Cognition Essential Reads

How Do Psychotherapists Think?

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on June 26, 2017 in Hot Thought
Psychotherapists need complex reasoning to determine how to help the people they treat. Such assessment is not simply matching features, but requires building a causal account.

Can Our Anger Be Explained by Global Brain Vulnerabilities?

Is it possible that our angry world reflects changing anger thresholds in our brains?

Why Do We Ask Why?

By Mario Livio Ph.D. on June 23, 2017 in Why?
Curiosity fuels brain growth, and brain growth drives curiosity. And you wouldn't be so curious if your ancestors hadn't learned to cook.

When We Outsource Talking to Toys

Many of us are drawn in by the promise that electronic toys will help our children learn. But do they live up to this promise?

How Hobbies Impact Your Head and Your Heart

Are you looking to feel happier, younger and smarter? An hour a day could make all the difference.

Small Samples, Big Hopes

If you observe an event (datum) 3 standard deviations away from the theoretical prediction, do you do a significance test?

The Bachs and the Epigenetics of Music

Many believe epigenetics makes inheritance of acquired traits possible, but the example of imprinted genes on chromosome 15 provides a better explanation of innate musical ability.

Study Shows a Bias for Evidence of What We Want to Be True

New experimental findings suggest that we seek and stress corroborating evidence based on what we desire.

How Our Thoughts Change When We Fall Asleep

By Michelle Carr on June 15, 2017 in Dream Factory
“It seems that in REM sleep, to think is to do… that is, to realise any possibility that presents itself."

Blame: A Not So Guilty Pleasure

By Mark Alicke Ph.D. on June 14, 2017 in Why We Blame
Everyone tells us that blame is a sin and to forgive is divine. Think again.

Your Brain on Magic

By Jen Kim on June 13, 2017 in Valley Girl With a Brain
Do you believe in magic? Here are five reasons you should.

New Research Explains Why Overthinking Can Hinder Creativity

A growing body of research helps to explain why "unclamping" the rigid intellectual machinery and executive function of your prefrontal cortex facilitates creativity.

The Unconscious Mind in Everyday Life

How does the unconscious influence why you do the things you do?

When Emotion Meets Thinking

Can we be sad and creative too?

Breakfast, Brains, and Entropy

What Waffle House hash browns can teach us about the origins of human consciousness.

Are Dogs Self-Aware?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on May 24, 2017 in The Human Beast
The standard test of self-awareness is being able to recognize ourselves in a mirror. Although chimpanzees pass this test with flying colors, dogs flunk.

Consciousness and Information

Our conscious experience contains and depends upon many different kinds of information. What is the relationship between how information is processed and conscious awareness?
istock.com

Suicide Is a Scary Word

Passive thoughts of suicide should alert every therapist to the possibility that darkness is looming.

Do You Learn More When You Make Your Notes Beautiful?

Taking beautiful notes might help students learn.
T. Mairunteregger

Seligman on Tour

Is "prospection" the newest and holiest of grails in psychology? Seligman: "Yes." We: "No."

Does the Popularity of Emoji Mean We Are Getting Dumber?

The rise and rise of Emoji makes us more effective communicators in the digital age.

Loaded: Coincidences in the Family

The intense emotions of family relationships and their necessary transitions create elaborate and complicated coincidences. How can we make sense of them?
Eduard Kurzbauer / The Dispute / Walters Art Museum / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

A Question That Good Critical Thinkers Ask, Part 1

If I were to tell you that reading this article will make you a better critical thinker, what question would a good critical thinker ask about my claim?

Are Musical Preferences All in the Sound?

Are musical preferences all in the sound?
pixabay.com

Required Summer Reading

In a landmark study of why human beings believe what they believe and do what they do, Robert Sapolsky demonstrates that brains and cultures evolve; genes don't determine anything.

Exactly How to Have More Fun on Vacation

By Andrea Bartz on May 16, 2017 in The Wandering Mind
For maximum enjoyment, just add THIS.

3 Ways Overthinking Hurts More Than It Helps

Whether you beat yourself up for a mistake you made last week, or you fret about how you're going to succeed tomorrow, overthinking everything can be debilitating.

Stress and Memory Impairment in Older Adults

Stress reduction is important for optimal cognitive aging.

Why Do People Still Think Pluto Is a Planet?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on May 15, 2017 in Ulterior Motives
When I was growing up, the list of planets in our solar system included a small planet far from the Sun called Pluto. Then, things changed.

5 Reasons to Streamline Your Life

These 5 research-based reasons for living a streamlined life will convince you that it’s time to take a new look at your home, and your calendar.