Mental Well-being

Big Corn Island, the Neuroscience of Playfulness and ADHD

Big Corn Island off the coast of Nicaragua has a playful spirit. It was infectious. In this article, I’ll talk about the neural underpinnings of playfulness and how the diminished opportunities for play might be contributing to the escalating incidence of ADHD in the youth.

Mental Well-being, Travel & the Brain

The Trouble with Disgust: Moral, Neural and Interpersonal Considerations

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: Moral, Neural and Interpersonal Considerations

Travel & the Brain

Monkey Puzzles of Pucon: The Oldest Tree in the World and our Ancient Brain

In Arizona, Australia and some parts of Europe, you will find fossilized remains of Araucaria araucana – the Monkey Puzzle tree – once the fine fodder of dinosaurs nearly a quarter billion years ago. But high up in the Andes in small pockets of Southern Chile, these botanical totems are alive, some almost 1200 years… Read More Monkey Puzzles of Pucon: The Oldest Tree in the World and our Ancient Brain

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Reflections on meaning and disconnection

I think it was about three weeks into our trip when I noticed that the feeling of something-not-quite-right had crept into my mind. I could not understand its meaning. We were still in Rio de Janerio at that point, truly one of my favourite cities in the world.