The Human Brain

What are dreams really made of? Are humans the smartest animal? What causes schizophrenia? Travel inside the mind and find out how the human brain works.

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Sleepwalking is an intriguing phenomenon. How can a person be unconscious but still coordinate his or her limbs? And how do we know when we're really awake?

By Katie Lambert

E=mc2. The theory of relativity. An understanding of the speed of light. These ideas all came from the brain of one man: Albert Einstein. But what happened to his brain after he died?

By Molly Edmonds

It's safe to say that no one particularly wants an ice pick through the eye socket. And yet, for years, people who were mentally ill or merely "difficult" had parts of their brains removed this way. The natural question: Why?

By Shanna Freeman


Once scientists discovered that some members of the great ape family could recognize their reflections in mirrors, academics began to wonder whether these animals were actually conscious of themselves. That debate continues today.

By Jessika Toothman & Sascha Bos

We'd like to think we're pretty clever, but when you correct for body mass, dolphin brains aren't far off from our own. What cognitive skills do dolphins possess, and could they really be our intellectual equals?

By Jessika Toothman

Computers can handle far more calculations per second than the human brain, and can store and retrieve information very reliably. Should we be jealous of these hunks of silicon and metal on our desks?

By Jonathan Strickland

If you've ever dashed into the grocery store to pick up a tube of toothpaste, you've likely been stopped in your tracks by the sheer number of options available. So why does having more options make it so much harder to make the right choice?

By Tom Scheve


In the past, applying electricity to the brain was a painful measure of last resort. Now with lower power and electrodes surgically planted deep within the brain, it could be the answer to many debilitating diseases.

By Isaac Perry Clements

If you could control your dreams, what would you do? Grow wings and fly, travel to ancient Rome, dine with Marilyn Monroe, open opera season at the Met? It could be possible.

By Katie Lambert & Sascha Bos

One of the top-prescribed sleeping pills may cause you to shuffle out of bed and sleepwalk to the fridge. Could Ambien be making you sleepy and hungry?

By Cristen Conger

Memory is your only personal record of the past and of who you are as an individual. What if you woke up one morning and your memory was gone?

By Cristen Conger


It doesn't exactly seem like something the human body would do, let a large portion of itself go to complete waste. Is it true that most of your brain is on permanent hiatus?

By Patrick J. Kiger & Austin Henderson

Can your mirror lie? Though loved ones reassure you that your appearance is normal, all you see is your flawed, monstrous reflection. This is life with body dysmorphic disorder.

By Jessika Toothman

You may vaguely remember hurting your knee at the age of 3, but do you recall the moment your body burst into the world? Most likely not. Why are our first years devoid of memories?

By Cristen Conger

Brain mapping attempts to provide a complete picture of the brain's structure, but few know how brain mapping works. Learn how brain mapping works.

By Susan L. Nasr & Sascha Bos


If bigger is better, then some of us have the advantage when it comes to brainpower. Human brains (and noggins) don't all look the same. Does size really matter? And if it does, who comes out on top?

By Molly Edmonds

People with schizophrenia can experience delusions, hallucinations and paranoia. But they don't have to suffer social isolation. Find out what successful treatments can help people with the disorder.

By Jane McGrath

In the wild, are brains better than brawn? Find out when your fight-or-flight response is your friend and when it's your enemy.

By Cristen Conger

TV shows, movies and books depict characters that have suffered a bad injury to the head and have lost their memory. But could it really happen that fast? And will their memory ever return?

By Katherine Neer


The trials of being a lefty are numerous. You jostle for elbow room at the table, use scissors that feel funny in the hand and are teased for writing oddly. But do beleaguered lefties get the last laugh in sports?

By Robert Lamb

Ever tried to get your child, spouse or friend to do something by telling them to do the opposite? That's reverse psychology. But how often does it work?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Most of us don't intuitively classify electroshocks as therapeutic, but this 1950s-era treatment has changed a lot since it was first introduced. When and why do mental health experts now turn to it?

By Kate Kershner

The same characteristics that help turn songs into earworms also help our brains store important bits of information. Why does the human brain love mad rhymes?

By Laurie L. Dove


You're deep in dreamland when you hear an explosion so loud you wake up. But there's nothing outside or inside your house making the noise. What just happened?

By Sean Russell

Three weeks of hard work. Is that all it takes to kick your smoking habit, taste for junk food or serial inability to stop hitting the snooze button? Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn't it?

By Julia Layton