Neuroscience and Psychology
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This month, we feature videos of a Greater Good presentation by Rick Hanson, the best-selling author and trailblazing psychologist. In this excerpt from his talk, Dr. Hanson explains how we can take advantage of the brain’s natural “plasticity”—it’s ability to change shape over time.
Everybody will tell you that memory can't be trusted. When they say that, of course, what they mean is other people's memories can't be trusted. We don't like to think that everything we know about the world is based on a deeply flawed and illogical storage system. We're not talking about being bad at matching faces with names here.
What you’ll be hearing is a fluid audio loop that sounds as thought it is getting lower and lower—like a balloon slowly deflating but never becoming flat. How It Works If you’re anything like HighLab, you too were totally amazed by the Shepard Tone . For this reason, we’re going to hang out a bit with Shepard’s cohort, the famed French electric music composer Jean-Claude Risset, and have ourselves more mind-boggling good times listening to this related audio high, the Shepard-Risset Glissando.
In Go Mobile , the book I’ve written with Jeanne Hopkins from HubSpot, we review a list of the 14 most powerful words in marketing so that readers can use them in their mobile marketing campaigns. This post gives you a sneak peak at the list that’s included in the book. Enjoy.
Not too long ago, a friend of mine named Ken Robbins who runs Response Mine Interactive told me there are only three things people are interested in paying money for — Love, Weight Loss and Getting Rich. He was simplifying things a bit. After all, Ken’s company sells plenty of things that don’t have to do with love, weight loss or getting rich. But his point was a good one — that humans function in very basic, very instinctive ways.
Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation. It therefore occurs when there is a need to accommodate new ideas, and it may be necessary for it to develop so that we become "open" to them. Neighbour (1992) makes the generation of appropriate dissonance into a major feature of tutorial (and other) teaching: he shows how to drive this kind of intellectual wedge between learners' current beliefs and "reality". Beyond this benign if uncomfortable aspect, however, dissonance can go "over the top", leading to two interesting side-effects for learning: if someone is called upon to learn something which contradicts what they already think they know — particularly if they are committed to that prior knowledge — they are likely to resist the new learning .
Fear burns memories into our brain, and new research by University of California, Berkeley, neuroscientists explains how. Scientists have long known that fear and other highly emotional experiences lead to incredibly strong memories. In a study appearing online today (Tuesday, June 14) in advance of publication in the journal Molecular Psychiatry , UC Berkeley’s Daniela Kaufer and colleagues report a new way for emotions to affect memory: The brain’s emotional center, the amygdala, induces the hippocampus, a relay hub for memory, to generate new neurons. The figure shows newly born nerve cells (green) colocalizing with a neuronal marker which indicates immature nerve cells (red). Astrocytes are labelled in blue. In a fearful situation, these newborn neurons get activated by the amygdala and may provide a “blank slate” on which the new fearful memory can be strongly imprinted, she said.
In modern psychology , cognitive dissonance is the feeling of discomfort when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions : ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions. In a state of dissonance, people may sometimes feel "disequilibrium": frustration, hunger, dread, guilt, anger, embarrassment, anxiety, etc. [ 1 ] The phrase was coined by Leon Festinger in his 1956 book When Prophecy Fails , which chronicled the followers of a UFO cult as reality clashed with their fervent belief in an impending apocalypse. [ 2 ] [ 3 ] Festinger subsequently (1957) published a book called A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance in which he outlines the theory. Cognitive dissonance is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.
Conciousness and free will
Psychopaths and sociopaths
Image by AFP/Getty Images via Daylife Several great psychology and neuroscience studies were published in 2009. Below I’ve chosen 10 that I think are among the most noteworthy, not just because they’re interesting, but useful as well. 1. If you have to choose between buying something or spending the money on a memorable experience, go with the experience.