Mental Well-being, Travel & the Brain

The Trouble with Disgust

There will come a point in most journeys, having removed yourself from your comfort zone, that you find yourself reacting with disgust. This can feel like a rejection of the place and its people themselves. Disgust is an instinctual reaction evolved in the brain to protect you from biological disease. But studies show that this same primitive mechanism is how the brain regulates feelings of interpersonal disgust. … Read More The Trouble with Disgust

Travel & the Brain

Chilli on the Brain: Why Some Like it Hot

Folklore will tell you that eating chilli is beneficial for your well-being. But is there any truth to this and what exactly does it do? Inspired by the ubiquitous pot of chilli sauce in every Colombian kitchen, here I’ll summarise the real science about the effects of chilli on the brain and body.

Mental Well-being

10 Unexpected Psychological Benefits of Blogging

A few days ago I stumbled across the line marking the first month of this blog. This is novice territory when it comes to blogging, but over this period I’ve done a lot of reflecting and equal amounts of research into the experiences of other more accomplished bloggers. Let me tell you about 10 unexpected… Read More 10 Unexpected Psychological Benefits of Blogging

Mental Well-being, Travel & the Brain

Shearing Water in Playa el Tunco: How Waterfalls and the Crash of the Surf Affect the Way you Think and Feel

Waterfalls and the hypnotic dance of the waves have fascinated humans since the beginning of time. Aside from the spellbinding sensory spectacle, the structural changes to ions in the air, which occurs as water droplets shear apart, have strangely beneficial effects on the biology of the human organism. This article was inspired by our visit to… Read More Shearing Water in Playa el Tunco: How Waterfalls and the Crash of the Surf Affect the Way you Think and Feel

Travel & the Brain

The Traveller’s Dilemma: How Much Planning is Too Much? Insights from the Yerkes-Dodson Law

With travel info on the web overflowing like a garbage heap and lost faith in the Lonely Planet, we find ourselves unsure of how to navigate the tenuous line between too much and too little planning. Encounters with the unknown abide by the Yerkes-Dodson Law – you have to find that sweet spot in the… Read More The Traveller’s Dilemma: How Much Planning is Too Much? Insights from the Yerkes-Dodson Law

Travel & the Brain

What its like to Live in Medellin, Colombia’s Former Cocaine Capital & the Neuroscience of Addiction

It is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to Medellin. Its charm and idiosyncrasies were not lost on us.  While the cocaine cartels no longer overshadow life in the city, the white powder trail around the Gringo beat is ever present. Here I’ll explore the effects of drugs on the brain and the neuroscience of addiction.… Read More What its like to Live in Medellin, Colombia’s Former Cocaine Capital & the Neuroscience of Addiction

Mental Well-being

The Neuroscience of “Living Large and In Charge”: 7 Habits to Think About

Like the title of this article, the internet is in no short supply of overly simplistic, step-by-step self-help guides. Whether or not the induced nausea is all part of the cleansing process is still up for debate. What’s not in question though is that if advice is not evidence-based, its not really advice at all.… Read More The Neuroscience of “Living Large and In Charge”: 7 Habits to Think About

Travel & Art

Poetry from Patagonia: The Man and his Dog

Inspired by the lovely poem I received from my mother on my most recent birthday, I decided to publish the poem that I wrote for Mischa’s birthday earlier this year. I won’t be winning any literature prizes, but I think it captures a certain aspect of the rugged mountain life of southern Patagonia.

Mental Well-being, Travel & the Brain

Airport Anxiety and the Neuroscience of Panic Attacks

Airports are the breeding grounds for panic because they impinge heavily on our basic sense of control and agency. The neuroscience of panic disorder shows us how this takes place in the brain. 

Travel & the Brain

The Language Barrier to Paradise: Backing away in Valparaiso and the neuropsychology of language development.

In Valparaiso the language barrier took its toll. With it came a profound sense of disconnection. What can neuroscience tell us about how we develop language?