States of Mind: Tracing the Edges of Consciousness Review

I have no shame in saying that I am a big fan of The Wellcome Trust. I have a lot of admiration for their ability to engage the public with science, and it was actually their editorial team who gave me my first ever paid writing job, an article about cell division for Big Picture. So naturally, the last time I was in London, I had to visit the … Continue reading States of Mind: Tracing the Edges of Consciousness Review

Our Age of Anxiety

“Van Gogh, Isaac Newton: most of the geniuses and great creators were not tranquil. They were nervous, ego-driven men, pushed on by a relentless inner force and best by anxieties.”
25% of the US population are believed to experience an anxiety disorder at some point during their lifetime.
So is it any surprise that a book titled My Age of Anxiety became a New York Times Bestseller, and was shortlisted by the 2015 Wellcome Book Prize? Continue reading Our Age of Anxiety

Why Does Rejection Hurt? “Because it Mattered”

“Why does it hurt?” I demand, head in my hands as I read yet another e-mail informing me that I didn’t get the job. If you’re a fan of John Green, you might answer “because it mattered”, while if you’re a presenter for an ultra-cheesey educational TV show, you might say “because of science!” Both might just be right. Recent scientific studies have suggested that the … Continue reading Why Does Rejection Hurt? “Because it Mattered”

Why Are Horror Games Scary?

Unlike most games, horror games don’t motivate you with the prospect of victory, but with the urgent need to escape. They’re about reacting to an uncontrollable environment, fuelled by our fight-or-flight response, which quickly spurs our fingers into action as we rapidly lose half our ammo trying to kill our attacker (or in my case, by firing in the complete opposite direction of the attacker). Usually, … Continue reading Why Are Horror Games Scary?

Could Caffeine Reduce Stress?

We all know caffeine for its benefits as a pick-me-up, providing us with a burst of energy and alertness, whether it’s the force that gets you out of bed in the morning, or the fuel that helps you finish that last-minute essay at 3am. Some of us might know it as something that makes us feel unwell, on edge or shaky, giving us with an … Continue reading Could Caffeine Reduce Stress?

The Power of Cute

How do you feel after looking at this picture? Do you want to cuddle it, squeeze it, look after it? Did you let out an involuntary “aww” or find yourself smiling unexpectedly? As odd as it might sound, why we react this way to “cute” things, and how exactly we can define the word “cute” has actually been a topic for scientific discussion. In their … Continue reading The Power of Cute

The Science Behind Depression

Depression is the most common mood disorder in the UK, affecting 8-12% of the population in any year (although statistics on this tend to vary), but still a lot of us know relatively little about it. While temporary negative feelings are a completely healthy part of life, they can become a serious problem when they begin to affect us on a long term basis, and … Continue reading The Science Behind Depression

Is Anxiety All in Your Head?

This is an article I wrote for Redbrick newspaper a couple of weeks ago. I’m currently on holiday, so I’ve queued this post in advance. Apologies if you’ve read it already! Whether it’s before an exam, during an interview, or in the middle of a crowded shopping centre, we’ve all felt the tell-tale signs of anxiety at one point or another. You can feel your heart … Continue reading Is Anxiety All in Your Head?