Many of us have experienced prolonged stretches of driving where we’re seemingly oblivious to our surroundings, and we’re left dumbfounded that we didn’t get into a serious accident. A new study suggests that a specific brain function protects us from these bouts of absentminded driving—but that it completely breaks…
Newborn infants are supposed to be capable of imitating our facial expressions, like sticking out our tongues and opening our mouths. A new study in Current Biology suggests there’s no actual imitating going on—and that it’s all in our heads.
Dogs just want to love you but cats, well, what the hell do cats want? They have a mind of their own, they seemingly do whatever the hell they want, and their habits are just so weird. Why is that? According to Ted-Ed, it’s because how they developed as both a solitary predator that had to hunt and kill smaller prey…
Dealing with people who exhibit passive-aggressive behavior is easily one of the most challenging aspects of our social lives. Here’s what you need to know about this annoying personality quirk and how you can handle people who express their hostility in indirect and backhanded ways.
Prairie dogs: fuzzy little socialites that live in elaborate burrows and chow down on grass all day, right? Seem like nice neighbors? Hate to shatter the illusion, but I’ve got some knowledge to share. Prairie dogs are cold-blooded killers. And if you’re a ground squirrel, you’re advised to move out of town…
Storks used to be majestic creatures, but now, they are trash birds. That is the conclusion of ornithologists at the University of East Anglia, who have confirmed that white storks are abandoning their normal migratory pattern in droves, instead choosing to nest at landfills and eat our garbage year round.
Anthropologists working in Kenya have uncovered the remains of a group of prehistoric foragers who were ruthlessly massacred about 10,000 years ago. It’s considered the earliest example of organized violence among nomadic hunter-gatherers, a rare find that’s offering an unprecedented glimpse into what life—and…
A couple of months ago, the Twitter hashtag #JunkOff got biologists to post photos that displayed the extravagant weirdness of plant and animal genitalia. Yesterday, evolutionary geneticist Tom Houslay dared them to write about what animals actually do with their junk.
In another episode of “Cephalopods are Basically the Most Amazing Creatures on Earth,” today we get an inside look at the burrowing habits of the southern sand octopus, the pressurized hose of the animal kingdom.
We humans pride ourselves on our cultural diversity, but we’re not the only creatures that form unique societies. Turns out, two clans of sperm whales living near the Galápagos Islands speak different dialects — offering yet more evidence that animals have culture, too.
Death by suffocation is nightmarish enough, but boa constrictors do something even more sinister: They cut off your blood supply.
“The Moral Molecule.” “The Cuddle Hormone.” If you’ve been paying attention the past few years, you’ve heard about many of the near-magical effects of the hormone oxytocin on the brain. It makes people more altruistic. It reduces anxiety and increases trust. But it’s not the only chemical that affects the brain that…
That dopey face your cat makes—its mouth half-open, its lips curled awkwardly away from its teeth—has a name. It’s called the flehmen response, and yes, it looks ridiculous. But for many mammals, it’s a critical part of their sex life.
A break-up can feel like the end of the world. And almost everybody goes through these jarring transitions at some point in their romantic lives, experiencing unbearable loss, confusion and despair. Luckily, a growing number of evidence-based strategies can help you cope. We talked to the experts to find out more.
Another study for the "fake it 'til you make it" pile: forcing yourself walking with a spring in your step can improve your mood. On the flip side, slumping your shoulders can make your mood more negative. Be conscious walkers! [via Scientific American]
How much money would you pay to prevent a complete stranger from being administered an electric shock? And how would that compare to what you'd give up to prevent your own pain? A fascinating new experiment suggests we may be more altruistic than we think.
You've heard the self-help gurus who say positive thoughts can bring us happiness, wealth, and success. But there's another side to the story. Here's why positive thinking often backfires — and why many of us are starting to resent it.
A recent experimental study sought to answer the question as to whether bankers are more likely to cheat than people in other professions. You can probably imagine the results, but you'll be surprised as to the reason why.
Many of us believe that money brings out our calculating sides, inspiring decisions that are motivated by rational self-interest. But new evidence suggests that money does the opposite, leading to druglike mental states and irrational choices that are anything but sound.
A new genetic study linking two genes to extreme violent behavior is raising serious questions as to what makes a criminal and whether or not these genes could be used to screen — or even let off — potential offenders.