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 a translation from the German Einfühlung, literally “in-feeling,” with the surprising meaning of projecting one’s own feelings into nature and objects of art.

This meaning is strange to us now. But the feeling we call “empathy” has shifted dramatically over the last century from a description of an aesthetic response, to a moral and political aspiration, to a clinical skill, …

What Constant Screen Time Does to Kids’ Brains

Internet Exposure Can Improve Children's Learning—but It's Still No Substitute for Real-World Experience

An 8-year-old American child has never known a world without an iPhone. For today’s kids, smartwatches, video chats, and virtual reality aren’t harbingers of the high-tech future that adults have …

Fielding a Daily Fantasy Sports Team Is No Different Than Playing Online Poker

Websites Like DraftKings and FanDuel Bear All the Hallmarks of Gambling—Including Addiction

Tonight’s NCAA men’s basketball championship will also crown the champion in millions of fantasy pools. As the nation gets ready for the excitement or frustration that this game will bring, …

Technology Doesn’t Ruin Health, People Do

If We Want to Think Clearly and Stay Fit, We Are the Ones Who Have to Unplug, Say UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and Other Researchers

As we hurtle with delight into a future where a wristwatch can tell us how many steps we’ve taken each day and a few taps on a screen can bring …

Smartphones Make Us Sick, No Matter How Many Health Apps We Download

While Our Favorite Handheld Companions Count Our Steps, They’re Also Triggering Obesity, Addiction, and Car Accidents

Last November, a national survey by New York University’s Langone Medical Center found that 58 percent of adult respondents have downloaded health apps on their smartphones—and that almost half these …