Inside the Mind

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.

Topics to Explore


Learn More / Page 10

Are lefties better at sports?

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?

What is cyberchondria?

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.

Can you really scare someone to death?

Your little brother might think it's funny to put a rubber snake in your pocket or jump out from a closet in a dark hallway, but your heart rate might disagree. Is it possible to be scared out of both your wits and your life?

What are microexpressions?

Sometimes you meet someone who smiles at you and exchanges pleasantries, but you still walk away feeling certain that you don't like him or her. You're not nuts -- you might be picking up on microexpressions.

How accurate is our mental image of ourselves?

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.

Do we really get wiser with age?

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?

Why do songs get stuck in my head?

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?

How Albert Einstein's Brain Worked

E=mc2. The theory of relativity. An understanding of the speed of light. The idea that led to the completion of the atomic bomb. These ideas all came from one man's brain: Albert Einstein's.

How Lobotomies Work

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?

Can brain damage lead to extraordinary art?

You might classify yourself as right-brained or left-brained, depending on whether you tend toward logic or creativity. But what if a brain tumor changed it all, and one day you left your medical studies and devoted your days to art?

Is morality located in the brain?

We talk about morals in relation to raising children, voting for political candidates and criticizing people who don't see eye-to-eye with us. But is morality even a choice? Or is it all in your head?

Is emotional intelligence a better indicator of brain health than IQ?

There are people who are smart, and there are people who are people-smart. The guy you want in your think tank isn't necessarily the same person you want at your birthday party. But can emotional intelligence say more about your brain than IQ can?

Do men and women have different brains?

Do gender differences go beyond our reproductive organs? Popular culture would have you believe that men are from Mars, while women call Venus their planet of birth. Is it possible to finish the argument of nature versus nurture?

Can head trauma really cause amnesia?

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?

Top 5 Unsolved Brain Mysteries

Compare neuroscientists with crackerjack detectives like Nancy Drew and Hercule Poirot, and the brain docs might come up short. After all, they have yet to crack the case on five big brain mysteries.

Is the brain hardwired for religion?

Religion is one of the three things you're never supposed to talk about if you don't want your dinner party to turn into a food fight. But what about looking at religion through the lens of science instead of faith? Is there a connection between our gray matters and pray matters?

Emotion Pictures

Laugh and the world laughs with you, the saying goes. In our image gallery, experience the range of human emotions from around the world.

Top 10 Myths About the Brain

You only use 10 percent of that big, wrinkled mass of smarts -- unless you listen to Mozart. At least, that's what we've heard about the brain. But how many common brain beliefs are just plain wrong?

Is the human brain still evolving?

When you envision the distant future, you might picture flying cars and wars with aliens. But besides being strapped to jet packs, what will humans be like? Will our new big brains put today's homo sapiens to shame?

Are teenage brains really different from adult brains?

Parents just don't understand. Scientists didn't understand either, until they got a good look inside the teenage brain -- and what they saw turned what we thought we knew on its head.

Why are people's brains different sizes?

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?

How Brain Mapping Works

Brain mapping is an ongoing effort to provide a complete picture of the brain's structure. It's a massive project, but scientists could use it to diagnose and treat diseases, test psychotropic drugs and even figure out where sarcasm comes from.

How Grief Works

We all experience grief at one time or another after we lose someone important to us. But did you know there are many different types of grief?

How do you define hate?

We've all seen the effects that hatred has on our society, but just what is this destructive emotion? And can it be overcome?

Can getting angry be good for you?

You've probably heard some perfect couple smugly say, "Oh, we never fight." Besides being annoying, could their lack of fighting be unhealthy?