How the Evolution of the Human Brain Led Us to God

Advances in Neuroscience Link Our Cognitive Development to Our Idea of the Divine

The human brain is the most intriguing object in the universe, populated with 100 billion neurons connected by nerve fibers, which, if laid end to end, could circle the earth four times. British neurologist Macdonald Critchley spoke of “the divine banquet of the brain … a feast with dishes that remain elusive in their blending, and with sauces whose ingredients are even now a secret.”

He was right, especially about the brain’s divinity. As some of the brain’s secrets have been revealed, we’ve been able to see surprising connections between …

Empathy’s Evolution in the Human Imagination

What Began as an Aesthetic Response to Art Is Now a Highly Complex Neurochemical Reaction

Empathy seems to be one of the most “natural” emotions, but before 1908, no one in the English-speaking world had heard of it.

And when it did appear, “empathy” was …

Does Philosophy Hold Crucial Insights for the Neuroscience of Inspiration?

How Charles Taylor's Exploration of Language is Shedding Light on the Link Between Reading and Big Ideas

In a passage in Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert wrote one of history’s most beautiful descriptions of language: “Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we beat crude rhythms …

Why People Abandon High-Tech Prosthetics

That Luke Skywalker Prosthetic Arm May Strike the Average User as Less Than Sensational

You’ve probably seen the Frozen, Iron Man, and Star Wars prosthetics—intended to boost the confidence of kids with missing limbs. Now you can even meet the first man with the …

Black and White Aren’t Opposites After All

Neuroscientists Are Still Cracking the Puzzle of Why Our Brains Process Light and Darkness Asymmetrically

Most people see the world in color, yet artists can conjure up whole worlds—both realistic and imaginary—by using black pigments on white paper. Our ability to understand these drawings suggests …