Brain’s Idea offers a good look at current brain and mind research. Brain’s Idea goes beyond a furtive look at single studies. Instead, it exposes the underlying themes and issues that scientists in the field are grappling with. If you want to understand how the brain works, how the mind works and how researchers work, then this is your blog. You can simply stay up to date with this blog by following it on twitter (@rikunert) or on facebook (brainsidea).

Richard Kunert


I am a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen (NL). My research is concerned with music and language. This blog is my idea of intellectual gardening: cultivating little ideas in my spare time, some will bear fruit, some won’t.

For more about me, visit my website.

Follow me on twitter: @brainsidea .


Brain’s Idea posts were highlighted in:


National Geographic’s Not Exactly Rocket Science

ScienceSeeker Editor’s Selection (here and here)

Smithsonian magazine

The New Inquiry

the New Shelton wet/dry (here, here, here, and here)

BPS Research Digest (here and here)

Computing for Psychologists



This is a personal blog. None of my employers (past, present and future) is involved in this blog. None of the people I publish scientific papers with is involved in this blog. All responsibility for blog content lies with me.




  1. Nomination for the Super Sweet Blog Award

    We live in a period, happily unique in human history, when we are at the cusp of greater communication among all the Peoples of the world. Will this greater communication bring greater understanding, divided as we are between rich consumers and the poor, who struggle in appalling conditions to supply us with our affordable products, with religious and national ideologies filled with extremism and loathing, who wish to destroy those who call for moderation, and those who wilfully go through life unconcerned, with their eyes closed, only taking notice when forced to, or those across the world struggling not to have a decent life, but to merely survive in hope that their children will have a better chance, while wanton waste and greed exists right beside them, a world where irrational hate leads to the mass expulsion and murder of human beings while the international community wrings its hands and does nothing?
    Oh, bugger – I just realized I shouldn’t read Winston Churchill speeches before I write anything. Sorry. Not that I’m comparing myself to Churchill, or anything – far from it. My writing tends to be more “pie in the face.”
    Anyway – I’ve just recently found out that Kendra, at http://sunshinefromshadows.com/ has nominated me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award, for whatever reason. I suspect she was overcome by fumes caused by one of my postings, succumbed to a momentary delirium and nominated me. Whatever reason this lapse of sanity occurred, I accept.
    Now comes the tricky bit. In order to receive the award, you must thank the blogger who nominated you (Thank you indeed, Kendra!), answer five questions (see below, please), include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your posting (I trust I’ll figure out how to do that momentarily {DAMN! can’t figure out how to put the picture in comments to other blogs. Please pretend it’s there and go to my blog to see the actual thing – thanks!}), nominate a baker’s dozen other bloggers for the post, and finally, notify the nominees in their respective blogs.
    And now (for something completely different) the envelope, please!
    Question #1: Cookies or Cake?
    Answer: Yes, please.
    Question #2: Chocolate or Vanilla?
    Answer: If they’re high quality, yes, please.
    Question#3: Favourite sweet treat?
    Answer: Both real halva and a properly made Napoleon (Mille-feuille).
    Question #4: When do you crave sweet things most?
    Answer: Usually when I’m only mildly peckish with a way to go before a meal and I need some energy, I’ll have a bit of chocolate.
    Question #5: What is your favourite colour?
    Actual Question #5: Sweet Nick Name?
    Actual Answer to Question #5: Empty-headed-animal-food-trough-wiper? I can’t actually recall having a nick name that stuck. Sorry.
    Now for the nominations (these were a bit difficult, as I didn’t want to make dual nominations with Kendra):
    1. I’d have to say Keith Parker at http://keithparker.net/ with his “Fish and TARDIS Sauce” blog is my number one. He writes a mean (as in really good, as opposed to socially nasty) blog that is primarily themed around Dr. Who, but not so much about geeking out on Dr. Who as discussing aspects of the series and how they reflect society. Or he’ll write whatever he darn well pleases, which is also a good read.
    2. Next along is Katy at http://bonesdontlie.wordpress.com/. Bones Don’t Lie is a fascinating, well researched and well written blog about death, but not in a gross way. Katy’s blog is about death from the perspective of “mortuary archaeology and bioarchaeology,” taking different aspects of death and how societies, past and present, approach and appreciate the final sleep. Really interesting and not gross at all, I promise!
    3. Keeping with the cheery theme of death comes http://www.executedtoday.com/. Jason at Executed Today has a compendious compendium (?) of who was executed on any given date, with an often fascinating history and lots of side notes. It’s one of the first things I read in the morning, reminding me no matter how bad my day may be, it could be worse.
    4. My next nominee is Joachim Boaz’s blog http://sciencefictionruminations.wordpress.com/. Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations is primarily (but not just) themed reviews of (mostly) science fiction books past, with extensive examples of cover art. Neat stuff!
    5. Raud’s blog, Gnawing the Bone (http://gnawingthebone.wordpress.com/) is a great blog about dogs, but not in any cutsey way (OK, there are some cute pictures). Included gratis in the blog are imaginative stories of the world from a canine point of view.
    6. Brain’s Idea (https://brainsidea.wordpress.com/) is all about people and their brains – in a non-zombie fashion. Sorry to disappoint anyone who thought otherwise.
    7. Something New Please (http://somethingnewplease.wordpress.com/) is written by someone who may be as disturbed as I am. Needless to say, I am a big fan.
    8. Wrong Hands (http://wronghands1.wordpress.com/). Another seriously disturbed blogger also with a talent for drawing.
    9. The God Project (http://thegodproject.net/). Does God Exist? This guy’s trying to find out.
    10. Eric Hyde’s Blog (http://ehyde.wordpress.com/). God exists, but how does this reflect on Believers?
    11. Books Around the Table (http://booksaroundthetable.wordpress.com/). To best describe this blog, here’s what the authors say about it: “Books Around The Table is the blog of Margaret Chodos-Irvine, Laura Kvasnosky, Julie Larios and Julie Paschkis. We are a critique group of children’s book authors and illustrators who have been meeting monthly since 1994 to talk about books we are working on, books we have read, and our lives. We invite you to sit down with us around the table and join the conversation.”
    12. The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice (http://thechirurgeonsapprentice.com/) also deals with the macabre in a tasteful way. Well sourced and well written professional stuff.
    13. 1pointperspective (http://1pointperspective.wordpress.com/) is a guy with a sarcastic soul. He may be the reincarnation of the demi-god Sarcasticus. Enjoy!
    OK, now to figure out how a proto-Luddite sticks the Super Sweet Blog Award picture on posts he’s got to send to thirteen nominees … where the heck did I put my stone hammer ….
    Apologies to Monty Python, Winston Churchill, and all the other great bloggers not on the thirteen steps … errr … that didn’t come out properly …

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