Archive for “July, 2015”

Sleepy eyes

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: the impact of sleep deprivation; misunderstanding fear and anxiety; brain structure and emotional instability; diverse stories of African-American life; mothers’ empathic influence.

Tired eyes. Research suggests that a lack a sleep negatively affects how well we are able to distinguish facial expressions of others. From Natalie Shoemaker via Big Think.

Misunderstanding fear. Neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux says we conflate instinctive threat responses with more consciousness-based feelings of fear and anxiety. From Casey Schwartz via Science of Us.

Emotional continuum. A recent study shows correlation between brain volume in the lower frontal lobe and the ability to regulate emotions. From Karolinska Institutet via Psy Post.

Multitudes of stories. In the second of a series of posts discussing Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, Between the World and Me, sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom reminds readers of the many strands of black life in America. From Tressie McMillan Cottom via The Atlantic.

The (mental) lives of others. A study shows that when mothers tune-in to their babies’ thoughts and feeling early on, it help their children empathize with the mental lives of others later in life. From Saskia Angenent via Futurity.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Lauren Garza, CC BY 2.0

Danbo walks the tightrope

#GeekReads: 4 Quick Reads + 1 Watch that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: re-categorizing fear and anxiety; the pitfalls of overconfidence; insights from an Afghan therapist; facing fears; dissecting Daffy Duck.

Dissociating disorders. Although fear and anxiety are grouped together under “anxiety disorders,” research indicates there is a distinct difference in how the two react to the reduction of serotonin in the brain. From Sage Publications via Psy Post.

Slow it down. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman discusses the blight of overconfidence and the benefits of slowing down our thoughts. From David Shariatmadari via The Guardian.

Talk to her. In a place where symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are widespread, a woman offers her empathy and calm presence as medicine for her mental health patients. From Mariam Jalalzada via The New York Times.

Prepare for takeoff. Author and professor Gina Barreca, fearless in many aspects of life, considers the complex sources of her overwhelming fear of flying. Via Psychology Today.

Character sketches. Loony Tunes animator Chuck Jones shares how a combination of simplicity, movement, and discipline  made each character so distinct and memorable. From Dan Solomon via Fast Company.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Carlo Ciccarelli CC BY SA 2.0

Einstein Robot with Microscope

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: constructing consciousness; choosing empathy; functions of the hippocampus; embracing change; social media echo chambers.

Build-a-brain.  Is it possible to construct consciousness in an artificial brain? From Michael Graziano via Aeon.

Limitless empathy. Research suggests that empathy is a choice and how much we choose to empathize depends on what we want to feel.  From Daryl Cameron, Michael Inzlicht, and William A. Cunningham via The New York Times.

Social mapping. The hippocampus, which is a region in the brain responsible for telling people how near or far an object is, may also guide how emotionally close we feel to others and how we rank them socially. From Mount Sinai School of Medicine via Psy Post.

Managing change.  In many aspects of life, change is met with resistance, but discussing anticipated problems helps to create an environment of synergy and support. From Joseph Grenny via Psychology Today.

Social media extremists.  The self-selecting nature of social media often serves to reinforce rather than expand our political worldviews. From Robert Montenegro via Big Think.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Jenn and Tony Bot, CC BY NC 2.0


Nerd Treeson

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: does science diminish nature’s wonder; empathizing with puppets; building trust between police and teens; expanding our concept of “cosmopolitanism”; reading as a form of creative osmosis.

Unweaving the rainbow. By demystifying the natural world, does science diminish our sense of awe? Two poets explore the subject. From Nina Martyris via Nautilus.

Sharing is caring. A study finds that children as young as three exhibit surprising levels of concern for others – even when those others are puppets. From Max Planck Gesellshaft via Psy Post.

Operation Conversation.  A new program brings New York City police and teenagers together to build mutual respect, trust, and empathy. From Katie Reilly via Business Insider.

The cosmopolitan pariah.  What does it mean to be a 21st century cosmopolitan? In examining political theorist Hannah Arendt’s complex legacy, James McAuley argues that her status as a pariah made her a citizen of many worlds. Via Aeon.

Stylistic osmosis. Reading provides creative fuel to inspire different writing styles and helps writers find their narrative voice. From Joe Fassier via The Atlantic.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Nina Helmer, CC BY NC-ND 2.0

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: the trouble with cause and effect reasoning; self-control across party lines; Russian reactions to same-sex marriage; the need for empathy in today’s political world; the story behind Do the Right Thing.

Domino effect. Understanding the world through cause and effect relationships is incredibly useful, but how often is it legitimate? From Mathias Frisch via Aeon.

Control yourself. Does ideology affect one’s sense of self-control? A new study shows that both parties excel in different ways. From Indiana University Bloomington via Psy Post.

Reaction time. Russian reactions to the U.S. same-sex marriage ruling reveal some of the strong and conflicting feelings regarding LGBT rights in Russia. From Tom Balmforth via Business Insider.

Mass appeal. Peter Beinart argues that a winning GOP presidential strategy must involve greater empathy toward those outside the traditional base. Via The Atlantic.

Reel impact. How Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing ignited a nationwide debate about race and influenced the politics of its time. From Matt Haber via Mental Floss.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/photography.andreas, CC BY NC-ND 2.0

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