A newly discovered neural circuit in the brain of the common fruit fly seems to serve as a sort of "volume control," turning up and down the perception of sound and light.
December 27, 2013 Scientists hope to solve mysteries of the human brain by studying much simpler neural networks — like the brain circuits of fruit flies and mice. Already such research is turning up clues to why many people with autism are easily overwhelmed by bright lights and loud sound.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/256904807/257542533" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
I think I can see something.
November 1, 2013 Using special eye-tracking cameras, researchers at the University of Rochester found that many people can perceive their own bodies moving, even in total darkness. Our minds instinctively fill in images when there aren't any real ones to see.
Would time spent with Anton Chekov, famed for his subtle, flawed characters, make you a better judge of human nature?
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
October 4, 2013 Reading literary fiction improves people's ability to recognize other people's mental states, while popular fiction and nonfiction do not, a study says. That may be because literary fiction tends to focus on the psychology and inner lives of the characters.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/229190837/229274006" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
June 29, 2013 Misperception tells us something about how we perceive. But when it comes to optical illusions, sometimes getting the illusion is a kind of perceptual success. Enjoy this viral video of young German dancers creating unexpected patterns with their movements.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor