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.

Thanks to increased media attention, most people have probably heard more about concussions recently. But just what are concussions, and how serious are they?

Pack your PJs, toothbrush and favorite pillow: A trip to a sleep lab often involves an overnight observation and some electrode-monitored snoozing. But what can the lab tell you about your sleep patterns?

Don't think of emotions as just "feelings." They're also the product of how your brain processes your feelings and how you respond to them.

When a well-timed joke or a clever cartoon tickles your funny bone, specific areas of your brain react to spread that mirth throughout your system. Can scientists use this knowledge to create a universal formula for comedy?

You've been looking forward to your European vacation for months. But the first few days of your trip, you're grouchy, exhausted and brain dead. Is there some way to prevent or cure jet lag?

The human brain has a great capacity to adapt, rewire and grow. How can you help your noggin reach its ultimate potential?

The human brain can do some amazing things -- and humans can do amazing things because of it. Here are 10 of the most wondrous and unusual feats ever performed by a person's brain.

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 amount of options available. So why does having more options make it so much harder to make the right choice? Read on to find out.

Despite our best intentions, sometimes we just make bad choices. Is it possible to fight your own worst instincts? Only if you can spot these flaws in your decision making process.

Despite our best intentions, sometimes we just make bad choices. Is it possible to fight your own worst instincts? Only if you can spot these flaws in your decision making process.

The human brain is a mysterious little ball of gray matter, and so is that recurring dream that you're an elf. Have scientists determined why we have dreams?

Sometimes we get so caught up in a cinematic dream that we think we've actually experienced it, even after waking. What causes us to dream, and why is that grizzly bear always chasing us?

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?

Computers can make calculations faster than the human brain. But thinking and calculating are two different things. Can computers be programmed to think for themselves better and faster than we can?

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?

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.

Studies show that women are more sensitive to pain than men, despite their bodies' ability to withstand the agony of childbirth. Does social conditioning help men keep a stiff upper lip when they're hurt? Or do emotions and estrogen factor into this painful equation?

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?

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?

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?

So you're at a family dinner, and your uncle stands up and dramatically announces that he has a brain tumor. How does he know? Because he researched his frequent headaches on the Internet.

When a kid scrapes his or her knee, a cute bandage is less about stanching the bleeding and more about psychological comfort. When a doctor gives an adult a placebo, is that any different?

Think about how you would describe yourself to a stranger. Would you emphasize your keen sense of humor or physical features you're fond of? Or would you spend more time on supposed "trouble spots"? Your answer largely depends on your mental picture.

It's commonly believed that that grandpa has more knowledge than his young whippersnapper of a grandkid. But do wrinkles on the face really relate to wrinkles on the brain?

It starts innocently: You hum how you want your baby back baby back baby back ribs. But eight hours later, it's not so fun anymore. Why do some tunes get stuck in your brain?