Mind Matters

Who’s afraid of Noam Chomsky?

Michael Corballis Feb 26, 2018

Me. But let’s press on regardless. Noam Chomsky is a polarising figure in modern intellectual life. Best known in popular discourse for his radical criticism of US foreign policy, he has written countless best-selling book on this and related political topics. It is as a philosopher and linguist, though, that he is likely to be best remembered intellectually, … Read More


Science woes

Michael Corballis Dec 18, 2017

The following is a slightly amended extract from an address I gave to the Science Graduation ceremony at the University of Otago, on 16 December, 2017: I think science is in some trouble these days. Many still see it as inaccessible and remote, and at the same time immoral and dangerous. Even our own Ernest Rutherford is wrongly blamed for … Read More

Stuck in Traffic

Michael Corballis Jul 25, 2017

I am stuck in traffic somewhere in the grey western suburbs of Auckland, listening on radio to a discussion of being stuck in traffic in Auckland. It’s much better in Dunedin, they say. There you can get to any destination within minutes. The radio chatters on. I learn a bit about disposable shopping bags, and the problem of … Read More

Me first

Michael Corballis Jan 09, 2017

“Me and my husband,” began the Queen in her Christmas message. Well of course she didn’t. For a start, she always modestly places herself second: “My husband and I …” But had she relegated Philip to his proper station, she would surely have said “I and my husband …” Or if she had insisted on the royal “we,” it would … Read More


There are several myths about twins, but mostly they’re just like the rest of us

Michael Corballis Aug 18, 2016

What’s special about twins? I was recently asked to comment on a video clip of identical twin girls, who seemed to be thinking in parallel. They finished each other’s sentence, and sometimes seemed to gives the same simultaneous answers to questions, as though they communicated through telepathy. The clip was widely shown on television. Actually, it is not so unusual; … Read More


Michael Corballis Nov 03, 2015

Neurobollocks may be the new psychobabble The prefix “neuro” refers to the nerves, especially in relation to the most complex bundle of nerves of all—no, not a rugby coach, but the brain. So we have such disciplines as neurology, neurosurgery, neurobiology, neurochemistry, neurophysiology, neurophysics, along with countless specialty terms such as neuroblast, neuroendocrine, neuroglia, neurofibril, neuroma, neuron, neuropeptide … (check … Read More

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