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Human Behavior

Sight Unseen

By Leah Worthington and Illustration by David Junkin

The paradox of blindsight might unlock the mystery of consciousness.

D9PEX9 Homeless young Iraq War veteran begging on 34th Street in New York City. There are many war casualties wandering city streets

Unpacking PTSD

By Dhoha Bareche

A study led by researchers from Berkeley and UCSF may help explain why some people are more resilient to traumatic stress than others and lead to possible therapies. Published in December in the journal Translational Psychiatry, the study found a link between increased myelination in the brain’s gray matter and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

FIRST PERSON

By Robin Dellabough, as told to Anabel Sosa

I was 66. It was 2018, and a friend of mine said she had done 23andMe. So I thought oh, what the hell.

DT0NCE Seattle Washington USA Man hugging tree in lush green forest

Editor’s Note

By Pat Joseph

Eyes open, eyes closed, it didn’t matter, I saw the same thing: an ant venturing deeper and deeper into a fern. Then somehow I became that ant, in the fern, going deeper and deeper. 

Electric Kool-Aid Peer Review

By Coby McDonald

On Good Friday, 1962—five years before the hallucinogen-fueled Summer of Love—something remarkable took place in a chapel on the Boston University campus. The Good Friday Experiment, as it would later be known, was designed by a graduate student at Harvard University named Walter Pahnke under the guidance of professor Timothy Leary. Ten seminary student volunteers were taken to the basement of the Marsh Chapel, provided doses of psilocybin (the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms), and observed as the sounds of the Good Friday service above—sermon, hymns, chanting—were piped in. Pahnke’s aim was to see if psilocybin, delivered under such conditions, could induce a full-blown mystical experience.

The Edge Episode 15: I’m in Love With a Robot

It’s not easy coming up with the perfect opening line on Tinder. Artificial intelligence is already helping us compose emails and complete sentences, so why stop there? Laura and Leah talk to the founder of Keys about the possibilities—and dangers—of letting robots do the talking for us. 

A sign along Highway 5 outside of Huron, Calif. advocating for more dam storage for farm work.

Editor’s Note: How Much Worse Will We Allow It to Get?

By Pat Joseph

Drought and climate change, but solutions abound.

Gospel is the Foundation of American Music

By Dhoha Bareche

A Q&A with documentarian Matt Durning.

Fishing for Answers with Robert Tjian

By Pat Joseph

The professor of biochemistry on the intersection of science and entrepreneurship

First Person: Berkeley Student and Afghan Refugee on Why She Hasn’t Given Up on Afghanistan

By Maryam Karimi, as told to Dhoha Bareche

On the pain of leaving home and hopes for the future

When Berkeley Burned

The first signs of trouble were subtle. For some, it was the strange amber hue of the midday light. Others caught the distinctive scent of burning eucalyptus. By two in the afternoon of September 17, 1923, just about everyone in Berkeley had taken note of the uncommonly warm, dry wind blowing in from the northeast. […]

You Are Probably Burned Out at Work

Dr. Christina Maslach is the research psychology pioneer of job burnout. In addition to award-winning articles and books that Maslach has written on the subject, she also constructed the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), the most widely-used tool for measuring job burnout around the world.  Decades of Maslach’s work helped serve as the foundation of the […]