The Neuroscience of Magic

Hearing voices of non-existent interlocutors is a common symptom of schizophrenia. But it seems that the voice-hearing experience among people with the disorder may vary depending on where they are from, according to a new study. In the study, published recently in Topics in Cognitive Science, researchers looked at how people with schizophrenia from three different societies experienced hearing voices. They found that people from the US tended to describe the voices as intrusive unreal thoughts they hated. In contrast, people from South India were more likely to describe them as providing useful guidance, and people from Ghana were more likely to think of them as morally good. “I was actually surprised that they were so different,” study author Tanya M. Luhrmann of Stanford University told Braindecoder. While exact brain…

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