The volatile chemistry of the business brain

Abstract: Think your staff think rationally? Think again. They're held hostage to chemistry... It's alluring to believe that we are the masters of our thinking, especially in a business environment; but hidden away in bits and pieces of our bodies are chemicals and bursts of electrical activity that hold our reasoning hostage. Towards the end of 2011 when Britain was still immersed in navel-gazing over the riots that had left its capital in flames, I was attached to the science desk of the Financial Times in London. One day I approached the editor with an idea that there were similarities between mob behaviour and the actions of market traders. He seemed bemused that I should even suggest that the responsible and calculative thinking that underpinned the world's financial capital could in any way mirror that of the rampant youths who had trashed and burned

The handbag in your brain

Abstract: Sex, the handbag and neuroscience - they're all connected... There are few things more frightening for a man than being caught in the threshold of a full-on, high-end sales fracas, where branded handbags have been slashed in price, and where women have been unleashed to consume. The resulting frenzied whirr of claws, teeth and spittle can cause irreparable harm; and it's all being driven by an animal instinct. I doubt few women fully understand what is behind the madness that erupts at a high-end sale, and especially around handbags; but it's a wonderful examination of the more baser instincts of human behaviour; and lying, grinning and inviting, at it's very centre is our old friend - sex. As a science journalist and scholar of human psychology, I am fascinated at what drives human behaviour, and especially intrigued at the neurological triggers; i.e. events in