All posts in “Visual Storytelling”


#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: replaying rewarding memories; writing the good and bad; cross-language brain interaction; animating the immigration debate; beyond “victimhood.”

Memory loop. Our brain replays memories of rewarding situations as we rest. From University of California, Davis via Psy Post.

Escaping “likability.” Author Tony Tulathimutte talks about getting away from writing “good,” morally upstanding protagonists. From Joe Fassier via The Atlantic.

Bilingual brains. Learning two languages reshapes the structure and networks in the brain. From Penn State via Psy Post.

Bordertown. A new animated show, set in the fictional Southwest, uses satire and comedy to explore opposing sides of the immigration debate. From Mandalit del Barco via NPR.

Transcending the “victimhood” narrative. One migrant shares his story of prolonged, painful initiation that shaped the man he is today. From Sarah Menkedick via Aeon.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Geof Wilson CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

WALL-E watches himself on TV

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: catching stress through TV screens; the benefits of confusion in the classroom; how rough surfaces can heighten empathy; decision-making and the brain; situational vs. moral wrongs.

Catching stress. We can catch feelings of anxiety from seeing other people under stress, even if we’re watching them on a video screen. From Simone M. Scully via Nautilus.

Confusion in the classroom. A recent study found that students who spent more time in a state of confusion learned more than bored students. From Tania Lombrozo via NPR.

Feeling rough. New research suggests that making contact with a coarse surface can temporarily make you more empathetic. From Tom Jacobs via Pacific Standard.

Weighing options. A relatively neglected section of the brain may play a role in helping us recall the value we assign objects when making decisions. From McGill University Health Centre via Science Daily.

Blanket statements. We often make sweeping condemnations about others’ behavior based on moral principle rather than acknowledging that the behavior may be situational. From Jeremy E. Sherman Ph.D. via Psychology Today.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Smitten CC BY 2.0

human gives monkey a piece of food

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

In this week’s #GeekReads: the evolutionary roots of morality; storytelling in the age of iPads; debunking the “warfare” framing around science and religion; the amygdala and blame; the neurological appeal of bass and rhythm.

Ultra-social nature. A new book explores how our species’ social nature sets us apart from close animal relatives and lays the foundation for morality. From Emily Esfahani Smith via The Atlantic.

Screen time. An early childhood media researcher talks about how screen time is changing the ways kids tell stories. From Allison S Henward via The Conversation.

Science vs. religion. A worldwide survey finds that only a minority of scientists believe religion and science are in conflict. From Rice University via Psy Post.

The blame game. New research on the amygdala helps explain why we are quick to judge others, but slow to give them credit. From Duke University via Science Daily.

All about that bass. This video explains why our brains are hardwired to enjoy bass lines in music. From Caitlin Schneider via Mental Floss.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Vivek Joshi CC BY 2.0

Robot reading

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: the psychological appeal of horror; a controversial depiction of slavery in children’s lit; a voting reform pipe dream; Richard Scarry and the changing times; tricked into disagreeing with ourselves.

Terrify for a living. Author Alana Massey explores what motivates individuals to scare others, while also examining the psychological appeal and impact of horror. Via Pacific Standard.

Bittersweet Dessert. The children’s book A Fine Dessert has some critics concerned about whitewashed representations of slavery. From Leah Donnella via NPR.

Compulsory voting. Could compulsory voting ever be enacted in America? Nicholas Stephanopoulos lays out one possible path, starting at the municipal level. Via The Atlantic.

Illustrating social change. One man’s Flickr set catalogs the subtle but telling revisions made to Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever between 1963 and 1991. From Lisa Wade Ph.D. via Mental Floss.

Selective laziness. A Swedish study drives home the point that we judge reasoning posed by others more harshly than we judge our own. From Melissa Dahl via Science of Us.


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.


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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 


Toy dolls play a video game

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: how television can change your brain; a tribute to Oliver Sacks; reducing the gender gap in computer science; understanding borderline personality disorder; excessive egocentrism.

Socially aware television. Parasocial relationships with television characters can both reduce and reinforce prejudices about race and sexuality. From Maanvi Singh via NPR.

Using imagination to see. Neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks rejected a monolithic mindset and saw medical science as a vast, largely uncharted wilderness to be tamed. From Jerome Groopman via The New Yorker.

Geek chic? Research suggests that designing less ‘geeky’ classrooms can encourage girls to get more involved in computer science. From Molly McElroy from Futurity.

Hard to relate. New research has found that people with borderline personality traits may have lowered brain activity in regions of the brain important for empathy. From University of Georgia via PsyPost.

Excessive egocentrism. Psychologist Nicholas Epley discusses our pervasive belief that we’re on center stage, and how it affects our ability to understand others. From Nicholas Epley via Nautilus.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Kirsi L-M, CC BY-NC-ND 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

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

This week’s #GeekReads also include a few things to look at and watch.  

Our brains on curiosity. Curiosity not only makes us more interested to learn, but more likely to remember what we’ve learned.

The nature of human nature. The you that you think you are (identity) and the you that we think you are (reputation) are explored in the new documentary, The Science of Personality.

Science needs stories. Storytelling has been squeezed out of science. A doctor says stories improve judgment and is advocating for a return to storytelling in science.

Creatures of habit. “When a habit is formed, the brain stops fully participating in decision-making.” There are ways to cue your brain’s autopilot mode and to create positive habits.

The art of ideas. Peter Durand of Alphachimp, the lead scribe at this week’s PopTech, translated people’s presentations into pictures.


What’s been feeding your inner geek this week? Tweet us your #GeekReads at @WonderForGood.


Image: flickr/Stephen Pakbaz, CC BY-SA 2.0


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