A vast increase in brain research in recent years is giving us a much improved picture of what’s going on in our white and grey matter.
In case you hadn’t noticed, NewScientist.com is now making the last 12 months’ of articles free for everyone to read. Here we round up the top 10 in-depth articles on the brain from 2008
Is it worth going to the mind gym?
The latest lifestyle trend is to sharpen your mental skills or stave off the effects of ageing by training your brain. But is there any evidence that such techniques work? New Scientist investigates
Brains apart: The real difference between the sexes
The supposed differences between male and female brains are a constant source of controversy, not to mention humour. Research into the topic is pointing unerringly to one conclusion: there is not just one kind of human brain, but two.
A unified theory of the brain?
It would be great to have a single, elegant description of how the human brain works – a neural equivalent of Einstein’s E=mc2. That law may be closer than you think…
How primate porn reveals what we really want
Humans make decisions in the face of a wide range of opportunities, desires and often conflicting information. Bizarrely, how we do this may in part be revealed by what turns monkeys on…
The secret life of the brain
When you close your eyes and rest, you might think your brain switches off too. Nothing is further from the truth: the brain’s energy consumption can even rise. It’s all to do with a brain structure that has remained hidden until now.
The subconscious mind: Your unsung hero
There’s more to being human than consciousness. Many of the mental faculties we prize as uniquely human appear to be orchestrated at a level below the conscious.
Forgetfulness is key to a healthy mind
Having too good a memory can leave sufferers chronically exhausted. These unfortunate people are revealing surprises about how a healthy memory works.
Does the brain feature built-in noise?
We generally think of noise as a nuisance. But in the right place, it can be a real boon – it might even enhance the way our brains work.
Do supercharged brains give rise to autism?
Most theories of autism assume that affected people have some form of neurological deficit. It could be, however, that their brains are overperforming.
The outer limits of the human brain
Some people have brains that excel at certain mental tasks. They may have a higher IQ than average, a better memory, speak many languages or even be a scientific genius. What sets their brains apart?