Archive for “October, 2015”

Head tilt shadows

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads; expressive head movements; looking abroad for policy solutions; innovations in online campaigning; sad songs and the brain; the pros and cons of collaborative problem-solving.

It’s all in your head. Study finds people can accurately use head movements to judge emotions, even in the absence of sound or facial expressions. From McGill University via PsyPost.

Overcoming “exceptionalism.” Political scientist Dominic Tierney argues that America could learn much from policy solutions implemented in other countries. Via The Atlantic.

Target audiences. Political campaigns are using social networks like never before to quickly and effectively send out their political message to target audiences. From Scott Detrow via NPR.

Musical distraction. A study of the effects of music on the brain explores why sad music distracts some listeners from their negative feelings, while exacerbating anxiety for others. From Lori Chandler via Big Think.

The pros and cons of clustering. A study finds that collaboration and connectedness can increase efficiency in sorting through information, but may inhibit diversity in problem-solving approaches. From Sara Rimer via Futurity.

Mozart ducks

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads; false brain claims; fear in the age of robots; the lines of logic vs. the curves of emotion; racial bias in the Florida courts; loaded symbols face public heat.

Classical music ≠ broccoli. Will classical music make you smarter? Debunking some common myths about brain development. From Kate Horowitz via Mental Floss.

Technophobia. Tech-related fears illustrate our tendency to fear things we’re dependent on but cannot control. From Cari Romm via The Atlantic.

Logical or emotional. A meta-analysis of 40 studies suggests both men and women make moral decisions using cognitive reasoning, but women are more likely to use emotional reasoning when harm is a factor. From Danielle Levesque via Psy Post.

Quantifiable racial bias. A study of “stand-your-ground” cases in Florida finds that defendants are twice as likely to be convicted if the victim is white. From Tom Jacobs via Pacific Standard.

Loaded symbols. From Confederate monuments to national sports teams, politically loaded symbols are facing increasing public heat. From Gene Demby via NPR.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Kirk Siang, CC by 2.0

Female scientist legos

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: female pioneers in STEM; what lies under the hood of our brains; a pop culture website uniting young Muslims; behind the scenes with Charlie Brown and Snoopy; why we “miswant.”

Women of science. In celebration of Ada Lovelace Day (October 13th), Futurity honors the achievements of pioneering women in the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. From University of Melbourne via Futurity.

Our inner cosmos. David Eagleman’s new PBS documentary explores the ways “objective reality” is shaped by our subconscious. From Big Think Editors via Big Think.

Mozzies. Mozzified, a Muslim pop culture website, provides a light-hearted space for young Muslims to come together in community. From Leah Donnella via NPR.

Good grief. Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip, outwardly simple, laid out a complex drama of social coping that depended on readers’ empathy. From Sarah Boxer via The Atlantic.

Miscalibrated expectations.Miswanting” is the name given for the scrambled logic behind our wants, and our tendency to poorly align those wants with what we’ll actually enjoy. From Michael Fitzgerald via Pacific Standard.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Maia Weinstock, CC by 2.0

Guinea Pig with video game controller

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

In this week’s #GeekReads: attentiveness and emotional comprehension in children; using magic to tell the truth; violent crime in America; decision-making in the visual cortex; villainizing video games.

Lost in a daydream. A recent study suggests that some children who frequently appear to be daydreaming may be occupied with trying to figure out the emotions of others. From The Conversation via PsyPost.

Magical realism. Author Salman Rushdie explains how he uses techniques such as fantasy and dream to express a vision that is grounded in reality. From Salman Rushdie via Big Think.

“Out of tension comes opportunity.” Attorney General Loretta Lynch discusses violent crime in America and the importance of conversation between police and the communities they serve. Via NPR.

Mind’s eye. New research has found that the visual cortex of our brain, which is responsible for seeing, also has the capacity to make decisions without the help from traditional ‘higher level’ areas of the brain. From Andy Henion via Futurity.

The video game debate. Dr. Rachel Kowert discusses how our appetite for cause and effect explanations may cause us to oversimplify discussions of video games and their effects on behavior. From Jesse Singal via Science of Us.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Katherine McAdoo CC BY 2.0

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: variations in what makes us human; empathy’s ability to bridge racial divides; a brief history of groundbreaking television; the neurobiological underpinnings of empathy; debunking anti-immigration myths.

Uniquely human. Scientists release new data from the 1,000 Genomes Project that quantifies the DNA variations of 2,500 people from across the globe. Despite millions of differences in human DNA, we are more alike than different. From Francie Diep via Pacific Standard.

Empathy and race. Can empathy help us to transcend racial divisions? President Obama and Ta-Nehisi Coates offer different perspectives on empathy and race. From John Paul Rollert via The Atlantic.

Learning the Facts of Life. Recent studies suggest that diversity in television combined with the power of storytelling can positively shape attitudes toward people of color, LGBT people and working women. From Lori Chandler via Big Think.

I can relate. A new study helps close the gap in our understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms of empathy. From University of Vienna via PsyPost.

State of immigration. A new report debunks anti-immigrant myths and makes the case for collecting broader and better data on immigrants and their children. From Yasmin Anwar via Futurity.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/MsSaraKelly, Public Domain 


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