All posts in “Digital”

Handicap accesible parking

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: the Nobel Peace Prize for educators; the spectrum of varying ability; empathy through opera; improving customer recommendations through artificial empathy; hardwired for altruism.

Destigmatizing disabilities. In a culture where genetic mutations stand in for entire identities, Sara Hendren wants to change cultural understandings of disability. From Ankur Paliwal via Nautilus.

Building peace. A Palestinian teacher and former refugee who advocates non-violence was honored with the Global Teacher of the Year Award. From Amanda Froelich via True Activist.

A soldier’s tale. A new opera based on the actual experiences of Christian Ellis, a trained opera singer who enlisted in the Iraq War, brings healing and empathy. From Neda Ulaby via NPR.

Artificial empathy. Marketing researcher Shasha Lu is developing software that can infer people’s internal state based on information they emit from facial expressions or responses. From University of Cambridge via Phys.

Inherently prosocial. Recent studies show that the brain is naturally altruistic, and that increasing empathy is possible through noninvasive procedures. From UCLA via Science Daily.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Shawn Campbell CC BY 2.0

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

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


Doll listens to iPhone

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: iPhone addiction; measuring moral development in children; steer clear of workplace miscommunication; learning through punishment; gaining human perspective from multiple languages.


Separation anxiety. Can you live without your phone? A new study explores the anxiety and irrational fears people experience when parted from their smart devices. From Natalie Shoemaker via Big Think.

False witness. The impact of moral evaluations on decision-making changes with age, which may be important when considering eyewitness testimony. From American Psychological Association via PsyPost.

As clear as mud. Illusions of transparency can make us believe our feelings and intentions are crystal clear, when in fact others are misinterpreting us. From Emily Esfahani Smith via Business Insider.

Learn from your mistakes. While it is commonly believed that rewards elicit desired behavior, recent research suggests that punishments may sometimes serve as stronger motivators. From Gaia Remerowski via Futurity.

Benefits of being bilingual. A new study suggests children who speak multiple languages may have an easier time taking others’ perspectives and communicating effectively. From Nathan Collins via Pacific Standard.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Charles Rodstrom, CC-NC-ND BY 2.0

Dr Strange gives Charlie Brown psychiatric advice

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

In this week’s #GeekReads: debunking dubious “science”; creating network-oriented nonprofits; capturing attention on social media; how trust shapes the brain; fighting anti-Muslim sentiment with comedy.


Neurobollocks. Neuroscience has been used to lend credibility to some dubious claims about human psychology. Dr. Christian Jarrett cuts through the hype in a new video. From Simon Oxenham via Big Think.

The webs we weave. By strategically building social networks that are mobilized around a common goal, nonprofits can increase their impact as movement makers. From Charlie Brown via Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Look over here! How do we rise above the noise on social media? A look into the science of capturing people’s attention. From Will Yakowicz via Big Think.

Can I trust you? Researchers have discovered structural differences in the brain reflecting how trusting people are of others. From University of Georgia via PsyPost.

Laughter is the best cure. Comedian Maz Jobrani uses comedy to challenge Muslim stereotypes and bridge cultural divides. From Robin Wright via The Atlantic.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/JD Hancock, CC BY 2.0

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

This week’s #GeekReads: communication victories in the Internet age; the chaotic origins of public consensus; controlling the brain’s reactionary prejudice; when science and politics clash; inspiration through storytelling. 


We need to talk.  Before the Internet, some foundations and nonprofits viewed external communications as secondary to the “real work.” In today’s sea of information, innovative digital strategies are essential to make your organization heard. From Andrew Sherry via Stanford Social Innovation Review.

The people have spoken! New research explores how popular consensus—on everything from public policy to baby names—can arise out of chaos. From Orion Jones via Big Think.

“You’re either in or you’re out.” We make snap judgments about strangers in a fraction of a second. Amygdala activation and the frontal cortices of the brain may be key to understanding (and controlling) our reactionary prejudice. From Caitlin Millett via Business Insider.

Ideology before science. Most Americans care about scientific opinion when it comes to public policy issues, but what happens when scientific findings clash with political world views?  From Tom Jacobs via Pacific Standard.

Living by the book. From Homer to Anne Frank, powerful stories trigger empathy and identification and can shape our thought processes as though we lived the experiences ourselves. From Elizabeth Svoboda via Aeon.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Rob McDonaldCC BY 2.0


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