All posts in “Brain Science”

old victorian children's books

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: diversifying books; trusting others; new brain technologies; deviating from gender roles; predicting feelings.

Multicultural characters. Author, Dashka Slater, examines the lack of color and diversity in children’s literature. From Dashka Slater via Mother Jones.

Linking causes. New study finds trust is a key motivator in movement participation. From American Sociology Association via Science Daily.

Neuroethics. Scientific advances in brain technologies come with ethical questions. From Andrew Maynard via The Conversation.

Sexism in society. Journalist, Peter Beinart, evaluates why some fear women in positions of power. From Peter Beinart via The Atlantic.

Affective forecasts. Personal prejudice directly affects how empathetic we are towards others. From Association for Psychological Science via Psy Post.

 

 

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Image: flickr/pettifoggist CC BY-SA 2.0

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: partisan media; reading the Constitution; the ideal affect; power of the mind; understanding our social brains.

Spreading disinformation. A recent study suggests that partisan media outlets encourage us to disregard information that fails to support our point of view. From Tom Jacobs via Pacific Standard.

An American read. If you were ever interested in reading the Constitution, here is a nerdy guide to getting started. From Garrett Epps via The Atlantic.

Affect valuation theory. A study from the American Psychological Association examines the relationship between how we would like to feel and how we actually feel. From Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D. via Psychology Today.

Cheering up the world. A clever poem written by a high schooler goes viral with a very inspiring message. From Mark DeNicola via Collective Evolution.

The social brain. Scientists constructed a neurodevelopmental model of a rare genetic disorder that may help explain what makes humans social beings. From University of California at San Diego via PsyPost.

 

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Image: flickr/freyjo7 CC-BY-ND 2.0

Chairs posed for conversation

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: opening up conversations about race; connections between emotional, mental and physical health; contagious generosity; brain systems that contribute to empathy; operating on instinct.

Open conversation. Psychologists Keith B. Maddox and Heather L. Urry work to motivate people to approach rather than avoid conversations regarding race. From Jacqueline Mitchell via Phys.

Emotional health.
New research explores the way our emotions directly affect our physical health. From Christina Sarich via Collective Evolution.

Contagious generosity. We are more likely to be empathetic when we observe others’ empathetic responses. From Tom Jacobs via Pacific Standard.

Cognition, not sensation. Understanding and empathizing with someone else’s pain is neurologically different from experiencing our own physical pain. From University of Colorado at Boulder via PsyPost

Fight or flight. Rachael Sharman discusses the functional and adaptive purposes of the fight, flight, or freeze response to a feared stimulus. From Rachael Sharman via The Conversation

 

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Image: flickr/refreshment_66 CC-BY-ND 2.0

Vincent Van Gogh painting an iPhone

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: remembering one of music’s great; gender neutral bathrooms at the White House; facing fears; sensing the gist of the world; avoiding empathy burnout.

The loss of an icon. Prince was a symbol for activism and revolution, who called for change and fought for justice, and the steps he took for social justice will not soon be forgotten. From True Activist.

Gender neutral bathrooms. President Obama opens the first gender neutral restroom at The White House. From Maria Caspani via Charisma News.

Scary stories. One author seeks to empower and inspire her young readers through scary stories. From N.D. Wilson via The Atlantic.

The illusion of realitySome neuroscientists argue that the world is nothing like the one we experience through our senses. From Cell Press via Science Daily.

Empathy burnout. The stress of opening ourselves up to the suffering of others can leave us feeling hardened, but forming a goal to alleviate suffering can make empathy feel less draining. From Jamil Zaki via Nautilus.

 

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Image: flickr/JD Hancock CC BY-2.0

Mural of people's faces

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

In this week’s #GeekReads: the surge of singlehood; hashtag activism; moral flip-flopping; universal story structure; irrational preferences.

Families of choice. There has been a shift in the traditional form of family, from marriage and nuclear families to more of an emphasis on individualism. From Bella DePaulo via Nautilus.

#Change. New research from American University’s Center for Media & Social Impact examines the power of hashtags to ignite movement in social change. From American University via PsyPost.

Moral flip-flopping. Research suggests that, for most individuals, moral character is very stable and not so likely to change. From Gerry Everding via Futurity.

From exposition to denouement. Professor Paul Zak discusses the effects of the classic dramatic arc on our brain chemistry, and ultimately on our decisions and actions. From Future of Storytelling via Aeon.

Rationalizing being irrational. A new study examines how our irrational choices go hand in hand with making better choices overall. From Nathan Collins via Pacific Standard.

 

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Image: flickr/Garry Knight CC BY 2.0

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: brain size and extinction risk; chocolate on the brain; impulses towards retribution; the online spread of Ebola fears; the legacy of Harper Lee.

Extinction vulnerability. Surprisingly, animals with larger relative brain sizes may face greater risk of extinction. From Stanford University via Futurity

A chocolate a day. Regularly eating chocolate may help the brain retain mental sharpness. From Tom Jacobs via Pacific Standard.

Crime & Punishment. A philosopher offers a different vision for our country’s justice system, less based on punishment, and more on rehabilitation and empathy. From Neil Levy via Aeon.

Snowballing stress. With the help of the Internet, stress and fear have the ability to spread faster and further than other emotions. From Adrienne Berard via Nautilus.

Take a walk in someone else’s skin. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird reflects a respect not just for the arc of history, but for the hope that it does indeed bend toward justice. From Megan Garber via The Atlantic.

 

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Image: flickr/Ken Teegarden CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Weighing the brain and heart on a scale

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: a new age of news; emotions vs. reason; how television can inspire altruism; extreme do-gooders; gender bias in the media.

Social media bubbles. Viral news sources, tailored to individual users’ likes and profile characteristics, are contributing to a growing news gap. From Angela Phillips via The Conversation.

Emotion-driven morality. Harvard psychology professor Joshua Greene examines the role of emotions in our moral decision-making. From Lauren Cassani Davis via The Atlantic.

Meaningful media. A recent study suggests people are willing to help others from different groups after watching meaningful, uplifting media. From Penn State via PsyPost.

Extreme altruists. Theoretically, the world would be a better place if we were all do-gooders all of the time, but one author studies the realistic implications. From Regan J. Penaluna via Nautilus.

Seen, not heard. New research finds that women are more often seen in media via pictures than heard through their stories or opinions. From Nathan Collins via Pacific Standard.

 

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Image: flickr/Ajari CC BY 2.0

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: the empowering potential of citizen-led science; color and emotion; teaching empathy through dance; uncovering unconscious bias; gender differences in fear behavior.

Citizen-led science. Citizens are taking a more hands-on approach in scientific research and policy decisions that affect their communities. From Andrew Maynard via The Conversation.

Seeing red. Scientists examine the conscious effects of color on our emotions and what behaviors each color evokes. From Danielle Levesque via Psy Post.

Schoolroom salsa. A New York nonprofit brings ballroom dancing to schools to teach kids emotional skills like respect, teamwork, and empathy. From Audrey Cleo Yap via The Atlantic.

Call it like I see it. Unconscious processes, such as a schemas and heuristics, allow us to interpret the physical world and shape our judgment as well as behavior. From Richard E. Nisbett via Nautilus.

Frozen with fear. A study of learned fear behavior in male and female rats may point to possibilities for better treatment for people with PTSD. From Thea Singer via Phys.

 

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Image: flickr/Charlie Marshall CC BY 2.0

Bellanger Gossip statue in Winnipeg

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: gossip as a social skill; the economics of immigration; the view from outer space; living a ‘brain-healthy’ life; political roadblocks.

Hardwired to gossip. Evolutionary psychologists explore the origin of gossip and its prevalence in human society. From The Conversation via Psy Post.

Chasing the American dream. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research compares waves of immigrants over time and how they fit into the American economy. From Gillian B. White via The Atlantic.

“How’s the view?” One researcher explores how seeing the Earth from space can promote a cognitive shift in awareness. From The Conversation via PHYS.

The brain that changes itself. The science of neuroplasticity has led some to believe that we’re not stuck with the brain we’re born with. From Will Storr via Pacific Standard.

Political gridlock. A political scientist argues that negative feelings, not ideological differences, do more to keep politicians from compromise. From Jim Patterson via Futurity.

 

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Image: flickr/Dano CC BY 2.0

Scared cat

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: the benefits of anxiety; story motifs across time; healthy social networks; origins of phobias; links between the amygdala and kindness.

Detecting social threats. Anxious people may process social threats in a different region of the brain than less anxious people. From eLife via Science Daily.

Story skeletons. From perilous journeys to brave new worlds, the structure of storytelling remains much the same across time. From John Yorke via The Atlantic.

Healthy relationships. A recent study finds strong social relationships can help to reduce health risks throughout a person’s life. From University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill via PsyPost.

Pre-wired fear? A lack of understanding of how fear is acquired can lead us to believe that phobias are pre-wired when in fact they may be more of an adaptation. From Graham C.L. Davey Ph.D. via Psychology Today.

Monkeying around. By observing amygdala activity in rhesus macaques, researchers can predict when one monkey will behave charitably toward another. From Michele Berger via Futurity.

 

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Image: flickr/Dat CC BY-ND 2.0

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