Category Archives: Psychology

Laughter Acts as a Stress Buffer, and Even Smiling Helps

People who laugh frequently in their everyday lives may be better equipped to deal with stressful events – although this does not seem to apply to the intensity of laughter. These are the findings reported by a research team from the University of Basel in the journal PLOS ONE. Source: “Does laughing have a stress-buffering effect in daily life? An intensive longitudinal study” by Thea Zander-Schellenberg, Isabella Mutschler Collins, Marcel Miché, Camille Guttmann, Roselind Lieb, Karina Wahl. PLOS ONE.

Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain

There has been a long controversy as to whether subjectively ‘free’ decisions are determined by brain activity ahead of time. We found that the outcome of a decision can be encoded in brain activity of prefrontal and parietal cortex up to 10 s before it enters awareness. This delay presumably reflects the operation of a network of high-level control areas that begin to prepare an upcoming decision long before it enters awareness. Source: Soon, C., Brass, M., Heinze, H. et al. Unconscious […]

Many choices seems promising until you actually have to choose

People faced with more options than they can effectively consider want to make a good decision, but feel they’re unable to do so, according to the results of a novel study from the University at Buffalo that used cardiovascular measures and fictional dating profiles to reach its conclusions. Source: Neuroscience News

‘Philosophy lab test’ finds objective vision impossible

Johns Hopkins University researchers who study the mind and brain used methods from cognitive science to test a long-standing philosophical question: Can people see the world objectively? Their answer is a flat no. Source: Jorge Morales el al., “Sustained representation of perspectival shape,” PNAS (2020).

The three clocks that make up our concept of time

Thanks to this particular study as well as the succeeding ones, we now know that there are three clocks that govern how we perceive “time” — the body clock, the solar clock, and the social clock. Source: JStor Daily

People May Know the Best Decision – and Not Make It

When faced with a decision, people may know which choice gives them the best chance of success, but still take the other option, a new study suggests. Source: Technology Networks

Internet use reduces study skills in university students

Students who spend a significant amount of their time surfing the web have lower motivation to study and reduced academic performance. Source: Neuroscience News

Fonts in campaign communications have liberal or conservative leanings

Individuals perceive certain fonts used on political campaign signs as having partisan leanings. The more people view a font as aligned with their ideology, the more they favor it. Source: Neuroscience News

Exploring the science of decision-making

When faced with complex choices, people show bursts of exploration before settling into preferred options of higher value. Source: Neuroscience News, May 22 2019


  Our attitudes can be influenced by both our imagination and experiences. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex plays a key role by binding together information based on existing knowledge and constructing imaginary events to help shape our attitudes of a situation. Roland G. Benoit, Philipp C. Paulus & Daniel L. Schacter, (2019), ‘Imagine…’ Our attitudes can change solely by the power of imagination, Neuroscience News, May 17.