February 26, 2012

Seeing into the future? The neuroscience of déjà vu

Even the most rational of us experience it: you'll be chatting with friends or exploring a place you've never been when suddenly a feeling washes over you: you've experienced this exact moment before. The familiarity is overwhelming, and it shouldn't be familiar at all. The sensation becomes stronger before ebbing, then completely leaves, all within a matter of seconds. Had you predicted the future? Yet, chances are, you can't pinpoint exactly when you'd experienced that premonition before.

Déjà vu is a French term that literally means "already seen" and is reported to occur in 60-70% of people, most commonly between the ages of 15 and 25. The fact that déjà vu occurs so randomly and rapidly—and in individuals without a medical condition—makes it difficult to study, and why and how the phenomenon occurs is up to much speculation. Psychoanalysts may attribute it to wishful thinking; some psychiatrists cite mismatching in the brain causing us to mistake the present for the past. Still, parapsychologists may even believe it is related to a past-life experience. So what do we know for certain about what happens during an episode of déjà vu?

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February 14, 2012

Your love is my drug

For our first Valentine's Day a few years back, my boy got me chocolate brains!

Not only does he know me extremely well, but he also had it right—love originates in the brain, not the heart.

But what exactly is going on between the ears when those warm and fuzzy feeling wash over us? A new study out just in time for Chocolate Day reveals that love actually acts like an addictive drug.

Hmmm, it seems that Ke$ha also got it right...

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