Humans news stories

Do humans come with a built-in sense of obligation to one another?
25th May 2017 | | Humans

A study finds that children as young as three and a half years old display an understanding of shared commitments, adding to a growing body of evidence that humans are a uniquely cooperative species.

Humanizing, harmonizing effects of music aren’t a myth
25th May 2017 | Humans

Jake Harwood turned his lifelong hobby as a musician into a scholarly question: Could the sharing of music help ease interpersonal relations between people from different backgrounds, such as Americans and Arabs?

Being an Only Child Can Actually Change The Structure of Your Brain
25th May 2017 | | Humans

Scientists have discovered that being an only child doesn’t just lead to behavioural differences that can set kids apart from those with siblings – it actually affects a child’s brain development, too.

Jumping genes play a big role in what makes us human
23rd May 2017 | | Ancient, Humans

Face-to-face, a human and a chimpanzee are easy to tell apart. The two species share a common primate ancestor, but over millions of years, their characteristics have morphed into easily distinguishable features.

First-Ever LSD Microdosing Study Will Pit the Human Brain Against AI
23rd May 2017 | Humans

Amanda Feilding used to take lysergic acid diethylamide every day to boost creativity and productivity at work before LSD, known as acid, was made illegal in 1968. During her downtime, Feilding, who now runs the Beckley Foundation for psychedelic research, would get together with her friends to play the ancient Chinese game of Go, and came to notice something curious about her winning streaks.

“I found that if I was on LSD and my opponent wasn’t, I won more games,”

Making drug use a crime makes HIV prevention, treatment more difficult
23rd May 2017 | | Humans

The criminalization of drug use has a negative effect on efforts to prevent and treat people with HIV, suggests a review of published research conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of British Columbia.

Clinical review: Psilocybin therapy could be significantly better than current psychiatric treatments
23rd May 2017 | | Humans

Having a guided psychedelic experience may be a powerful treatment for depression, anxiety, and addiction. A new review of clinical trials suggests that psilocybin-assisted therapy has the potential to help alleviate a variety of psychiatric disorders.

Related: The Quest to Cure One Man’s Depression with Ayahuasca

Memories of Near Death Experiences are ‘More Real Than Real’
23rd May 2017 | | Humans, Weird

A new study of near-death experiences (NDEs) has given a scientific footing to the oft-reported effect of the experience feeling ‘more real than real’ (e.g. ‘‘My death experience is more real to me than life”; ‘‘It was more real than real: absolute reality”; ‘‘I have no doubt that this experience was real. It was vastly more real than anything we experience here”.)

What causes that feeling of being watched
23rd May 2017 | | Humans

You feel somebody is looking at you, but you don’t know why. The explanation lies in some intriguing neuroscience and the study of a strange form of brain injury.

Scientists Think They’re More Rational Than Other People
18th May 2017 | | Humans

Researchers may have an overconfident view of their profession’s objectivity

What’s your mental image of a scientist? Chances are you picture not only a wild-haired, bespectacled, older man in a lab coat but also someone who is more rational, objective and intelligent than other people. Yet do scientists themselves subscribe to this stereotype?

Human Brains May Not Be Aligned Right to Handle Stripes
17th May 2017 | Humans

A new study in Current Biology found that simple vertical lines can cause headache-inducing brain activity even in healthy people and could induce migraines or seizures in those with photosensitive epilepsy.

How we categorise colour is based on biology, not culture, study suggests
17th May 2017 | | Humans

Categories of colour are not born of language but are rooted in biology, according to research that shows babies divide colours up into red, blue, green, yellow and purple.

Your Brain Remembers Languages You Think You Forgot
17th May 2017 | | Humans

New evidence suggests that the earliest traces of a language can stay with us into adulthood, even if we no longer speak or understand the language itself. And early exposure also seems to speed the process of relearning it later in life.

Baby brain scans reveal trillions of neural connections
17th May 2017 | | Humans, Tech

UK scientists have released the first batch of “groundbreaking” medical scans that reveal step-by-step how the human brain develops in babies.

Researchers around the world can use the data to understand what healthy growth looks like, say the Developing Human Connectome Project experts.

Why Microdosing Is Taking Over Medical Marijuana
16th May 2017 | | Humans

Welcome to marijuana 2.0, where the less product you use, the better it works

Related: Does LSD ‘Microdosing’ Really Work? Study Aims to Find Out
Related: Vermont’s legislature just voted to legalize marijuana

Is Consciousness Fractal?
16th May 2017 | Humans

Our subconscious love for fractals may tell an evolutionary story.

Our fractal fluency begins with the movement of our eyes. When we look at a fractal, our eyes trace a fractal trajectory with a dimension of around 1.4 —no matter what the fractal’s dimension is. Nature’s most prevalent fractals share this dimension, falling within a range of 1.3 to 1.5. “If we lived on a planet where 1.8 was prevalent, we would have ended up with an eye trajectory of 1.8,” Taylor says. “Clearly what’s happened is our visual system has evolved.”

The woman with a strange ‘second sight’
16th May 2017 | | Humans, Weird

It ranks among the most curious phenomena in cognitive neuroscience. A handful of people in the world have “blindsight”: they are blind, but their non-conscious brain can still sense their surroundings.

News stories covering humans, psychology and health.