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Posts Tagged "Psychology"

Anthropology in Practice

Thanksgiving Tidbits

Photo by Satya Murthy, Creative Commons.

Now that you’ve filled yourself with good company and good food and you’re settled on your couch, how about some light reading before the tryptophan sets in? I’ve assembled some of my favorites from around the web. What did your meal look like? The New York Times has a neat round up of recipes from [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

The Psychology of Sexting

Photo by Jonas Seaman | CC, Click on image for license and information.

For those of us old enough to remember the deluge of “A/S/L?” messages that predominated the chatroom landscape of the nineties, sexting hardly seems that scandalous. Considering the murky exchanges that often ensued once A/S/L had been satisfied and body measurements had been exchanged, it’s a wonder that we stopped touching ourselves long enough do [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Decoding the Art of Flirtation

To mark Valentine’s Day, I’m posting an early piece that originally appeared on the old home of Anthropology in Practice. Hope your connections are everything you hope for today. A lingering look. A coy smile. Standing just a bit too close. An accidental brush. Flirtation is an art. It is also a deftly employed social [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Editor’s Selections: Colors and Stuttering

It’s Thursday, so that means Research Blogging Editor’s Selections! This week you’ll want to be sure you check out: Quick—what color is the sky? Aatish Bhatia has a fascinating discussion on colors up at Empirical Zeal, demonstrating nicely the ways in which we construct elements of our world that seem so concrete with time. And [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Editor’s Selections: Political Economy and the Grave, and Uniform Colors

Two selections for your holiday weekend (Memorial Day, US): Can grave goods tell us about the political economy of a group? At Bones Don’t Lie, Katy Meyers reports on recent research that examines what burial practices can reveal about the extent of social networks. At bigthink, David Berreby discusses a neat study on the ways [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

The Meaning of Goodbye

How do you prepare to say goodbye to your social group? | iStock photo.

It took a few days of moping around the house before I finally acknowledged what the problem is: my heart hurts. It’s an expression I use with those closest to me. It means I’m sad, and to some degree I feel helpless. It means my heart is breaking just a little. And it’s also an [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Seeing is Believing: The Story Behind Henry Heinz’s Condiment Empire

Dressings for your dish. | Photo by Michael Rosenstein, CC. Click on image for license and information.

Do me a favor: Go open your refrigerator and look at the labels on your condiments. Alternatively, if you’re at work, open your drawer and flip through your stash of condiment packets. (Don’t look at me like that. I know you have a stash. Or you know where to find one. It’s practically Office Survival [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

On My Shelf: Autophobia (A Review)

Autophobia: Love and Hate in the Automotive Age | Brian Ladd | University of Chicago Press | 236 pages | $15.00 (Softcover) It’s an experience not at all unfamiliar to many of us: the flush of a first meeting, a growing attraction, a desire to spend every waking moment together, to visit new places and [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

From the Archives: Power, Confidence, and High Heels

Ed. Note:  During 2012, I thought I would use Fridays to share some of my favorite AiP posts from the archives—and this one definitely tops the list. It was selected as a Research Blogging Editor’s Selection. And I hope you’ll enjoy it too. Cinderella got the prince and Dorothy was envied. Why? They well shod. [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

New E-Book Takes Aim at Understanding Autism

The term “autism” comes from the Greek word “autos,” meaning self, used to describe conditions of social withdrawal—or the isolated self. Around 1910, a Swiss psychiatrist first used the term to refer to certain symptoms of schizophrenia. Later, in the 1940s, physicians Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger independently used that name to describe what was [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Scientific American MIND Launches a New Home Page and Blog Network

I am thrilled to announce two big developments for Scientific American MIND today. We are launching a new home page, mind.scientificamerican.com, so that fans of the magazine can find our print and online articles, as well as multimedia, in one convenient location. Starting today, you’ll start to see several new contributors in the mix, which [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

No Silly Love Songs? Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Our Latest E-Book: Love, Sex and Science

eBook - Disarming Cupid: Love, Sex and Science

Will “Love Will Keep Us Together” or is it true that “Love Is a Battlefield”? Whereas the topic of romance has provided limitless inspiration for artists, writers and musicians, scientists are just as fascinated by affairs of the heart, though they seldom sing about it. Cupid’s unpredictable arrow explains little, so it can be more [...]

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Beautiful Minds

The Science of Growing Smarter with Annie Murphy Paul

img-amp-headshot1

Science writer Annie Murphy Paul’s fresh perspective on intelligence and personality prompt a heart-to-heart about learning, intelligence assessments, growth mindsets and rethinking intelligence. In this episode you will hear about: Nature vs. nurture and the dynamic nature of personal identity How intelligence/personality are more situationally influenced than we tend to think The follies of IQ [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Introducing The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman

itunes_logo

It’s my great pleasure to introduce The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, where we give you insights into the mind, brain, behavior and creativity. Each episode will feature a guest who will stimulate your mind, and give you a greater understanding of your self, others, and the world we live in. Hopefully, we’ll also provide a glimpse into [...]

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Beautiful Minds

The Philosophy of Creativity

The Philosophy of Creativity

There is little that shapes the human experience as profoundly and pervasively as creativity. Creativity drives progress in every human endeavor, from the arts to the sciences, business, and technology. We celebrate and honor people for their creativity, identifying eminent individuals, as well as entire cultures and societies, in terms of their creative achievements. Creativity [...]

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Food Matters

Dear Beverage Industry: Yes, 12-Year-Olds Are Children.

advertising-to-kids

The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity (full disclosure: I work for them) just released the Sugary Drink Facts Report, exhaustively detailing the nutrition of products offered by the beverage industry, and how the industry markets them. The authors are very careful to point out that progress has been made since their last [...]

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Food Matters

Is your nose making you overeat?

Fruit flies overeat when they smell something tasty; what about you?

Some people are drawn to the thick smell of bacon, sizzling and crackling in the skillet on a Saturday morning.  For others, it’s the aroma of freshly baked cookies on a Friday night or the smell of McDonald’s fries creeping in through the car window.  At this time of year, I find the scent of [...]

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Guest Blog

How Networks Are Revolutionizing Scientific (and Maybe Human) Thought

Visualization of social network analysis. (Calvinius/Wikimedia Commons)

Science and common sense are alike grounded in human experience. Yet these ways of thinking about things are often in conflict. Sometimes the simplicity of most commonsense explanations can make it hard to win people over to the complexity and uncertainties of most scientific arguments. Consider the textbook case of the mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus [...]

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Guest Blog

Dangerous Optimism: Risk, Bias and Smoking

Trails of acrid grey mist hang in the air. I use the front of my shirt as an impromptu gas mask as I cough out my drink order to the bartender. Passing through one of these repulsive clouds is an irritating game of “try not to breathe.” The saturated air inside has made it almost [...]

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Guest Blog

A Word in Defense of the Witnesses—and the Word Is “Ambiguity”

You and I – and every single other decent person on the planet who has heard about the Penn State abuse allegations – are having the same revenge fantasy. Or, I don’t know, call it a Guardian Angel fantasy. We would have run into the shower and wrapped the kid in a towel; we would [...]

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Guest Blog

What makes us happy? Alexis de Tocqueville vs. Kanye West

I’m a big Kanye West fan. He is an immensely talented individual who has sold more albums and gathered more acclaim than most musicians have in several life times. His widespread artistic reverence is well deserved too; as a producer, lyricist, and performer he is one of the best. Yet, the most intriguing part of [...]

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Guest Blog

The Lesson of the Fear of Vaccines.

Time for Society to Say Enough is Enough.          The science community laments that people deny the evidence science produces. Usually this complaint is merely descriptive, intellectual frustration sometimes tinged with arrogance. Sometimes the criticism of denialism also offers solutions, which usually include education and communication to make the deniers stop denying, to make [...]

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Guest Blog

“Project Nim” Reveals a Scientific Scandal

The most important sign language study done with an ape was surely the first one back in the 1960s, with Washoe, for it established that chimpanzees can use American Sign Language (ASL). The most decisive such study, however, was probably the one a decade later, with Nim Chimsky because it put a halt to such [...]

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Guest Blog

The educational value of creative disobedience

  “The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done – men who are creative, inventive and discoverers” –Jean Piaget   Looking back on my childhood, the times I remember most fondly were spent with my father, learning how to [...]

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Guest Blog

Cell Phones, Cancer and the Dangers of Risk Perception

May 31, 2011, was a bad day for a society already wary of all sorts of risks from modern technology, a day of celebration for those who champion more concern about those risks, and a day that teaches important lessons about the messy subjective guesswork that goes into trying to make intelligent choices about risk [...]

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Guest Blog

Looking for Empathy in a Conflict-Ridden World

I witnessed a breakup yesterday in the middle of MIT’s vast Infinite Corridor—a hallway known for its heavy traffic and long stretch of straightness. Finals are upon the undergraduates, so perhaps tensions were a bit high for the young, failing couple. Something, however, had clearly pushed the girl overboard. Her boyfriend had fallen dramatically to [...]

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Guest Blog

Animal emotion: When objectivity fails

Pig_gestation_crate

There seems to be an explosion of concern over animal welfare these days. With growing awareness to factory farming conditions, Americans are at last faced with the recent histories of their burgers, their nuggets, their pork chops. What we see makes us viscerally uncomfortable, and reasonably so. Those of us who are sympathetic to animal [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Why We Need to Abandon the Disease Model of Mental Health Care

A Prescription for Psychiatry, book cover.

The idea that our more distressing emotions such as grief and anger can best be understood as symptoms of physical illnesses is pervasive and seductive. But in my view it is also a myth, and a harmful one. Our present approach to helping vulnerable people in acute emotional distress is severely hampered by old-fashioned, inhumane [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

To Feel Meaningful Is to Feel Immortal

Still Life with Skull by Philippe de Champagne (1602-1674). (Wikimedia Commons)

Imagine when our ancestors first started to look up at the stars and question their place in the universe. Why are we here? Are we alone? What happens to us when we die? It is difficult to know for sure at what point in time we became a species obsessed with existential questions. We can [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Technology May Lift Severe Depression, but Full Recovery Takes Time

Courtesy of Dave Gingrich via Flickr.

This blog is the last in a series of guest posts on technology and the brain to celebrate Scientific American Mind’s 10-year anniversary. The magazine’s special November/December issue similarly highlights the interface between code and thought in profiling a future, more digital YOU. I have been a practicing psychiatrist at the Cleveland Clinic since 1989. [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Can Video Games Diagnose Cognitive Deficits?

Five brain-training games available as an iPad “app” from Lumosity were evaluated as tests of cognitive dysfunction in cirrhosis: (a) Circles is a test of spatial orientation, information processing speed and attention. Colored circles appear one at a time and a user must decide whether each is a match when compared with the circle that showed up earlier. (b) Color Match evaluates selective attention, cognitive flexibility and processing speed. The names of two colors appear and the test-taker must decide whether or not the top word names the font color of the bottom word. (c) Memory Matrix taps visuospatial memory. A pattern of tiles appears on a grid; when the pattern disappears, a test-taker attempts to recreate it. (d) Lost in Migration examines attention as well as visual field and focus. Five birds appear and a user indicates the direction of flight of the center bird. (e) Chalkboard Challenge involves quantitative reasoning. A player must determine which arithmetic figure has the greatest value between two choices.

This blog is the third in a series of guest posts on technology and the brain to celebrate Scientific American Mind’s 10-year anniversary. The magazine’s special November/December issue similarly highlights the interface between code and thought in profiling a future, more digital YOU. Video games are an increasingly common pastime, especially for children, adolescents and [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

A Hubble Telescope for the Mind

These fluorescently labeled neurons in the mouse somatosensory cortex are those that project to other regions of the brain.

This blog is the second in a series of guest posts on technology and the brain to celebrate Scientific American Mind’s 10-year anniversary. The magazine’s special November/December issue similarly highlights the interface between code and thought in profiling a future, more digital YOU. All of our mental experience is born from the coordinated electrical activity [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Why We Wonder Why

Humans are curious creatures, and our curiosity drives a search for explanations. So while this search may fit squarely in the realm of science, it is hardly confined to the pursuits of scientists and intellectuals. Even preschoolers ask why, and indeed may do so to the exasperation of adults. Yet adults seek to understand things, [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Coincidences Reflect a Rational Mind

Parked, orange moped and automobile

While we can all agree coincidences have fascinated scholars and lay people alike, what they mean divides us into one of two camps: skeptics or believers. A believer thinks that coincidences are evidence of mysterious, hidden and possible paranormal causes. A skeptic will put coincidences down to statistical quirks that are more common than we [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

The Warning Signs That Depression Is Affecting Your Relationship

Adapted from When Depression Hurts Your Relationship: How To Regain Intimacy and Reconnect with Your Partner When You’re Depressed. Copyright 2014 Shannon Kolakowski. If your relationship is struggling, depression may be the culprit. A resounding body of research has shown how closely depression is related to relationships in a cyclical fashion: depression affects the quality [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

How to Erase Bad Memories

Courtesy of R. Douglas Fields.

I’ll never forget it. They strapped electrodes to my wrist, cranked up a black dial on a frightening electronic device encrusted with switches and knobs, and shocked me repeatedly with jolts of electricity. No, this was not torture and the memory is not a traumatic one. I was inside the laboratory of Dr. Daniela Schiller, [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

The Dark Side of Power Posing: Cape or Kryptonite?

In 1942, the mild mannered Clark Kent excused himself from his friend Lois Lane to take an important call. Clark slipped into a phone booth (remember those?), and moments later Superman emerged. Have you ever wished that you had ability to step into a phone booth or bathroom for a minute to shed your insecurities [...]

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Observations

Firstborn Girls Most Likely to Succeed

Hillary Clinton

Bossy, know-it-all older sisters everywhere now have something else to lord over their younger siblings: Researchers have found that firstborn girls are the most ambitious and successful children in their families. A slew of real life examples appear to back this up: Beyonce, Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Sheryl Sandberg are all firstborns. Oldest children [...]

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Observations

The Continuing Mystery of the Moon Illusion [Video]

The harvest moon is almost upon us—specifically, September 19. It’s the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, and it has deep significance in our cultural histories. Namely, it enabled our ancestral farmers to toil longer in the fields. (Today, electricity enables us to toil longer in the office—thanks, Tom Edison.) One enduring belief is [...]

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Observations

Lasker Awards to Honor Neuroscience, Hearing and Philanthropy Work

Image: Lasker Foundation

  Let the Nobel Prize watch begin. Two areas of major medical discovery and two leading public health philanthropists were announced this morning as the winners of the prestigious Lasker Awards. The awards, currently in their 68th year, are typically looked to as a precursor for the Nobel Prize and are informally dubbed the “American [...]

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Observations

Accurate Self-Beliefs Strengthen Relationships

self-knowledge

How well do we know ourselves? The intuition that you are your own best judge is strong, yet flawed. The prevailing wisdom in social psychology today is that we are incorrigible self-enhancers. We tend to think we are more attractive, intelligent and agreeable than we really are. Conversely, depressed people have been found to make [...]

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Observations

Pigeons, Like Humans, Can Behave Irrationally

Courtesy of Joseph Baranowski/dragontoller via flickr

Gambling may seem like a uniquely human activity. Twinkling slot machines and croupiers in starched white shirts may be about as far from the natural world as we can get. Yet one team of researchers, led by psychologist Thomas Zentall at the University of Kentucky, has taken a particular interest in how animals gamble. The [...]

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Observations

Telltale Language Reveals Who Is Keeping a Secret

secret3

Sharing a secret can forge a relationship and solidify a bond with a friend. Keeping a secret, however, can eat away at our health and happiness.  As it turns out, hiding a painful truth also changes the way we communicate with others. By analyzing big data sets such as email logs and Twitter feeds, psychologists [...]

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Observations

Zero Evidence That LEGO Toys Harm Your Kids

Credit: Arielle Duhaime-Ross

LEGO toys have never been so controversial, or angry for that matter, but that should not stop your kids from playing with them. There has been a lot of noise over a study, released June 4, that looked into the evolution of the facial expressions printed on LEGO minifigures—those one and half-inch toy figurines that [...]

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Observations

New Film Examines if Internet Addiction Led to a Baby’s Death by Neglect

In March 2010, police in South Korea arrested a husband and wife in a tragically ironic case that gained international notoriety—the couple let their three-month-old daughter, Sarang, starve to death in their apartment while they spent up to 12 hours a day nurturing a virtual daughter as part of 3-D fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing [...]

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Observations

Patients Reflect on Life with a Common Brain Malformation

MRI scan

At least 1 in 4000 infants is born without a corpus callosum. This powerful body of connective white matter serves as the primary bridge between the brain’s hemispheres, allowing us to rapidly integrate complex information. “It’s a hidden disability,” says University of California Institute of Technology psychologist Lynn Paul. Many born without this structure go [...]

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Observations

Can We Shrink Portions (and the Obesity Epidemic) with Psychology?

perception portion psychology full weight loss

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—Eating might seem, principally, like a simple, primal act. We get hungry; we eat; we’re full. But surprising new research suggests that our habits, previous experiences, and our desire to conform to social norms helps determine not only how much we eat, but also how full we feel later on. The findings were [...]

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PsySociety

Psychology’s brilliant, beautiful, scientific messiness.

Book_Heart_by_antsandneedles

Today, sitting down to my Twitter feed, I saw a new link to Dr. Alex Berezow’s old piece on why psychology cannot call itself a science. The piece itself is over a year old, but seeing it linked again today brought up old, angry feelings that I never had the chance to publicly address when [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Acts of Kindness Explained [Video]

helping_Donald_Lee_Pardue

        // Editor’s note: Brain Basics from Scientific American Mind is a series of short video primers on the brain and how we feel, think and act. Below is a synopsis of the sixth video in the series written by a guest on this blog, Roni Jacobson, a science journalist based in [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Teen Builds Gateway to the Brain for Girls

Girls run on a brain maze

The Synapse Project “encourages young women to enter the field of neuroscience through information and mentorship,” according to its website. This endeavor, an amalgam of outlets for kids, information for teens and career advice for young women, turns out to be the brainchild of … a child, one keenly interested in the brain. Sixteen-year-old Grace [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

A Surefire Way to Sharpen Your Focus

peaceful scene, village by the water

How many times have you arrived someplace but had no memory of the trip there? Have you ever been sitting in an auditorium daydreaming, not registering what the people on stage are saying or playing? We often spin through our days lost in mental time travel, thinking about something from the past, or future, leaving [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes: The Value of Creativity and Imagination [Excerpt]

Mastermind book jacket

By Maria Konnikova Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes. Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Copyright © 2013 by Maria Konnikova. “It is surprising that people do not believe that there is imagination in science,” Nobel-winning physicist Richard Feynman once [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

How Do You Spot a Genius?

Drawing of Bobby Fischer and chess board

The November/December Scientific American Mind, which debuted online today, examines the origins of genius, a concept that inspires both awe and confusion. Some equate genius with IQ or creativity; others see it as extraordinary accomplishment. As this issue reveals, genius seems to arise from a mosaic of forces that coalesce into a perfect storm of [...]

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Talking back

Brain Training Doesn’t Give You Smarts…Except When It Does

Our site recently ran a great story about how brain training really doesn’t endow you instantly with genius IQ. The games you play just make you better at playing those same games. They aren’t a direct route to a Mensa membership. Just a few days before that story came out—Proceedings of the National Academy of [...]

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Talking back

Why Language and Thought Resemble Russian Dolls

Michael Corballis is a professor emeritus at the University of Auckland, who has written extensively on the evolution of language and the origins of thought. In his 2011 book The Recursive Mind, he wrote about how the structure of human language allows for recursion—in which ideas are nested within each other: “He thinks that I [...]

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Talking back

A Blind Person Understands the Way a Sighted Friend “Sees” the World

Trendiness in the brain sciences often has an   obscure, esoteric quality that belies the prominence accorded neuro in both academia and popular culture. Toward the top of the list of arcana resides the ponderously titled “embodied cognition.” This is the idea that cognitive processes—thought, emotion—arise from our interactions with the physical world around us. [...]

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Talking back

Is Mindfulness Good for Everything? Maybe Not for Learning to Ride a Bike

Searching the keyword “mindfulness” on Google News turns up more than 9,000 results posted over the last few weeks. The vast majority of headlines arrive in your browser resonating with  hyperbolic overtones: “Pioneering Lee School uses mindfulness for pupils to beat stress and boost exams” “How to Manage Your 40,000 Thoughts A Day and Keep [...]

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Talking back

Suicide Used as Plot Device in Car Ad, Public Health Norms Be Damned

On May 3, the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report showing that suicide among middle-aged Americans has risen substantially. Perverse coincidence perhaps, but that document arrived about a week after Hyundai Europe pulled an ad that sparked sustained outrage because it shows a guy trying to commit suicide with fumes from his [...]

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Talking back

Crowd Psychology: What Comes After Boston for Mass Public Events?

Will the masses at NFL events do “the wave” only in the watchful sights of a police sharpshooter’s high-powered rifle? Is tailgating before the game all but nostalgic history? Will major marathons be relegated to a dull repetition of 105 or so loops around a stadium track? These are some of the questions that immediately [...]

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Talking back

Will “Call of Duty” Be Assigned for 10th Grade (Gaming) Homework?

Two prominent neuroscientists have published a commentary in the Feb. 28th Nature suggesting that video games might be crafted to improve brain function and enhance personal well-being. In “Games To Do You Good,” they cite prospects for bettering performance on behavioral measures ranging from visual perception to altruism. Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester [...]

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Talking back

Remember It Well: A New Type of On-Switch for Memory

Nicotine enhances the ability to focus and remember. The alkaloid acts in a similar manner to the brain’s own signaling molecule, acetylcholine. It interacts with eponymous receptors on the surface of nerve cells to regulate signaling in the brain. The role of the nicotinic-acetylcholine receptors throughout the central nervous system is so wide-ranging that new [...]

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Talking back

A Little Hard Science from the Big Easy: Temple Grandin’s Brain and Transgenic Sniffer Mice

A few random personal picks from the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting in New Orleans, which ended Oct. 17: Inside Temple Grandin’s Head Oliver Sacks, HBO and others have chronicled the life of autistic savant Temple Grandin. The unique patterns of thought produced by Grandin’s brain enabled her to design now-ubiquitous methods to treat cattle [...]

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Talking back

When the Cuddle Hormone Is a Home Wrecker

First off, this study on a molecule tied to social interaction was conducted in animals. So I’m supposed to turn on the siren and the flashing red light here to let you know that the headline you just read might not apply in humans. Still, the animals in question,  prairie voles, are a special case, [...]

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