Your amazing mind

Stendahl Syndrome

I’ve written before about illnesses that are restricted to certain countries, like heavy legs in France.  But would it surprise you to know that there are some psychological conditions, like Stendahl Syndrome, that can affect people who travel to specific cities?

The Mandela effect

Back in February 1990 the world looked on amazed as Nelson Mandela walked to freedom out of Victor Verster Prison.  However, a sizeable number of people were profoundly shocked, as they distinctly remembered him dying in prison years before.  This false memory was so compelling it’s led to an idea called the Mandela effect.

Do we only use 10% of our brains?

“Did you know you only use 10% of your brain?” is a recurring factoid about our most mysterious organ.  In fact, studies have shown that pretty much all of it is in use all the time, even when following the plot in Midsummer Murders.  But what about people who have a large percentage of their brain missing?

Objectophilia – the things we love

What have all of these got in common? Duvet. Car. Railway station. The Eiffel Tower. Hologram. Doll. Full marks if your answer was “they’re all automatically suggested when you google ‘man marries’ or ‘woman marries’”. Welcome to the world of objectophilia.

Short term memory – a case study

Jane* was terrified when she came to see me. Not of me personally you understand, but of what she was convinced was wrong with her.

The Baader Meinhof phenomenon

41 years have passed since the deaths of members of the Baader Meinhof gang in Stammheim. Whilst you may not have heard of them lately, or at all, you will have experienced the Baader Meinhof phenomenon.

Pheromones – our long-distance messengers

Pheromones have been called ‘the pack animals of desire’. They’re chemical messengers that use our sense of smell as a vital route of communication between everything from couples to pigs and truffles.

Smell and memory – our deepest link

Smell and memory are inextricably linked – but smell is actually our quickest route to old and forgotten memories.

Loss of smell – anosmia

Loss of smell as a sense (anosmia) might not seem like such a big deal. But for those affected the results can be devastating – depression, isolation, and even the breakdown of relationships.

The teenage brain explained

It’s common knowledge that teenagers’ behaviour and mood swings are down to hormones and puberty. It’s also wrong – in fact the teenage brain is much different than we understood even 10 years ago.