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Posts Tagged "working memory"

Beautiful Minds

Working Memory and Fluid Reasoning: Same or Different?

Brainy woman

In 1990, researchers Patrick Kyllonen and Raymond Christal found a striking correlation. They gave large groups of American Air Force recruits various tests of working memory, in which participants performed simple operations on a single letter. For instance, in the “alphabet recoding” task, the computer briefly displayed three letters: H, N, C Followed by an [...]

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Beautiful Minds

New Cognitive Training Study Takes on the Critics

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Brain training: yay or nay? It’s not so simple. Traversing the swamp of studies on cognitive training is bound to give even the boldest explorer a migraine. But don’t despair, I’m here to help guide you along! As we all know, people differ quite a bit from one another in how much information they can [...]

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Beautiful Minds

In Defense of Working Memory Training

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One minute we’re being told that brain training makes you smarter, and the next minute we’re told it’s all bogus. Confused? I don’t blame you. The research literature on brain training is confusing and even sometimes contradictory. This is the way of science. I believe, however, that there is hope in making sense of things if the field and the [...]

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Observations

Are You A Pre-crastinator?

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Each of us, at times, can be a procrastinator, putting off something that is hard to do or that we don’t want to do. But three researchers at Pennsylvania State University think we humans may also be precrastinators—hurrying to get something done so we can cross it off our mental to-do list, even if the [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Multitask at Your Own Risk

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        // 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 eighth 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

How to Make Kids Smarter—and Ease Existential Terror

A few months ago, I logged on to Lumosity.com to play my daily dose of brain games. The company had given me a free, temporary account so that I could try out their system as part of my research for an article I was writing on brain training. My then 11-year-old son wanted to play, [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Do Music Lessons Make You Smarter?

Practice makes progress, if not perfection, for most things in life. Generally, practicing a skill—be it basketball, chess or the tuba—mostly makes you better at whatever it was you practiced. Even related areas do not benefit much. Doing intensive basketball drills does not usually make a person particularly good at football. Chess experts are not [...]

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Talking back

Working Memory and The Movies Streaming In Our Heads

Peter Carruthers began his career studying philosophy as an undergraduate at the University of Leeds, an outpost for Wittgenstein scholarship. Carruthers waded through the Austrian-British philosopher’s thinking for the early part of his career, getting a doctorate from Oxford and publishing books on Wittgenstein along the way. He decided at one point to join a [...]

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