Essential Reads

Can Artificial Intelligence Make Us Happy?

Does AI spell the doom of humankind? Or should we welcome it? Given the significant limitations of human rationality, only AI can help humans to solve many difficult problems.

The Neuroscience of Finger Length Ratio and Athletic Prowess

By Christopher Bergland on October 14, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Neuroscientists have found a correlation between finger length ratios and brain function. A new study reports that having a shorter index finger may indicate athletic potential.

In Defense of the Value of Football

Despite the recent fears of CTE, football remains a valuable tool for developing youth.

A Fundamental Source of Error in Human Judgment

By Gary Smith Ph.D. on October 07, 2016 in What the Luck?
We encounter it almost every day, yet almost nobody understands it.

More Posts on Sport and Competition

Yoga for Stress Relief

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on December 08, 2015 in Urban Survival
Find out how you can use yoga for stress relief.

The Secret to Great Leadership

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on December 07, 2015 in What Matters Most?
Strong leaders agree on one thing: When it comes to great leadership, the first principle is “leader, know thyself.” The latest research takes this a step further.

Letter from a Former Olympian Who Needs a Career

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on December 07, 2015 in How To Do Life
Even most medalists struggle after The Games. Bu there are good options.

The World Sociopath Olympics

Forget the Nobel Prize. We're now ready for the Madoff Prize.

Why are so Many Rape Allegations being Ignored?

By Azadeh Aalai Ph.D. on December 01, 2015 in The First Impression
Did NFL quarterback Jameis Winston get a free pass to sexually assault a student during his tenure at FSU just because he was a star on the football field?

The Unseen Human Being: Reflective Gear Saves Lives

By Christopher Bergland on November 30, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
As we approach the shortest days of the year, it’s important to remember to wear reflective gear anytime you are walking, jogging, or cycling on public roadways after dark.
Mitchell Gunn, used with perfmission

Sports Just Don’t Make Sense

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on November 29, 2015 in The Power of Prime
Sports just don’t make sense. They don’t always go the way we want them to. Sports can be so frustrating. To the point where it’s easy to wonder why we devote so much time and energy to it. Let’s look at why sports don’t make sense. Sports are complex. Sports are unpredictable and uncontrollable. Nothing comes quick and easy in sports. Progress isn’t steady.

Do Stronger Muscles Mean Better Brains?

It's not what you do with muscles - it's what you did to make them.

In Discussing "Youth," Jane Fonda Touches on "Superfluidity"

By Christopher Bergland on November 24, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
Jane Fonda recently described the awe-inspiring aspects of having a peak experience while discussing her upcoming movie 'Youth.'

The Rise and Rapid Reduction of 'Rowdy' Ronda Rousey

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on November 24, 2015 in Black Belt Brain
Even though we enjoy watching the best athletes demonstrate their skills, we also like to see skillful, but super-confident athletes get beaten. Is it because we cannot identify with them?

Why Exercise Isn't Always a Panacea

Just because some exercise is great for us doesn’t mean these benefits extend indefinitely. It turns out that yes, you can exercise too much: Beyond a certain point of exertion, our bodies—and our minds—start to break down.

My First Marathon

By Charlotte N. Markey Ph.D. on November 19, 2015 in Smart People Don’t Diet
Want to run a marathon? Perseverance and luck may be all you need. For me, it was mostly about continuing to put one foot in front of the other and hoping for the best.

Three Brain Doctors Expose “Untold Story” in “Concussion"

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on November 17, 2015 in Brain Trauma
As audiences worldwide examine the film’s controversial CTE topic, Drs. Daniel G. Amen, Theodore Henderson and Harry Kerasidis, point to advanced treatments and tools available now to battle the brain injury epidemic.

How Athletes Can Address the Psychology of Injury

By Laura M Miele Ph.D. on November 17, 2015 in The Whole Athlete
What we can learn from Lamar Odom.
David Bruce

Letting Go of Fear of Failure-Part IV

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on November 17, 2015 in The Power of Prime
Fear of failure is about the perceptions that you hold about failure and, for the vast majority of people, those perceptions are entirely disconnected from the reality of their lives. You perceive that bad things will happen if you fail, but the reality is that nothing particularly bad, aside from some disappointment, will likely result from a failure.

Who Should Help Pay for Yoga?

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on November 17, 2015 in Urban Survival
Here are four reasons why health insurers should pay attention to yoga programs and help us pay for them.

Motivation Is Tied to the Strength of Your Brain Connections

By Christopher Bergland on November 16, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
Would you identify yourself as someone who is highly motivated or more apathetic? Neuroscientists at Oxford University recently discovered a neurobiological mechanism that might explain why some of us are inherently more ambitious than others. The findings also explain the neuroscience of why "Just Do It" is such a motivational slogan.
Ed Bozman

The Real Fear in Fear of Failure: Part III

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on November 10, 2015 in The Power of Prime
The real fear is not failure, the meaning you attach to failure, or even total failure. Instead, the real fear of failure is about the fear of experiencing the painful emotions that young people think they will suffer if they fail.

"Superfluidity" and the "Hot Hand" Are Synonymous

By Christopher Bergland on November 10, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
Recently, David Remnick wrote a brilliant article in the New Yorker, Bob Dylan and the “Hot Hand," which reminded me of concepts I’ve been trying to convey about the extraordinary—but also universal—experience of “superfluidity.” After reading Remnick's essay, it's clear to me that "the hot hand" and "superfluidity" occur both in sports and the creative process.

Why 'More Research Needed' May Be a Concussion Cop Out

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on November 06, 2015 in Brain Trauma
People may dismiss concussions as the great unknown but much is known. We can create advanced tools and practical protocols for concussion management.

Jeering the Mets

Gloating over the Met’s loss, jeering at Daniel Murphy's error, conflating a “failure” with an identity is precisely the mentality that twists lifestyle differences into hatred and homophobia.

Will Obesity Bankrupt the United States in the Near Future?

By Christopher Bergland on November 03, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
As of November 2015, over 30 percent of adults in the United States are considered obese. The economic cost of the obesity epidemic is mind-boggling. Two new studies report that obesity-related healthcare is costing American taxpayers and individuals hundreds of billions annually in medical bills. What can each of us do to reduce the healthcare costs of obesity?

Why We Must Listen to Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on November 03, 2015 in Brick by Brick
By sharing his story, Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown shows that if you stand up for your convictions, you can fight racism and make real change happen in the world

Do Professional Sports Reflect Modern American Whining?

By Stanton Peele on November 02, 2015 in Addiction in Society
Are sports stars and their management reflecting a culture-wide loss of authority?

High Tech Medicine Can Be Bad For Your Health

By Allen J Frances M.D. on October 28, 2015 in Saving Normal
Too many doctors have gotten into the habit of treating lab tests, not patients. This can lead to over treatment and disastrous medical mistakes.

Howler Monkeys Have a Deep Voice or Big Balls But Not Both

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 22, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Howler monkeys have low sexy calls or big balls, but not both. While this research "has no practical application to human mate choice … some research has suggested that men with deep voices have more sex partners, and therefore more opportunities to reproduce. But another study showed lower sperm quality in deeper-voiced men." Oh wouldn't it be nice if … or would it?

Bike Helmets for Brain Safety

Is wearing a bike helmet really necessary? And what about helmets for pee-wee football?

Baseball is Magic (When You're Seven Years Old)

By Steven Schlozman M.D. on October 18, 2015 in Grand Rounds
Why Baseball is Magic in the Low Light of October

Neuroscientists Decrypt the Mystery of Rapid Eye Movements

By Christopher Bergland on October 15, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
In a groundbreaking study, neuroscientists have decoded the mysterious brain mechanics behind rapid eye movements.

The Playground is Dangerous, But the Soccer Field Isn't?

By Richard Rende Ph.D. on October 15, 2015 in Inside Parenting
Parents may seem overprotective about play, but they aren't about sports. So are parents really risk aversive, or are they making decisions about potential benefits of activities?