Dissecting the empathic brain: An interview with Christian Keysers Why do we shudder when we watch a tarantula crawling across James Bond’s chest in a 007 movie? And what can looking into a monkey’s brain tell us about our capacity to share in the emotional experiences of other people? Answers to these questions appear in The Empathic Brain: How the Discovery of Mirror Neurons Changes our Understanding of Human Nature, the fascinating and entertaining new book by Christian Keysers, Professor for the Social Brain at the University Groningen in the Netherlands. Keysers, one of the world’s most distinguished and innovative neuroscientists, was part of the famous team at the University of Parma, Italy, that discovered auditory mirror neurons in the macaque monkey, which has revolutionised thinking about how empathy works in human beings. In this exclusive interview for Outrospection, I talk to him about his book, and how far neuroscience has really taken us in our understanding of empathy. We all know this, and take it for granted.
How Memory Works: an Infographic For our blog’s sections on ‘Your Brain‘ and ‘Test Prep‘, we’re always on the lookout for great articles, videos and charts on memory and retention. By helping you understand how our brains work, we want to allow you to try different approaches to studying that will hopefully help you become better learners for life. Over time, we’ve compiled articles on brain foods, how motivation and memory works, methods for better retention, … If we take a look at the sum of all articles and areas of interest, it seems obvious that there should be one chart that combines all of these elements that make up and influence our memory. Thanks to onlinecolleges.com, there now is. Dr. Bill, whom some of you may know as the “Memory Medic”, wrote a short mention of this infographic on this blog after one of its creators mentioned it to him.
Weight Loss Improves Memory John Gunstad, an associate professor in Kent State University’s Department of Psychology, and a team of researchers have discovered a link between weight loss and improved memory and concentration. The study shows that bariatric surgery patients exhibited improved memory function 12 weeks after their operations. “The initial idea came from our clinical work,” Gunstad said. “I was working at Brown Medical School in Rhode Island at the time and had the chance to work with a large number of people who were looking to lose weight through either behavioral means or weight loss surgery.” of Gunstad discussing his research Gunstad said he kept noticing that these patients would make similar mistakes. The researchers discovered that bariatric surgery patients demonstrated improved memory and concentration 12 weeks after surgery, improving from the slightly impaired range to the normal range. Gunstad thinks the study is reason for optimism.
47 Mind-Blowing Psychology-Proven Facts You Should Know About Yourself I’ve decided to start a series called 100 Things You Should Know about People. As in: 100 things you should know if you are going to design an effective and persuasive website, web application or software application. Or maybe just 100 things that everyone should know about humans! The order that I’ll present these 100 things is going to be pretty random. Dr. <div class="slide-intro-bottom"><a href=" How to Study Less by Learning Things Once You read over your notes. Then you read them over again. Then you read them over a third time. Then you take the test and are surprised at just how much you missed. Despite reading everything three times! A lot of study time is wasted because of one problem: you fail to learn things the first time around. Repeatedly going over the same information like putting a band-aid over a sieve. The key to reducing the amount of time you study is simple: learn things the first time you see them, instead of after dozens of repetitions. This is all easier said than done. Step One: Find the Holes If you want to repair a leaky brain, you need to figure out where the holes are. What from this section am I most likely to forget? When you identify weak points, you can invest more time in fixing those instead of wasting time with a blanket studying technique of all information. Step Two: Repair Weak Points Once you’ve identified potential weak-points, you should immediately seek to fix them. Memorizing?
14 Old-School Ways to Remember Stuff | Reader's Digest Version Count to 20Here's a fun way for the kids to learn:One, Two, buckle my shoe, Three, Four, knock at the door, Five, Six, pick up sticks, Seven, Eight, lay them straight, Nine, Ten, a big fat hen, Eleven, Twelve, dig and delve, Thirteen, Fourteen, maids a-courting, Fifteen, Sixteen, maids in the kitchen, Nineteen, Twenty, my plate's empty. <strong>Count to 20</strong><br />Here's a fun way for the kids to learn:<br />One, Two, buckle… A Radical New Definition of Addiction Creates a Big Storm | Drugs If you think addiction is all about booze, drugs, sex, gambling, food and other irresistible vices, think again. And if you believe that a person has a choice whether or not to indulge in an addictive behavior, get over it. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) blew the whistle on these deeply held notions with its official release of a new document defining addiction as a chronic neurological disorder involving many brain functions, most notably a devastating imbalance in the so-called reward circuitry. This fundamental impairment in the experience of pleasure literally compels the addict to chase the chemical highs produced by substances like drugs and alcohol and obsessive behaviors like sex, food and gambling. Indeed, the new neurologically focused definition debunks, in whole or in part, a host of common conceptions about addiction. The bad behaviors themselves are all symptoms of addiction, not the disease itself.
Forgetting is part of remembering It's time for forgetting to get some respect, says Ben Storm, author of a new article on memory in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. "We need to rethink how we're talking about forgetting and realize that under some conditions it actually does play an important role in the function of memory," says Storm, who is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "Memory is difficult. Thinking is difficult," Storm says. Memories and associations accumulate rapidly. But, fortunately, that isn't what happens. In one kind of experiment, participants are given a list of words that have some sort of relation to each other. People who are good at forgetting information they don't need are also good at problem solving and at remembering something when they're being distracted with other information. There are plenty of times when forgetting makes sense in daily life.
10 Things That Can Influence Our Memory Health When we experience something, there’s a variety of different factors which determine how well we’ll remember it—and how we’ll feel about it later on. Science has tasked itself with exploring the things which make our memory tick. Here are ten ways you can manipulate this fundamental part of your mind: Sounds During Sleep Reinforce Memories Scientists have found that memories associated with sound can be reinforced by playing those sounds softly to people while they sleep. In a similar study by the same researchers, participants were asked to remember random locations of images on a screen, each of which was associated with a sound. The scientists involved believe that we use our sleep to process and consolidate our memories. The jury’s out on what practical use this might have—but it at least suggests that we may be able to influence what we remember, with the help of a carefully chosen sound track. Distractions (When You’re Old) As we get older, we tend to become more forgetful.
Einstein On Creative Thinking: Music and the Intuitive Art of Scientific Imagination "The greatest scientists are artists as well," said Albert Einstein (Calaprice, 2000, 245). As one of the greatest physicists of all time and a fine amateur pianist and violinist, he ought to have known! So what did Einstein mean and what does it tell us about the nature of creative thinking and how we should stimulate it? In our last post, we suggested that community singing might be a simple way to introduce creativity into one's life. For Einstein, insight did not come from logic or mathematics. But how, then, did art differ from science for Einstein? Einstein first described his intuitive thought processes at a physics conference in Kyoto in 1922, when he indicated that he used images to solve his problems and found words later (Pais, 1982). Anyone in science education reading this?! In other interviews, he attributed his scientific insight and intuition mainly to music. Wow! So much for Einstein's admission that he often had a feeling he was right without being able to explain it.