Beyond human consciousness

“What is it like to be a bat?” famously asked Thomas Nagel in 1974 in The Philosophical Review. It may sound like a silly question, but it has profound implications. We quite literally make sense of the world through our touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste. Our sense of space in particular is governed in …

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The neuroscience of ikigai

I lived in Japan for seven months when I was younger. For all of the challenges I faced there as a woman and a foreigner, I still was fascinated by the culture. Because Japan experienced a long period of relative isolation from the outside world—caused by sakoku (“closed country”), the isolationist foreign policy of the …

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Are emotions good or bad?

The role of emotions has been debated over the years, with some claiming that they are “bad for our peace of mind” (Skinner, 1948), and others arguing that they are important for our “physical or social survival” (Keltner & Gross, 1999). Emotions can be defined as states induced by the occurrence, termination, or omission of …

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