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.

If left-handedness offers an evolutionary advantage, why has the proportion of left-handed people not changed for 10,000 years?

Why does everyone remember Monday and Friday but not the days in between?

The nausea and dizziness that result from a concussion are bad enough. On top of those symptoms, do you have to worry about dying if you fall asleep?

Pain is subjective — what is excruciating to you might be tolerable to me. Which is why it's so difficult to measure and control.

The human brain might just be Pandora's box. Will we like what we find when we really take a look? It might just depend on how you interpret the data.

You've probably experienced that moment where you're driving, get lost, turn down the radio, and then think, "Why did I just do that?" Hopefully, you got to your destination, but did you ever figure out why you turned down the tunes?

Nostalgia, contrary to centuries of common knowledge, appears to be a good thing. A really good thing.

Why does the experience of sleep paralysis often summon explanations of demonic visitations? Visit the place where dreams and reality overlap, and where science and myth attempt to interpret our hallucinations.

Have you ever met someone with a unique first name, and then all of a sudden you hear the name everywhere you turn? That's the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. How did it get that handle?

Are you someone who likes to be social, but also values a little alone time? Are you sometimes critical of yourself? You are? Amazing! So how did we guess without actually knowing you? Welcome, friends, to the Forer effect.

Does your brain experience the kind of back-ups you see during your commute? Or are your neurons prone to road rage?

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?

When you see someone yawning, even in a picture, chances are a yawning urge will come over you, too. But is this also true of sneezing, and if so, why?

It's a wild world. One with all kinds of kooky and unexpected connections. Like the one between big brains and binge drinking. Or big brains and big hips. Here's a look at some of the head scratching-est correlations uncovered by researchers.

Odd as it may seem, many antidepressants like Zoloft having warning labels about increases in suicidal thoughts. Why would that be? And how will you know if your medication is actually working?

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?

A 2013 study in the Lancet showed that five mental and developmental disorders share several genetic variations. Does that mean that nature influences your mental health more than nurture?

It doesn't take long to watch a movie and figure out who the evil genius is. In real life, though, figuring out if someone made an intelligent decision to do harm is a lot more slippery.

We often throw around the word "insanity" for acts that seem to have no rational explanation (like a teacher giving an insanely difficult test). Legally speaking, though, it's actually a narrow term that's very difficult to prove in court.

Is there any truth to the stereotype of the mad scientist? Turns out there is a link between high IQs and mental illness. Researchers are still not sure why.

We've all seen "flame wars" on the Internet. Maybe we've been the victims or the perpetrators, too. But what causes people to say things online that they would never say in person?

Having a Ph.D., four stars on your general's uniform or a seat in the Oval Office won't necessarily stop you from doing things that make others want to whack you on the head with a "how could you?" Here are 10 who should've thought twice.

Who doesn't want to instantly gobble up the marshmallows floating delectably on top of their hot chocolate? As it turns out, giving in to or delaying that impulse can say a lot about you -- and your willpower. Ready to see how strong yours is?

Newly minted parents do it. Night-shift workers do it. Men and women in the service do it, too. Could you trade a continuous stretch of sleep for a bunch of naps throughout the day, too?

We humans like to imagine that we're freewheeling folks, mixing up our lives as easily as we mix up our daily coffee. What if the truth about free will is that it's a myth?