When Japanese researchers wanted to see if chimps could learn things from simply viewing a situation just once, they needed to create situations where apes would anticipate a noteworthy event. So they made their own horror films just for apes.
They build cities. They farm. They make war. Ants do a lot of things that seem uncannily human — and yet they’re profoundly alien, part of a hive mind called a social organism. What does that feel like to each individual ant? Now a new scientific paper suggests that there is always doubt in the hive mind.
Recent advances in brain-computer interfaces are turning the science fantasy of transmitting thoughts directly from one brain to another into reality.
Embodied cognition theory states that our thoughts and emotions are profoundly affected by our physical bodies. A new study takes this idea further, claiming that our bodily states — particularly when they're urgent — can even influence our metaphysical beliefs.
We may think of pigeons as "flying rats," but research published today in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that their wild counterparts were an important source of nutrition for some Neanderthals.
Common wisdom holds that smell is the least important sense for our species. But that conclusion may be flawed because we've ignored non-Western cultures. New research on a small tribe in southern Thailand challenges that assumption.
Crows are far more rational than we had realized. New research shows that wild New Caledonian crows can compete with 7-year-old children when it comes to understanding causality, or how one action causes another.
Elephants are widely regarded as one of the world's most intelligent creatures, able to use tools, show grief and exhibit remarkable memory. New research now shows African elephants can do something no other wild animal has been shown to do: They can understand human pointing gestures without any kind of training.
Humans pride ourselves on our ability to make plans for the future. But it turns out that we're not the only animals who think ahead. Scientists have observed wild orangutans planning their travel routes a day in advance, and communicating their itinerary to community members.
Despite all the recent advances in the cognitive and neurosciences, there’s still much about the human brain that we do not know. Here are 8 of the most baffling problems currently facing science.
For the past several decades, scientists have been fascinated by the "social brain theory" — the idea that certain animals evolved big, powerful brains to cope with the complexities of social life. A new computer simulation has now shown that this assertion is likely correct.
We're used to kids being sassy, but not toddlers. At what age does sarcasm become understandable to a developing brain? The answer depends on the way that that sarcasm is delivered.
No, we're not quite at the point where baboons can tackle calculus or trigonometry, but they do show an ability to count that's at least as good as that of a human child, as this video from the University of Rochester reveals.
Scientists have discovered that dragonflies can do something they didn't think invertebrates were capable of. It's called ‘selective attention.' Like primates, dragonflies have special brain cells that allow them to lock on to specific targets when hunting their prey, while simultaneously ignoring potential…
Humans, chimps and other primates have all been shown to be susceptible to contagious yawning. Previous research has suggested that dogs are, too, unless — according to newly published findings — that dog is a puppy younger than seven months.
Anyone who's had one will tell you: lucid dreams are ridiculously, comically, and sometimes obscenely fun — but they're also notoriously difficult to experience. In their latest video, the folks at AsapSCIENCE serve up a series of quick, scientifically informed tips on how to experience nighttime reveries on your…
Many people around the world believe in magic spells and rituals, but that doesn't mean that it's enough to wave a wand and mutter a few unpronounceable words to convince a believer that the magic will work. A new study out of Brazil suggests that people are most likely to believe in the power of a magical ritual when…
Every time you type an email or a document, errors are likely to creep in — and no matter how carefully you proof read, you might not catch everything. Why do we have such a hard time noticing typos and repeated words?
Imagine that your best friend has been replaced by an exact double, or that everyone you meet is really the same person wearing lots of disguises. These aren't just plots of The Prisoner episodes — they're all real mental delusions.
The brain is arguably the most complex structure in the known universe, which makes linking specific regions to particular mental functions almost impossible. Now, 182 Vietnam vets have helped us get a huge step closer to unlocking the brain's secrets.