What Makes a Pun Funny?

Comedian Jessica Kirson, as captured by the inimitable Brian Friedman My name is Ginny and I’m an adult pun-lover. When I hear a good one — Photons have mass? I didn’t even know they were Catholic! — I don’t roll my eyes or smirk. I double over laughing, like a 7-year-old. What is it exactly […]

“Reading Minds” with fMRI

Some of you, I suspect, have read in Time, Slate, NPR, Popular Science, Wired, or dozens of other news outlets that scientists have figured out how to read minds. I hate to always be the neuro–tech downer, but that claim is just false. Laughably false. That’s not to say that the study behind all of the commotion, published late […]

What do you get when you put a terrorist inside of a brain scanner?

It’s not the setup of a bad joke. For years, the U.S. military has likely used brain scanners to try to read the minds of suspected terrorists. Some bioethicists have argued, and I tend to agree, that using neuroimaging during interrogations is not only ineffective, but could also exacerbate the abusive treatment of prisoners of […]