Essential Reads

Writing by Hand Makes It Easier to Think

Don't stop taking notes by hand.

Your Categories Drive What You See

Your Visual System Uses Categories to Prepare To Search

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Reflections on radical fundamentalism in language science

Getting Existential with Josh Rouse

Musician Uses Mindfulness to Manage Anxiety

Recent Posts on Cognition

Why Is Air Pollution So Bad for Your Brain?

Air pollution has long been associated with health risks including asthma and an increased risk of stroke. New findings show that air pollution also damages the human brain.

What Is Confirmation Bias?

People are prone to believe what they want to believe.

Returning to an Unchanged Place Reveals How You Have Changed

Returning to a place from your past that remains unchanged can reveal how you've evolved and give you clues as to where you should go with your life from here.

Is Your Cell Phone Conscious? On Information Integration

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on April 23, 2015 in Hot Thought
The theory that consciousness is just information integration suffers from vagueness, mathematical problems, naïve claims about self-evidence, and misattribution of consciousness to entities such as smartphones.So it is less plausible than alternate theories that explain consciousness as the result of brain mechanisms.

Writing by Hand Makes It Easier to Think

By Temma Ehrenfeld on April 23, 2015 in Open Gently
Remember pens and paper? They help us think.

Prime Your Child’s Reading & Math Development with Patterns

Patterning refers to the meaningful process of organizing, coding, and categorizing information in the brain. It is through the patterns constructed and stored in neural networks that our brains recognize and find relevance in the millions of bits of sensory input received every second. Your child’s early experiences sorting, categorizing and patterning are key.

Wishful Thinking

By Eyal Winter on April 22, 2015 in Feeling Smart
How we can ignore facts we don't like.

Making Our Mark

By Michele Wick Ph.D. on April 22, 2015 in Anthropocene Mind
Imagine if change were as simple as having people contemplate the mark they want to leave on the world.

Back to the Future

By David Ludden Ph.D. on April 21, 2015 in Talking Apes
Our brains don’t store everything that happens to us, only those events that may have future relevance.

What Languages Do Bilinguals Count In?

Is it true that bilinguals always count in their first language? And if so, are bilingual children at a disadvantage if they study math in a second language? New brain studies suggest that bilinguals are more flexible than previously thought.

4 Ways the Power of Suggestion Can Change Your Life

By Polly Campbell on April 21, 2015 in Imperfect Spirituality
We are influenced by all kinds of things. But knowing that, we can use those external influences to shape success.

What Can We Learn From Reading Online Reviews?

By Gregory R. Maio Ph.D. on April 21, 2015 in Attitude Check
To write a review or not to write a review (and simply use stars)

Your Categories Drive What You See

By Art Markman Ph.D. on April 21, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
When you open your eyes, you see a picture of the world around you. Psychologists have explored many factors that influence what you point your eyes at when looking at a scene. People tend to look at information that will help them achieve their goals, for example. They also look at items in the environment that are important to them like human faces.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

By Vyv Evans Ph.D. on April 20, 2015 in Language in the Mind
What accounts for the hullabaloo surrounding the publication of The Language Myth. Is Chomskyan linguistics a form of intellectual fundamentalism? And is language science in the throes of a paradigm shift? It's certainly beginning to look that way!

Medical Model? Recovery Model? No Problem

By Stephen Seager M.D. on April 20, 2015 in BrainTalk
Regarding the treatment of serious mental Illness, there is currently a fundamental rift between two camps: the Medical Model and the Recovery Model.

As A Nation, How Can We Best Empower Our Gifted Kids?

Should your child move ahead to that advanced math class? Should they skip a grade? Should they enter college early? What impact will that have on their educational and social/emotional trajectory? What does the research evidence tell us?

Moral Motivation and God's Rewards

What humans' moral intuitions suggest about the relative merits of religious versus secular accounts of moral motivation.

Motor Activity Improves Working Memory in Children with ADHD

A new study suggests that a majority of students with ADHD could perform better on classroom work, tests, and homework if they were allowed to sit on activity balls or exercise bikes while learning.

Why do we like our bully boss?

By Eyal Winter on April 18, 2015 in Feeling Smart
Check if you have a Stockholm Bias toward your Bully Boss.

Why Do Rich Kids Have Higher Standardized Test Scores?

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University recently reported that the academic “achievement gap” on standardized tests between lower-income and higher-income children is reflected in brain anatomy.

Alpha Brain Waves Boost Creativity and Reduce Depression

Neuroscientists have discovered that increasing alpha brain waves through electrical stimulation or mindfulness can boost creativity and minimize depression.

The Upside of Jealousy

Simply put, jealousy is motivated by fear. When fear is driving your behaviors, it is essential to tune into the cognitive components that accompany the fear to help you break it down and make it containable.

Getting Existential with Josh Rouse

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on April 17, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Josh Rouse shares how he has been able to conquer anxiety through mindfulness.

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules—But Whose Hand Is It?

The history of the nature/nurture controversy reveals fraud on the nurture side and developments in our view of nature that the imprinted brain theory readily explains.

Final Exams Are Just Around the Corner

By Dana S Dunn Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in Head of the Class
Like birth, death, and taxes, finals are inevitable—and always there at the end of term for undergraduates in psychology and all other academic disciplines. How best to prepare for them?

What Makes Us Tick?

They met in a airport because of a book that one of them was reading, the same the other had recently read. The conversation was so stimulating that they decided to continue it online and share it with their readers. They both believe this will be the first of an endless series of talks about the subject—what makes people tick—that tickles them the most.

The Brain Is Wider Than the Sky

Neuroscientists often quote Emily Dickinson's poem that begins, "The brain is wider than the sky," in support of their view that the mind is nothing but the brain. But they interpret the poem too narrowly, and miss its deeper meaning. Her poetry can teach us about the brain and mind, in ways that neuroscience can't.

Why Writing for Psychology Today Is a Good Idea

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in Animal Emotions
A recent essay called "Prof, no one is read you" shows why writing for popular audiences is more effective than publishing in professional journals. It turns out that "82 per cent of articles published in humanities are not even cited once. No one ever refers to 32 per cent of the peer-reviewed articles in the social and 27 per cent in the natural sciences."

Treatments Available to Long Term Abduction Victims

A variety of therapeutic techniques that focus on empowerment and reconnecting with family can help abduction victims heal.

"Why Die All Tensed Up?"

The Fighter Weapons School is the Air Force equivalent to the Navy's "Top Gun," of movie fame. A statement posted by one of the instructors on the bulletin board recommended against hypervigilance.