Category Archives: Neuroscience

Brain Calisthenics For Abstract Ideas (Article, NYT)

“Now, a small group of cognitive scientists is arguing that schools and students could take far more advantage of this same bottom-up ability, called perceptual learning. The brain is a pattern-recognition machine, after all, and when focused properly, it can … Continue reading

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“Want to solve a problem? Don’t just use your brain, but your body, too” (Study)

“The results: The people who were allowed to gesture usually did so—and they also commonly used perceptual-motor strategies in solving the puzzles. The people whose hands were restrained, as well as those who chose not to gesture (even when allowed), … Continue reading

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Bad gossip affects our vision as well as our judgment (Ed Yong)

“Eric Anderson and Erika Siegel from Northeastern University studied the influence of gossip on our vision with a simple experiment, which plays off a well-known conflict between our eyes. When each eye sees a different image (say, if they stare … Continue reading

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Is wearing red an olympic advantage (Video posted on youtube 2008)

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The effect of color: (red vs. blue) on assimilation versus contrast in prime-to-behavior effects (Study)

“Abstract This paper examines whether color can modify the way that primed constructs affect behavior. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that, compared to the color white, blue is more likely to lead to assimilative shifts in behavior, whereas red is … Continue reading

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Non-conscious goal conflicts (Study)

“Abstract The question raised in this paper is whether goal conflicts can occur outside of conscious awareness. Given the numerous and potentially conflicting goals people pursue, and the severe scarcity of mental resources, we offer a positive answer. Six experiments … Continue reading

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Positive fantasies about idealized futures sap energy (Study)

“Abstract Positive fantasies allow people to mentally indulge in a desired future. Whereas previous research found that spontaneously generated positive fantasies about the future predict poor achievement, we examined the effect of experimentally induced positive fantasies about the future. The … Continue reading

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What you feel influences what you see: The role of affective feelings in resolving binocular rivalry (Study)

“Abstract It seems obvious that what you see influences what you feel, but what if the opposite were also true? What if how you feel can shape your visual experience? In this experiment, we demonstrate that the affective state of … Continue reading

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Heart rates of fire-walkers and their relatives and friends (watching the walk) synchronize

“But with such readings difficult to obtain, they settled on heart rate, strapping monitors on fire-walkers and spectators to see whether the rates of spectators increased like those of people actually walking barefoot on hot coals. […] The researchers wanted … Continue reading

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(Mindfulness) Meditation May Help the Brain ‘Turn Down the Volume’ on Distractions (Study, in ScienceDaily)

“The positive effects of mindfulness meditation on pain and working memory may result from an improved ability to regulate a crucial brain wave called the alpha rhythm. This rhythm is thought to “turn down the volume” on distracting information, which … Continue reading

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Spring-Cleaning the Mind? Study Shows a Cluttered Brain Doesn’t Remember (Study, in ScienceDaily)

“Lapses in memory occur more frequently with age, yet the reasons for this increasing forgetfulness have not always been clear. According to new research from Concordia University, older individuals have reduced learning and memory because their minds tend to be … Continue reading

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How Mindfulness Meditation Changes Decision-Making Process (Study, in ScienceDaily)

“If a friend or relative won $100 and then offered you a few dollars, would you accept this windfall? […] According to research conducted over the last three decades; only about one-fourth of us would say, “Sure. Thanks.” The rest … Continue reading

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Ready Both to Your and to My Hands: Mapping the Action Space of Others (Study)

“Abstract: To date, mutual interaction between action and perception has been investigated mainly by focusing on single individuals. However, we perceive affording objects and acts upon them in a surrounding world inhabited by other perceiving and acting bodies. Thus, the … Continue reading

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An advanced brain-machine interface enables patients to control individual nerve cells deep inside their own brain (Scientific American Mind)

“…Most of the time the search turned up empty-handed, although sometimes we would come upon neurons that responded to categories of objects, such as animals, outdoor scenes or faces in general. But a few neurons were much more discerning. One … Continue reading

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The effects of bilingualism on toddlers’ executive functioning (Study, 2011)

“(Abstract) Bilingual children have been shown to outperform monolingual children on tasks measuring executive functioning skills. This advantage is usually attributed to bilinguals’ extensive practice in exercising selective attention and cognitive flexibility during language use because both languages are active … Continue reading

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Scientists find physical clutter negatively affects your ability to focus, process information (Study, in Unclutterer)

“Researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute published the results of a study they conducted in the January issue of The Journal of Neuroscience that relates directly to uncluttered and organized living. […] When your environment is cluttered, the chaos … Continue reading

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Reflections On Mirror Neurons (APS)

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2011/march-11/reflections-on-mirror-neurons.html

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Individual Differences in Recovery Time From Attentional Capture (Study, in PsyScience)

“Differences in working memory (WM) capacity have been attributed to a person’s ability to control their attention, and low WM capacity individuals are thought to be more prone to have their attention captured by distractors. To test an alternative theory–that … Continue reading

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A Full Bladder Makes You More Responsible (Study, APS)

“An upcoming study in Psychological Science found that when we’re controlling our bladder, we’re better at controlling ourselves when making decisions about the future.” http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/obsonline/a-full-bladder-makes-you-more-responsible.html

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“Genetic Link To Attempted Suicide Identified: Findings Could Lead To New Avenues Of Treatment Research” (Study, in MNT)

“A study of thousands of people with bipolar disorder suggests that genetic risk factors may influence the decision to attempt suicide. Johns Hopkins scientists, reporting in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, have identified a small region on chromosome 2 that is … Continue reading

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