Essential Reads

The Curious Connection Between Distraction and Impulsivity

Research shows that impulse control and focus are two sides of the same coin.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Vacation

Vacations shouldn't be stressful.

Liar, Liar, Working Memory on Fire

Working Memory can make you a better liar, research shows

Sherlock Holmes: The Case of Memory and Aging

Now age 93, what does Mr. Holmes (the movie) tell us about memory and aging?

Recent Posts on Memory

Here's How You Can Become An Expert

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 in Memory Medic
Is there a shortcut to becoming an expert?

My College Roommate Sent Me a Sketch of Myself

By Gretchen Rubin on August 03, 2015 in The Happiness Project
It’s funny, though, what can unleash a memory.

Eye of the Beholder: The Brain Sabotaging Love

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on August 02, 2015 in Obesely Speaking
Expectations, which are influenced by social norms, filter reality about the world, others, and our selves. As a result we could walk right past Mr. or Ms. Right without ever recognizing them.

The Brain Mechanics of Rumination and Repetitive Thinking

By Christopher Bergland on August 01, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
A new study from Stanford University helps explain the neuroscience of rumination and repetitive thinking.

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.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Vacation

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on July 31, 2015 in In Love and War
Vacation time is precious, and most people don’t get nearly enough of it. So how can you make the most of the time you do have? Research suggests that these eight strategies may help.

Want to Improve Your Cognitive Abilities? Go Climb a Tree!

A new study has discovered that physical activities, such as climbing a tree or balancing on a beam, can dramatically improve cognitive abilities. Why would climbing a tree improve cognitive function and working memory?

Liar, Liar, Working Memory on Fire

Working Memory can make you a better liar, research shows

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.

Steps to Take Today for Better Brain Health Tomorrow

You may be taking proactive steps to support your body’s health, but are you taking similar steps to sustain your brain? When it comes to supporting brain health, the old adage is true: it’s better than never. There’s no time like the present to start supporting your brain.

4 Healthy Mind Games to Play With Yourself

Our minds are incredibly malleable, and are influenced by the world around us. We can also choose to consciously influence our minds through thoughtful “mind-games” that ultimately can change our lives for the better.

Why High School Stays With You Forever

For some of us, high school shines like an enchanted kingdom; for others, it is remembered as an endless Hell of daily torments. For most of us, it is something in between, but memorable nonetheless. Is it the collision between evolved psychological mechanisms and the nature of the modern high school that is to blame?

Inside Out Movie Focuses on the Importance of Emotions

By Kate Roberts Ph.D. on July 27, 2015 in Savvy Parenting
Disney's Pixar Inside Out movie teaches through entertainment, the importance of processing and understanding a child's emotions.

I Hate Multiple Choice

What do multiple choice tests measure? Is that what we want to know?

Psych Write: Psychology Can Make Sense and Be Fun to Read!

Authors trying to write about psychology for general audiences may err by writing the same way they would write journal articles, or they may err by writing too casually. These tips can help students, psych pros, journalists, bloggers, and water cooler conversationalists achieve the right balance while clearly talking about psychology. Jargon is good. Really, it is.

Memory, Body Language and Personality in Soccer

By Ben Lyttleton on July 27, 2015 in Twelve Yards
USA lost its Gold Cup soccer play-off to Panama on penalties - but could the team have avoided defeat?

Improving Self-Control by Enhancing Working Memory

Successful self-control involves the active maintenance of goals and goal-relevant information in working memory.

"The Feeling Brain" Like Disney/Pixar Movie "Inside Out"

As an expert in Psychology, when I saw Disney/Pixar's "Inside Out", I was happily surprised by its accuracy in its portrayal of emotions (aside from emotions being personified and sitting in a "control room"!) At the same time that I saw the movie, Norton Publishing asked me to review the book, "The Feeling Brain", and I found quite a few similarities between the two.

How and Why Color Matters in Early Recollections

The experience of color in early recollections occurs only with a minority of persons. The meaning of color to these individuals is often life-orienting and personally enriching. The "color-minded" remind all people of the vitality and wonder of color as a human endowment.

Learning From the Inside Out

Learning from the inside out centers around the role of emotion in shaping our lives. Disney’s new film, Inside Out, presents current thinking in neuroscience in a format that allows animated characters to teach us how to live life.

Imaging: Sparks of Genius Challenge #3

“Close your eyes,” Dennis the Menace once said to a friend. “If you see anything, you’re thinking.” What's more, if you “hear,” “smell,” “taste,” or “feel” anything in the absence of direct sensory stimulation, that's thinking, too. Alongside words, we cogitate by means of a primary “language” of sensory impressions experienced within the mind. In short, we image.

Can Using Xanax When Flying Cause PTSD?

“We barely made it. After we landed, they closed the airport. Thank God I had my Xanax to get me through it.” Though life-threatening events happen rarely in aviation, they happen routinely in the Xanax-fueled mind of an anxious flier. Threats to one's life, whether real or imagination-based, can lead to PTSD.

What Pixar’s 'Inside Out' Tells Us About How We Work

By Aaron Hurst on July 16, 2015 in The Purpose Economy
Pixar’s new movie Inside Out explains the vital role we have as parents and educators in setting our kids up for success in their lives -- and their future careers.

A Life Interrupted: The Tim Bransfield Story

In the summer of 2002, Tim Bransfield had it all. Then Tim crashed his mother’s car head-on into a tree at eighty miles per hour, and, as he says in his book, “everything went dark.”

Why We Think About Our Exes (and Why It's Not a Bad Thing)

When a relationship is ending, we tend to focus on what’s wrong with it. As time passes, though, we forget the past troubles in favor of the rosy glow of its early days. Avoid the trap of your distorted past so you can move on and focus on the present.

Writing Wrongs

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on July 14, 2015 in In Excess
Writing a diary is nothing new. A number of psychologists have done studies showing that diary writing is far more than writing for posterity. Some scholars have gone as far as to say that writing down your feelings is psychologically good for you. But what does the psychological literature say?

Cortisol and Oxytocin Hardwire Fear-Based Memories

New research shows that the "stress hormone" cortisol and the "love hormone" oxytocin can create a double whammy when it comes to hardwiring anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

You Have an Inner World: So What?

From Pixar’s recently released animated film Inside Out to the Netflix original series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the idea that we each have a lively, complex emotional inner world is hot, hot, hot! But does it really matter?

We Can Dream: A Marginalized Peoples Version of ‘Inside Out’

'Inside Out' is the nation's #1 movie. Critics and audiences are raving about it. Adults cry because of it. Even scientists applaud its scientific accuracy. But how reflective is it of marginalized peoples' minds and lived realities? What would the 'Inside Out' movie look like if it explored the inner workings and psychological experiences of marginalized peoples? Read on.

Dealing With Trauma

Controlling what we remember could lead to programming trauma victims to eliminate painful memories and strengthening the ability to retain certain types of information.