A new study adds to a body of evidence that suggests the brain is involved in a unconscious process of screening human faces for patterns that suggest trustworthiness or otherwise.

Namely, our brains are busy judging other people based on their physical features even when we aren’t even get the chance to properly see those features.

What does a trustworthy face look like?


Trustworthiness, along with dominance, is one of the two most fundamental judgements we make about a face in the instant after we see it for the first time.

It’s so important that our unconscious can processes the trustworthiness of a face in a tiny fraction of a second, even without our conscious mind being aware of seeing the face.

A new study that demonstrates this, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests our unconscious perception of faces is more powerful than previously thought.


There are many who think that if they hire a great graphic designer to create their logo and website, that they would have established a great brand; until reality sinks in.

“Brand” may be the most misused, misunderstood term in business today.

A brand is often perceived as a tool for appealing to external audiences — a name, logo, image, advertising, look and feel, reputation, or trademark. But the fact is, none of these is a brand. These are merely manifestations, symbols, or expressions of a brand. By limiting the definition and application of a brand to this external, surface level, its full value-creating power goes unrealized.


Great brands, however, avoid this mistake by conceiving of their brands as strategic platforms. Their brands comprise the values and attributes that define and distinguish the value they deliver to people through entire customer experiences and the way they do business. They use their brands as management tools to fuel, align, and guide everything they do.


This leads great brands to employ some quite surprising brand-building practices:

Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process. The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.


People used to think that learning two languages created confusion in the mind.

Far better, it was thought, to get one right than bother with two.


An even more extreme and absurd view was that learning two languages caused a kind of schizophrenia or dual personality.

Some studies did seem to back up the idea that learning two languages could be problematic; early researchers noted that bilingual people tended to have smaller vocabularies and slower access to words.

But these myths and minor disadvantages have now been overshadowed by a wave of new research showing the incredible psychological benefits of learning another language. And these extend way beyond being able to order a cup of coffee abroad or ask directions to your hotel.

Memory is incredibly complex, and actually quite misunderstood by many people.

For example, most people think that when they remember something - they have retrieved it from some store in their mind. Evidence suggests that is not the case - we are constantly updating information from memories based on our world experience - memory is not a retrieval, but a recreation. 

Here is 10-point guide to the psychology of memory.

1. Memory does not decay

Everyone has experienced the frustration of not being able to recall a fact from memory. It could be someone’s name, the French for ‘town hall’ or where the car is parked.

So it seems obvious that memories decay, like fruit going off. But the research tends not to support this view. Instead many researchers think that in fact memory has a limitless capacity. Everything is stored in there but, without rehearsal, memories become harder to access. This means it’s not the memory that’s ‘going off’ it’s the ability to retrieve it.

But what on earth is the point of a brain that remembers everything but can’t recall most of it? Here’s what:

Why do people still spend extended periods in the sun when the dangers of skin cancer are so well recognized? A new study from Massachusetts General Hospital adds important support to the theory that ultraviolet (UV) light can actually be addictive.

"Our study identified an organic pathway encoded in skin whereby UV radiation causes the synthesis and release of beta-endorphin and produces opiate-like effects, including addictive behavior," says study leader David E. Fisher. "This provides a potential explanation for the 'sun seeking' behavior that may underlie the relentless rise in most forms of skin cancer."

Past studies - particularly those with subjects who use indoor tanning facilities - have found evidence of addiction-like behavior. For example, frequent tanners were somehow able to tell the difference between tanning beds using UV radiation and those delivering non-UV light. Other studies found that administration of an opioid blocker produced withdrawal-like symptoms in frequent tanners, implying but not proving that something had been regularly activating opioid pathways.