un) Attractive: The impact of birth control on partner desirability

Spring bursts forth with vibrant color, intoxicatingly sweet floral scents and sex.  That’s right, relations.  While monogamy in the rest of the animal kingdom is more of a myth, human pair-bonding gives the reward system a long-term buzz of activity and contributes to both physical and mental health. Oxytocin, the hormone produced when engaging in hugging, kissing and intercourse reduces jealousy and increases partner attractiveness. How unfortunate would it be if a product existed that could disturb this natural rhythm: altering the level of attraction and diminishing sexual functioning. There is - and almost 10 million women in the US are using it: hormonal contraception.

Pathways of Thankfulness: Gratitude in the Brain

Pathways of Thankfulness: Gratitude in the Brain

Crisp November gently beckons fire-side chats, warm knitted scarfs and fragrant kitchens redolent of home scents.  This month, a thankful attitude lifts spirits and encourages kind actions.  Despite its psychological benefit, gratitude is elusive, not inherent and difficult to define. Some psychologists contend that gratitude is the appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself.  What defines meaning in our brain and how does gratitude carve out its neural pathways?

Ebb and Flow of Norepinephrine Colors Emotion

Ebb and Flow of Norepinephrine Colors Emotion

Press play on your earliest happy memory.  Your presence is transported to the past, where you feel temperature change, see younger versions of family members interact and even smell the succulent aromas around you.  A vivid experience drenches the senses and embosses an indelible memory on the brain's surface. Why do some remember (and even dream) in exquisite sensory detail, while others watch only monochromatic versions of their past? The answer lies in their genes.