Most of us are pretty good at acting on the fly: swerving to avoid an obstacle in the road, ducking to keep from being hit, or reflexively catching a fly ball. We can do this because the brain is constantly running simulations of the physics involved as we scan our environment, according to a new series of brain…
Our conscious perception of the world feels like a continuous and uninterrupted flow, but a new study suggests that it’s actually more like the frames of a movie reel running through a projector.
Very few animals are capable of recognizing themselves in the mirror. New research suggests that manta rays are capable of this unique cognitive feat—a possible sign that these fish are self-aware.
It was hailed as the most significant test of machine intelligence since Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov in chess nearly 20 years ago. Google’s AlphaGo has won two of the first three games against grandmaster Lee Sedol in a Go tournament, showing the dramatic extent to which AI has improved over the years. That…
When Japanese researchers wanted to see if chimps could learn things from simply viewing a situation just once, they needed to create situations where apes would anticipate a noteworthy event. So they made their own horror films just for apes.
There’s a neurological reason for apathy and laziness, according to new research. Inefficient connections between certain areas of the brain may make it harder for some people to decide to act.
They build cities. They farm. They make war. Ants do a lot of things that seem uncannily human — and yet they’re profoundly alien, part of a hive mind called a social organism. What does that feel like to each individual ant? Now a new scientific paper suggests that there is always doubt in the hive mind.
Recent advances in brain-computer interfaces are turning the science fantasy of transmitting thoughts directly from one brain to another into reality.
Embodied cognition theory states that our thoughts and emotions are profoundly affected by our physical bodies. A new study takes this idea further, claiming that our bodily states — particularly when they're urgent — can even influence our metaphysical beliefs.
We may think of pigeons as "flying rats," but research published today in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that their wild counterparts were an important source of nutrition for some Neanderthals.
Around sixty-seven thousand years ago, someone ate a Rock dove. In doing so, that individual began an association between a primate and a bird that would persist up until the present.
Raccoons, Procyon lotor, confused scientists for a really long time.
Common wisdom holds that smell is the least important sense for our species. But that conclusion may be flawed because we've ignored non-Western cultures. New research on a small tribe in southern Thailand challenges that assumption.
Crows are far more rational than we had realized. New research shows that wild New Caledonian crows can compete with 7-year-old children when it comes to understanding causality, or how one action causes another.
Light is an incredibly powerful force. Sure, it helps us see and gives us fast internet, but medical researchers keep stumbling upon new positive side-effects. A team of Belgian scientists, for instance, just discovered how a ten minute blast of orange light increases brain activity related to cognition and alertness.
Elephants are widely regarded as one of the world's most intelligent creatures, able to use tools, show grief and exhibit remarkable memory. New research now shows African elephants can do something no other wild animal has been shown to do: They can understand human pointing gestures without any kind of training.
Humans pride ourselves on our ability to make plans for the future. But it turns out that we're not the only animals who think ahead. Scientists have observed wild orangutans planning their travel routes a day in advance, and communicating their itinerary to community members.
You might just think of analogies as being clever constructions, put together by smart people, to help you understand complex problems—but there's more to them than you might think.