Cognition Essential Reads

Murder and the Digital Self

By Ian H. Robertson Ph.D. on August 28, 2015 in The Winner Effect
Social media have changed us into directors of scripts of our own lives. This creates a detachment and possibly a change in "self", making us spectators and would-be journalists who act out our scripted fantasies, which in some tragic cases such as the Virginia live TV shootings, include murder.

Does Anticipating Temptation Help You Resist Temptation?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
In Smart Change, I talk about the importance of planning for temptations. The idea is that temptations are hard to deal with in the moment, because they suggest something that would feel good to do right now. Those temptations can capture your motivational system and drive you to do something that is not in your long-term best interests.

Dogs Avoid People Who Are Not Cooperative with Their Owners

New data shows that dogs, like young human children, continually watch the social interactions going on around them and use information from what they observe to decide who to avoid in the future.

The Surprising Power of Conspiracy Theories

Can merely being exposed to popular conspiracy theories make you less pro-social?

Can a Building Make You Sad?

By Colin Ellard Ph.D. on August 22, 2015 in Mind Wandering
Time worn principles in architecture suggest that we might like buildings that mirror the proportions and harmonies of the human form. But what about faces? New research shows how computer analysis of building facades might be used to show how face-like images on the surfaces of buildings affect our emotions.

What Most People Get Wrong About Critical Thinking Tools

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 20, 2015 in Ambigamy
Just because they defend their position with a weak argument, it doesn't mean their position is wrong. Weak arguments are irrelevant. Contrary to popular belief, they are not evidence that the position being supported by the argument is incorrect.

Cognitive Signatures of Creativity and Genius

By Kaja Perina on August 14, 2015 in Brainstorm
Dr. Albert Rothenberg articulates cognitive processes that undergird breakthrough discoveries and the most inventive minds.

Seeing Inequality--or Not

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on August 08, 2015 in Hidden Motives
The rich not only tend to care less than the poor about our growing economic inequality, but also they just don’t see it, according to recent studies reported in Psychological Science.

Why Are the Candy Crushes of the World Dominating Our Lives?

What happens when an organic form of existence, after evolving for millions of years, meets the last word in planned and designed addictiveness? Darwin goes searching for the gas pedal in this evolutionary phenomenon of his.

The Wonder of New Worlds

By Neal Roese on August 06, 2015 in In Hindsight
On July 23, 2015, the discovery of the planet Kepler-452b was announced -- the most Earth-like planet yet found, with a size similar to earth and an orbital distance from its sun just right for sustaining We aren’t going there any time soon, yet star travel nonetheless animates our imaginations. What might we find out there?

Welcome to "I Got a Mind to Tell You"

Want the facts about mind, brain, mental and mental disorders. Follow "I Got a Mind to Tell You."

A Riddle For All Ages

By Kaja Perina on August 03, 2015 in Brainstorm
When my son was old enough to understand the basic concept of infinity (but hardly its nuance), he presented me with a “trick riddle.”

Can Improv Comedy Treat Social Anxiety?

By Jon Fortenbury on August 02, 2015 in NeuroProgress
People are increasingly turning to improv comedy (theatre made up on the spot) to reduce social anxiety. The reason it's working for some and not all is simple, but powerful.

Why We Think We're So Much Smarter Than We Really Are

By Susan Greenfield Ph.D. on August 02, 2015 in Mind Change
Searching the Internet for information creates an illusion of knowledge, in which we think we are smarter than we really are.

The Curious Connection Between Distraction and Impulsivity

By David DiSalvo on August 01, 2015 in Neuronarrative
Science is steadily uncovering a link between handicapped working memory resources and handicapped impulse control, with all its unfortunate shortcomings.

Is Music a Universal Language?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on July 31, 2015 in Talking Apes
Both music and language are universals of the human experience, even though the forms they take vary greatly from culture to culture.

Sherlock Holmes: The Case of Memory and Aging

Sherlock Holmes is the quintessential detective, but what happens to his memory and his mind in old age? The new movie Mr. Holmes, as well as current research on cognitive aging, allow for an important case study on memory and aging.

Fear and Anxiety Affect the Health and Life Span of Dogs

Research shows that increased levels of certain types of fearfulness in dogs may be associated higher susceptibility to skin diseases and to reduced life span.

Can Artificial Intelligence Make Us Stupid?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in The Human Beast
Changing technology stimulates the brain and increases intelligence. But that may only be true if the technology challenges us. In a world run by intelligent machines, our lives could get a lot simpler. Would that make us less intelligent?

Over Ego

To say that one is better than average is a famous bias from the social psychology textbook. In this better-than-average post, I show that it is not irrational to do so.

When Music Becomes Language

By Eliezer J. Sternberg M.D. on July 28, 2015 in NeuroLogic
When jazz musicians achieve the highest levels of mastery, their brain processing undergoes a fundamental change, and they begin to perceive music in a way no one else can.

Are You Tone Deaf?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on July 24, 2015 in Talking Apes
The musically gifted often foist the “tone deaf” label on those whose music production abilities aren’t up to their expectations, but most have music perception skills in the normal range.

Behavior Differences Between Smaller and Larger Dogs

Research shows that there are significant differences between the behaviors of smaller and larger dogs. Some of these differences have to do with the behaviors of their owners.

Should a Dog's Name Be Part of an Obedience Command?

Most dog trainers believe that you must use a dog's name before you give him an obedience command if you want to get a reliable response. Are they correct?

Notifications Are the New Distractions

Do you jump a little inside when your phone pings to let you know you have a new text or voice mail? Turns out that can be as distracting as actually talking or texting. Another reason to get your phone under your control.

Whole Language or No Language?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on July 10, 2015 in Talking Apes
There are more things in reading and writing, Educators, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Why Some People See Ghosts and Other Apparitions

Have you ever had the eerie feeling that you were being watched? Ever seen a ghost? It appears that “spirits” visit humans at predictable times and places.

Do Kids With ADHD Grow Into Adults With ADHD?

Most children with ADHD do not grow up to become adults with ADHD. Most adults with ADHD did not have ADHD as children. ADHD in youngsters and adults may really be two different illnesses that have similar symptoms.

The Sep-Con Articulation Process in Creativity

The sep-con articulation process was discovered in extensive empirical investigations with outstanding literary prizewinners and Nobel laureates in the sciences. It consists of constructing or conceiving connection and functional separation concomitantly.The wide use in creativity, examples, and application do's and don'ts are specified.

Can Offenders Be Experts?

By Claire Nee Ph.D. on July 05, 2015 in The Mind of the Perp
Can burglars be experts at what they do? This blog describes new techniques using simulations that will allow us to get inside the mind of the burglar.