Learning! Roundup: A Whole Bunch of Brain Research (Computers Can Read Your Mind, Y'all) and More!

This week's learning roundup includes a bunch of new research into the brain! Did you know that computers can now see your thoughts? Or magic mushrooms might reset depression in the brain?
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Do Mushrooms Reset Depressed Brains?

It seems that magic mushrooms provide a "reset" for depressed brains. When patients with depression took psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms), their brain activity changed to reduce symptoms for up to five weeks. It's an early study with no control group, so all we currently know is that we should study magic mushrooms further, but hey! Neat!

Artificial Brains

Speaking of brains, scientists have now grown brains in the lab. I mean, sort of. They grow these little brain spheroids, balls of brain tissue with neurons that connect to each other and communicate and everything. So far, however, there is no evidence that they have independent thoughts or feelings.

Mind Reading

New AI can basically read our thoughts with a creepy level of accuracy. Right now it's only been taught to recognize faces, but still! Volunteers hooked up to an EEG machine were shown pictures of faces and asked to picture them in their brains. Then the AI read the patterns of brain activity and came back with a picture of the face it saw - and it's scary accurate. Get ready for that Black Mirror episode with the mind-reading detective to come true!

Corporate Saviours

Now to get away from the brain for a moment, a new study showed that corporations that are in trouble are more likely to hire Asian American CEO's to save them. The supposed reason is that companies in decline need personal sacrifice and hard decisions (like firing people), and people think that Asians as more predisposed to do this.

The Science of a Rape Accusation

Recently I shared an article about the science of false rape accusations, but what do real rape accusations look like? According to research, they are likely to be unreported and to be missing some details about the surroundings while others (like the cologne of the attacker or laughter) are seared in unmistakeably.


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