There are many mysteries behind the science of dreams. There are also many questions about why you keep having that dream where Jeff Goldblum asks to borrow your calculator. (Why is Jeff in your middle school math class? Where did his calculator go? Why isn’t he wearing pants?) The biggest mystery about dreams, however, is why you can’t read in them.

This phenomenon goes widely unnoticed and unbelieved among the sleeping population. Of course, you’ve read a book, a clock, or a sign in your dreams before. How else would you know the way to Santa’s Sweet 16 party? Well, as it turns out, this is most likely not true. Scientists and dream experts believe that reading, writing, and most aspects of language are nearly impossible to use while dreaming.

Your brain is still relatively functional while you sleep but certain parts are far less active. Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, for instance, two parts of the brain responsible for interpreting language, show significantly less activity while you dream. Stringing a coherent sentence together is much more difficult when your Wernicke’s area is off duty.

This doesn’t mean that dreamers can’t understand ideas; it just means that the way those ideas are interpreted is different. Most people can identify what someone is saying in their dreams, but they can’t really pinpoint the specific words. Some even describe their communication in dreams as a form of telepathy.


SpaceX is gearing up to send humans into space for the first time. On Monday, CEO Elon Musk confirmed a report that claimed NASA estimates the firm will be ready for people-carrying space adventures as early as April of next year. While a good sign for the company’s Mars mission, a successful human test flight would also enable a new method of sending people to the International Space Station.

Psychosis, a severe mental disorder characterized by a loss of grip on reality, can include unsettling hallucinations and delusions. As no one’s been able to pin down a single cause of psychosis, it’s been even harder to pin down a treatment. But researchers behind a new JAMA Psychiatry study seem to be on the right track. In the study, they report that they’ve found a way to reset the psychosis-afflicted brain using an unlikely plant: marijuana.

Drain the swamp” has long meant getting rid of something distasteful. Actually, the world needs more swamps — and bogs, fens, marshes, and other types of wetlands.

These are some of the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. They also are underrated but irreplaceable tools for slowing the pace of climate change and protecting our communities from storms and flooding.

If you live with a dog, you just know when it’s happy or miserable, don’t you? Of course you do. Even the scientific community now admits that dogs have emotions — even if scientists can’t directly measure what they are experiencing.

People have had a close bond with domesticated dogs for centuries. In his 1764 Dictionnaire philosophique, Voltaire observed: “It seems that nature has given the dog to man for his defence and for his pleasure. Of all the animals it is the most faithful: it is the best friend man can have.”

On Wednesday, scientists announced further proof that creativity and symbolic thought emerged in Africa, further debunking conventional belief that that Homo sapiens didn’t express creativity and symbolic thought until they emigrated to Europe from Africa.

And the proof is something special — the oldest drawing confirmed to be created by humans.