How do we see colour? Can white look blue and vice versa? And does it matter which word you use for a colour? Apparently it does.
The girl without the right hemisphere of her brain functions pretty normally. How is this compatible with the idea that women use their right hemisphere more?
Is it Nature or Nurture, congenital or acquired? The answer is actually quite simple: everything is Nature and Nurture. The structure if the brain determines what we can learn and what we learn determines the structure of the brain.
London taxi drivers know every street in London, as well as all the restaurants, post offices, shops and more. In our brain there is an ingenious GPS. And this GPS is integrated with our life history and emotions. Try doing that with a navigator!
What is the boundary of your body? Where does your body end? All fairly clear to you, but not to your brain. A rake you hold in your hand can become a part of your body, and sometimes a rubber hand can seem like your real hand. How can this be?
Depression lifts with placebo pills, joint pain disappears after a placebo operation. Changes in the brain can be observed after the use of a placebo. How do such effects of sham treatment come about? Placebos do have effects. But THE placebo effect does not exist.
A newborn baby is well-equipped to eat and sleep, but not much more. It cannot speak, it sees almost nothing, and controlled movements of its arms and legs are minimal. Previously it was believed that, at birth, the brain was ready for all these tasks (nature), and that the child only had to learn through experience (nurture). Significant changes in the brain before, during and after this major learning period are however a condition for and also a result of this learning process.
The Ego does not exist, it is an illusion, a trick of the brain. This claim of neuroscientists may scare you. But is it true? Or does something like an ego exist? And if so, what is it?
You walk down a street and nearly bump into someone; you look at their face and in a fraction of a second you know who it is. It does not really matter if you see them in profile or full face. And one can do this with thousands of faces; a clever trick of our brains. How do we recognise faces?
The probability of having autism is greater for an individual if it runs in their family. This suggests hereditary factors. But what do you actually inherit? What you inherit is a predisposition for a specific development of your brain. This, together with what you experience while growing up, can lead to the development of a mild to severe form of autism.