Circles of the Damned

by Ed Simon  Maybe during this broiling summer you’ve seen the footage—in one striking video, women and men stand dazed on a boat sailing away from the Greek island of Evia, watching as ochre flames consume their homes in the otherwise dark night. Similar hellish scenes are unfolding in Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, as well as in Turkey and Spain. Currently Siberia is experiencing the largest wildfire in recorded history, an unlikely place for such a conflagration, joined by large portions of Canada. As California burns, the global nature of our immolation is underscored by horrific news around the world, … Continue reading Circles of the Damned

The Brain’s ‘Prediction Machine’ Anticipates the Future When Listening to Music

Summary: We live our lives in real time, watching events unfold moment by moment. To make better sense of the world, however, our brains automatically predict how some events will unfold moments into the future. New research published in Psychological Science explores the brain’s “prediction machine” capabilities by examining how we experience music. Whether listening to a concerto by Bach or the latest pop tunes on Spotify, the human brain does not wait passively for the song to unfold. Instead, when a musical phrase has an unresolved or uncertain quality about it our brains automatically predict how the melody will end. Past ideas … Continue reading The Brain’s ‘Prediction Machine’ Anticipates the Future When Listening to Music