Neural structures, chemicals, and electrical energy power the brain’s ability to solve the large and small problems and puzzles that we encounter every day. Can we become better problem solvers?

Playing the Piano Might Make You Smarter

We've seen no small amount of hoopla over the suggestion, first made in the journal Nature in 1993, that listening to Mozart might improve spatial-temporal reasoning abilities. This news set off a series of events that might best be described...
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A Conversation With Robert Sapolsky

I first met Robert Sapolsky years ago at a research conference. My first impression was that he was quiet... too quiet. In a crowded hotel lobby with hundreds of scientists busily jabbering about themselves and their research, he seemed almost...
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Brainy Figuring

In pondering the possible relations between inventive thought in mathematics and bodily phenomena, the mathematician Jacques Hadamard (1865-1963) sounded a note of despair in his 1945 book The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field. "While mathematicians have not sufficient...
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Bill Newsome’s Neural Basis of Behavior

Dr. William Newsome is sitting at his PC computer grumbling. "Do you know what IBM stands for?" Newsome asks in a slight Southern drawl. "It stands for 'I'm Building a Mac'," he quips, displaying quick-witted charm and ardent loyalty to...
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Spatial Navigation and Gender

A young woman sits in front of a computer, joystick in hand. On the screen in front of her is a large circular pool of water, which she "wades" through by moving the joystick. She is attempting to find a...
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