Seeing time, fast and slow

By Jan Morovic Have you ever seen a flickering light (like a fluorescent tube) out of the corner of your eye and when you then turned to look directly at it, the flicker was gone? If you have, then you experienced the fact that we, humans, have two different systems of vision coexisting in our…

Entropy beyond disorder

By Miguel Oliveira Panão Why is entropy associated with disorder? When Ludwig Boltzmann mathematically expressed the reality that Rudolf Clausius called entropy, at the microscopic level, it corresponded with the number all the possible combinations among a number of elements, assuming those elements move freely in a particular space. What a mess, right? Can you imagine…

How does the ability to self-regulate develop in us as humans

By Elisabeth Reichel and Ornella Valenti We are not born with self-regulation skills. Instead, these skills are called neuro-developmental, which means that when we are born, we have an innate capacity to learn them (nature) but we need the right environment to develop them (nurture). ​ Our future relationships have their blueprint in nerve cell connections that…

Complexity can emerge from simple rules

By Catherine Belzung The collective and synchronized motion of groups of animals is quite impressive and intriguing. Indeed, in nature it can be observed that thousands of individuals move together in schools of fish, flocks of birds, and herds of running African ungulates. The size of such groups can be variable, from having only a few…

Do you see what I see?

By Jan Morovic The way we experience the world is a blend of aspects shared with everyone else and others that are unique to us individually. While groups of people mostly agree on whether two colors match or look different, there are certain features of our visual experiences that are more individual than others. An…

Air as a mixture of gases

By Lucian Pasieka The air we breathe is a very important natural gas mixture without which we could not live. Are we aware that we consume an almost infinite number of gas molecules throughout our lives? From the air, which contains approximately 78% N2, 21% O2, 0.94% Ar as well as 0.04 CO2, our body…

The science of color preference

By Ján Morovič What is your favorite color? If I had to guess, I’d say it is blue. Blue isn’t your favorite color? No problem, but do you like blue? Chances are (and this is based on a wealth of experimental data1), you said yes at least to the second question. And even if you…

Effective communication and interpersonal relationships

By Ornella Valenti I have always been fascinated by language and communication. Studies suggest that languages are somehow associated with our deeper selves, with our genetic background. Although this is still a topic of intense research, the ability to speak and to communicate are definitely gifts of our species and favour our daily lives, as…

Hope for peace inspired by nature

By Micaela Gliozzi, Catherine Belzung, Stefania Papa and Susana Rebelo Nature often appears governed by competition, where only the strongest survive and thrive. However, it also abounds with cooperation, sharing, mutual help, and giving as previous posts of our blog highlighted. During this sad moment of European and World history, the negative aspects of the…

Bonding space, time and starlight

By Gabriel Ferrero “‘In this phial,’ she said, ‘is caught the light of Eärendil’s star, set amid the waters of my fountain. It will shine still brighter when night is about you. May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.’ “1 These unforgettable words, that J.R.R. Tolkien…