Cognition Essential Reads

7 Ways to Mitigate Self-Doubt

Are you struggling with self-confidence? Learn how to overcome negative thinking and live to your fullest potential. Here are seven tips to mitigate self-doubt and create a new path to renewed confidence.

Visual Attention and Consciousness

To understand the relationship between visual attention and consciousness, we must first examine the various forms of attention that have been identified through empirical studies in cognitive psychology.

How Does Physical Experience Affect Learning?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on July 01, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
Go to a typical classroom, and it looks like a show. A teacher stands in front of the room. The teacher talks and demonstrates things from the front of the room. Unlike a show at a theater, the audience (the students) do get a chance to talk on occasion. But, most of the work students do is done from their seats.

New Research Tools to Test Brain Injury

By Eric Newhouse on July 01, 2015 in Invisible Wounds
Scientists at UCLA have been studying the brains of retired football players to determine what types of brain damage are caused by repeated concussions, and new technologies are allowing them to examine living brains. The next step will involve combat vets to see how they differ from NFL players and from Alzheimer's victims.

Can Evolution Explain All Human Behavior?

Evolutionary explanations of human behavior abound and they call on what we know about evolution. However, proving the validity of these explanations is another story. Why is that?

Why Jobs That Make You Think Are Good Brain Medicine

By David DiSalvo on June 28, 2015 in Neuronarrative
Adding to an already robust catalog of research showing that thinking-related challenges are like exercise for the brain, the latest study shows that jobs involving high levels of “executive, verbal and fluid” tasks enhance memory and thinking abilities for years to come.

Build Your Young Child’s Future School Success NOW

Prediction is often the key measurement in intelligence tests. Activities allowing your child to recognize, play with, and create patterns build his power of prediction.Successful prediction is one of the best problem-solving strategies the brain has and necessary for successful reading, calculating, test taking, goal setting, and appropriate social behavior.

Sparks of Genius Challenge #2: Non-Visual Observing

Observing is never a purely visual act. What we see is affected by what we have touched with our hands and felt within our bodies. The same goes, of course, for what we don’t see, but hear, smell or taste. By exercising non-visual forms of observing we heighten our attention overall.

The Consistency of Flashbulb Memories

By Art Markman Ph.D. on June 26, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
I remember as a kid that my parents shared vivid memories of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. They could tell me where they were and who they were with when they found out the president had been shot. In 1977, Roger Brown and James Kulik called memories like this flashbulb memories.

Top 10 'Memory' Diet Tips

A healthy diet optimizes brain health, memory function, and reduces risk of dementia.

A 20-Second Experiment in Racial Stereotypes

A 20-second demonstration of where stereotypes come from. Knowledge is power.

Want to Make More Friends? Get a Dog

New data confirms that walking your dog makes it more likely that you will know your neighborhood and form friendships in your community.

Earth to Humans: Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? Ideologies

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on June 21, 2015 in The Green Mind
What are the psychological roadblocks that explain why we’re not doing much to solve global climate change—a phenomenon that threatens the core of our society? This is the second post in a seven-part series.

“Two-ness:” the Mind’s Binary Code

The earliest roots of what is recognized as “envy” in later life emerge from the normal sense of “two-ness.” In Envy Theory, this "two-ness" is the mind's innate binary code: envy’s mode of operating. Modulating “two-ness” early in life decreases emotional dysregulation. From the healthy maturation of envy, admiration, emulation, gratitude, and empathy are born.

Holy Heisenberg!

By David Ludden Ph.D. on June 19, 2015 in Talking Apes
Evolution has crafted human brains to be efficient processors of social information, and our intuitions aren’t nearly as illogical as many psychologists have portrayed them.

Addicted to Our Screens, or Merely Obsessed?

Digital Distractions and addiction to mediated images are imbecilizing America’s youth. The energy cost to our still Stone–Age brains explains how and why. Scientists debate whether we are addicted to our devices. What no one disputes is that our attention spans have gone to hell.

The Psychology of Web Browsing

Understanding the human need for control offers a powerful tool for enhancing customer experience. I recently helped one of the world’s largest and most influential news organizations analyze their website. They were trying to push video content by having it load automatically on their homepage.The extensive efforts to push the content created the opposite reaction..

How to Tell a Dog What to Do Next

Research confirms that eye contact and a dog's name are critical components in getting a dog to respond to a learned command.

When Should You Trust Your Intuition?

It may make you nervous to trust your intuition, especially in an important life decision. However, if we redefine intuition as insight, it’s possible to see the process of listening to your “gut” as having many potential benefits.

Sorry, Emoji Doesn't Make You Dumber

By Vyv Evans Ph.D. on June 08, 2015 in Language in the Mind
Far from emoji dragging us back to the dark ages, their advent has helped recalibrate our emotional intelligence: digital communication is catching up with the repertoire of communicative tools we have in the spoken medium. Emoji is an empowering addition to the hitherto, primarily, textual format in the digital arena.

Solving a Shakespearean Mystery With Data

By Art Markman Ph.D. on June 08, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
Our ability to use language involves a combination of complex mechanisms that allow us to produce speech, learn words, and combine those words into sentences. We certainly notice the oddities in people’s speech when they are not a native speaker of your language. But, a lot of what you say daily involves habits you have developed over the course of your life.

Build Your EQ With These 7 Constructive Thinking Tools

The quality of your emotional intelligence, or “street smarts,” can help you achieve greater success in your daily life. These 7 types of constructive thinking will help you understand and improve your ability to put your EQ to use.

Finding the Missing Link between Economics and Psychology

By Gregg Henriques on June 05, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
The missing link between economics and psychology can be found in Behavioral Investment Theory.

How Early Academic Training Retards Intellectual Development

By Peter Gray on June 03, 2015 in Freedom to Learn
In the absence of an appropriate intellectual foundation and motivation to learn, students acquire academic skills by rote, in shallow, meaningless ways. This not only wastes students' time, but can cause serious harm to their future intellectual and academic development. Here's some of the evidence.

Apocalypse Again: Why Can't We Get Enough?

Why do we love the idea of our own demise?

How to Stop Thinking About Someone

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on May 27, 2015 in Mental Mishaps
You meet someone new and attractive. Temptation strikes. Perhaps you’re a little infatuated. The eye looks and the mind wanders. You find your thoughts keep returning to the encounter and the possibility for romance, sex, or a relationship. But if you’re already in a committed and happy relationship, you may not want those thoughts. How can you stop those thoughts?

How Does Yoga Relieve Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain triggers changes in brain structure that are linked to depression, anxiety, and impaired cognitive function. New research shows that yoga can have the opposite effect on the brain as chronic pain.

How to Foster More Adaptive Thinking

By Gregg Henriques on May 27, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
A review of how to employ the cognitive approach to maintain an adaptive mindset during stressful conditions.

Another Flashbulb Memory Bites the Dust

Guest post by a student who has a memory of September 11th, 2001, that is vivid, clear, and wrong.