Psychology is a relatively new and quickly developing science that has piqued the interest of many.
It has taken on the difficult task of deciphering the strange and not-so-strange ways the brain works.
In this article, we want to present some fascinating facts that might blow your mind or raise a few eyebrows.
Are you ready to learn more about some of the quirks of the human brain?
Let’s give you some topics you can even discuss with your friends at the next party!
Synesthesia is a fascinating phenomenon that has long been the subject of scientific study.
It occurs when one of the senses is experienced through another sense, or rather when they get linked together.
For example, some people with synesthesia may taste colors or see sounds - how confusing that must be!
It is also an experience that happens involuntarily.
Scientists are still unsure where it originates from, but it is believed to be caused by genetic factors, and there is some evidence that it might be hereditary.
Although synesthesia is not well understood, it is becoming a hot topic in psychology.
Some scientists believe that it can be used to unlock new ways of thinking and creativity.
Some people with synesthesia find it confusing or overwhelming, while others find it enriching and exciting.
There is no "cure" for synesthesia, but many people who have it learn to adapt and live with it.
Aphantasia is a fascinating phenomenon that has only recently been the subject of scientific research.
People with aphantasia cannot visualize images in their heads.
This includes visual and sensory images relating to other senses, such as smell or touch.
The implications of aphantasia are varied and far-reaching.
For example, people with aphantasia may find it difficult to recognize faces or have issues with spatial navigation.
Additionally, they may struggle with mental tasks that require image visualization, such as picturing the layout of a room or drawing an image from scratch.
Interestingly, although it can be challenging in some ways, it also has its benefits.
People with aphantasia often report feeling less anxiety and stress, as they are less likely to daydream or worry about things that haven't happened yet.
Aphantasia is still not fully understood by scientists, but studies into this phenomenon are ongoing.
Have you ever had a dream where you knew you were dreaming?
If so, then you experienced what is known as a lucid dream - the ability to control one's dreams consciously.
Lucid dreaming occurs when a person becomes self-aware during the dream state.
This can happen spontaneously or can be induced through training and practice.
Lucid dreamers are better able to problem-solve, and some studies suggest that they may even control their physical reactions to pain.
While the exact mechanisms underlying these benefits are not yet understood, it is clear that lucid dreaming can profoundly impact those who can do it.
With that in mind, it might be worth trying to learn how to lucid dream for yourself.
You can use several techniques to increase your chances of success, and with a bit of practice, you might be surprised at what you can achieve.
Memory is an interesting phenomenon.
When you try to remember a past event, you never simply retrieve an image or sensation from your "memory bank."
Instead, you are actively reconstructing the memory, and many factors influence this process.
For example, your current mood can affect how you recall a past event.
If you are feeling happy, you may remember a past experience as being more positive than it actually was.
Alternatively, if you are feeling sad, you may recall the event in a more negative light.
Furthermore, your beliefs and expectations can also influence your memories.
If you believe a particular event will be negative, you may change your memory of the event to match your expectations.
In any case, it is fascinating to think about how our memories are constantly changing, even as we try to hold on to them.
And while we are still on the topic of memory, let’s talk a bit about London black cab drivers and how their brains are actually bigger than the average person's.
Let’s preface this by mentioning that to become a taxi driver in London, you must prove you have learned The Knowledge.
The Knowledge - yes, this is what it’s actually called - may take three to four years to master, and it basically requires you to have an encyclopedic knowledge of London.
Candidates must pass a series of tests and examinations, and extensive roaming around the city on a scooter is recommended.
Neuroscientist Eleanor Maguire decided to study taxi drivers and, in particular, look at their hippocampi.
The hippocampus is a tiny part of your brain responsible for long-term memory and spatial navigation.
The research showed that taxi drivers indeed have a larger hippocampus - how crazy is that!
Interestingly it was found that the hippocampi shrink back in retired drivers, showing that you can make massive changes with regular training and practice!