12.08.2010 - Our brains are wired so we can better hear ourselves speak, new study shows Like the mute button on the TV remote control, our brains filter out unwanted noise so we can focus on what we’re listening to. But when it comes to following our own speech, a new brain study from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that instead of one homogenous mute button, we have a network of volume settings that can selectively silence and amplify the sounds we make and hear. Activity in the auditory cortex when we speak and listen is amplified in some regions of the brain and muted in others. In this image, the black line represents muting activity when we speak. Neuroscientists from UC Berkeley, UCSF and Johns Hopkins University tracked the electrical signals emitted from the brains of hospitalized epilepsy patients. Their findings, published today (Dec. 8, 2010) in the Journal of Neuroscience, offer new clues about how we hear ourselves above the noise of our surroundings and monitor what we say.
The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science Illustration: Jonathon Rosen "A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Festinger and several of his colleagues had infiltrated the Seekers, a small Chicago-area cult whose members thought they were communicating with aliens—including one, "Sananda," who they believed was the astral incarnation of Jesus Christ. Through her, the aliens had given the precise date of an Earth-rending cataclysm: December 21, 1954. Festinger and his team were with the cult when the prophecy failed. Read also: the truth about Climategate.At first, the group struggled for an explanation. From that day forward, the Seekers, previously shy of the press and indifferent toward evangelizing, began to proselytize. In the annals of denial, it doesn't get much more extreme than the Seekers. The theory of motivated reasoning builds on a key insight of modern neuroscience (PDF): Reasoning is actually suffused with emotion (or what researchers often call "affect").
Programmes | Happiness Formula | Searching the brain for happiness For thousands of years people have pursued happiness, but the problem has been that it has always been seen as a kind of fuzzy concept. But now, in a new BBC Two series called The Happiness Formula, neuroscientists say happiness is tangible and the result of brain activity - you can see it and even measure it. Dr Kringelbach is a contributor to the programme. In November 2005 the Dalai Lama was invited to speak at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington DC. While this event was not without controversy, his speech was generally well received and surprised many scientists with his remarkable open-mindedness, particularly concerning the validity of neuroscientific enquiry. The Dalai Lama described a normal person's mind as "a troublemaker" and confessed that he "still feels anger and fear". Meditation, he said, can help. The pursuit of happiness is a preoccupation for many of us and has probably been since the dawn of mankind. Pleasure centre Wanting and liking
Ads Implant False Memories | Wired Science My episodic memory stinks. All my birthday parties are a blur of cake and presents. I’m notorious within my family for confusing the events of my own childhood with those of my siblings. I’m like the anti-Proust. And yet, I have this one cinematic memory from high-school. It’s an admittedly odd detail for an otherwise logo free scene, as if Coke had paid for product placement in my brain. So where did this sentimental scene starring soda come from? A new study, published in The Journal of Consumer Research, helps explain both the success of this marketing strategy and my flawed nostalgia for Coke. The experiment went like this: 100 undergraduates were introduced to a new popcorn product called “Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Fresh Microwave Popcorn.” One week later, all the subjects were quizzed about their memory of the product. The scientists refer to this as the “false experience effect,” since the ads are slyly weaving fictional experiences into our very real lives.
List of thought processes Nature of thought Thought (or thinking) can be described as all of the following: An activity taking place in a: brain – organ that serves as the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals (only a few invertebrates such as sponges, jellyfish, adult sea squirts and starfish do not have a brain). It is the physical structure associated with the mind. mind – abstract entity with the cognitive faculties of consciousness, perception, thinking, judgement, and memory. Types of thoughts Content of thoughts Types of thought (thinking) Listed below are types of thought, also known as thinking processes. Animal thought See Animal cognition Human thought Human thought Classifications of thought Williams' Taxonomy Creative processes Creative processes – Decision-making Decision-making Erroneous thinking see Error for some examples, see also Human error) Emotional intelligence (emotionally based thinking) Reasoning –
Letter-Color Synaesthesia For as long as I can remember, I've had this implicit sense of a relationship between letters and colors. To me, every letter seems to have a color of its own. When I think of a word, I am aware of its color and the color of its component letters. The phenomenon is consistent enough that I can rely on it to help me remember things like phone numbers and proper names. I call it my letter-color synaesthesia. Webster's Dictionary defines synaesthesia as "the production of a mental sense-impression relating to one sense by the stimulation of another sense." The effect is completely involuntary. Here's an approximation of the basic mapping of the letters and numerals, taken individually, to colors: Here they are again, over a dark background: This may seem odd, but it gets stranger. First of all, vowels almost always fade into the background in the presence of consonants. In longer words, the repetition of a single letter can even influence the other consonants, as in this case:
Deindividuation The Misconception: People who riot and loot are scum who were just looking for an excuse to steal and be violent. The Truth: You are are prone to losing your individuality and becoming absorbed into a hivemind under the right conditions. Source: Improv Everywhere When a crowd gathers near a suicidal jumper something terrible is unleashed. In Seattle in 2001, a 26-year-old woman who had recently ended a relationship held up traffic for a little too long as she considered the implications of leaping to her death. As motorists began to back-up on the bridge and become irate, they started yelling “Jump, bitch, jump!” Cases like this aren’t unusual. In 2008, a 17-year old man jumped from the top of a parking garage in England after 300 or so people chanted for him to go for it. In San Francisco, in 2010, a man stepped onto the ledge of his apartment window and contemplated dropping from the building. Within a crowd like this many will retain their sense of right and wrong. Source: El Destructo
How Great Entrepreneurs Think What distinguishes great entrepreneurs? Discussions of entrepreneurial psychology typically focus on creativity, tolerance for risk, and the desire for achievement—enviable traits that, unfortunately, are not very teachable. So Saras Sarasvathy, a professor at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, set out to determine how expert entrepreneurs think, with the goal of transferring that knowledge to aspiring founders. While still a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon, Sarasvathy—with the guidance of her thesis supervisor, the Nobel laureate Herbert Simon—embarked on an audacious project: to eavesdrop on the thinking of the country's most successful entrepreneurs as they grappled with business problems. Sarasvathy identified 245 U.S. entrepreneurs who met her criteria, and 45 of them agreed to participate. Sarasvathy concluded that master entrepreneurs rely on what she calls effectual reasoning. Do the doable, then push it Here's another: Woo partners first And:
Why Does Beauty Exist? | Wired Science Over at the always excellent Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ed Yong summarizes a new investigation into the neural substrate of beauty: Tomohiro Ishizu and Semir Zeki from University College London watched the brains of 21 volunteers as they looked at 30 paintings and listened to 30 musical excerpts. All the while, they were lying inside an fMRI scanner, a machine that measures blood flow to different parts of the brain and shows which are most active. The recruits rated each piece as “beautiful”, “indifferent” or “ugly”.The scans showed that one part of their brains lit up more strongly when they experienced beautiful images or music than when they experienced ugly or indifferent ones – the medial orbitofrontal cortex or mOFC.Several studies have linked the mOFC to beauty, but this is a sizeable part of the brain with many roles. On the one hand, it’s not exactly shocking that beauty can be sourced to the cortex. But why does beauty exist? Photo: Courtesy of aclintonb, via Flickr
Social Psychology Links by Subtopic Attitudes and Social Cognition: Persuasion and Propaganda: Marketing and Selling: MarketingPower.com (American Marketing Association) National Association of Sales ProfessionalsMarketing Research AssociationSelling Power (tools, skills, and resources for sales professionals) Internet Marketing Center (focuses on Internet-based marketing) Social Marketing: Social Marketing (overview from Wikipedia) Social-Marketing.com (general information and resources) Social Marketing Quarterly (journal devoted exclusively to topic) Social Marketing in Public Health Conference (annual USF event) Social Marketing Resources (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Social Marketing Downunder (New Zealand, Australia, and South Pacific) Research Centers on Social Marketing: Social Marketing Institute (clearinghouse and research group) Institute for Social Marketing (University of Stirling, Scotland) Centre for Social Marketing (Carleton University, Canada) National Social Marketing Centre (U.K. Advertising:
5 Ways To Hack Your Brain Into Awesomeness Much of the brain is still mysterious to modern science, possibly because modern science itself is using brains to analyze it. There are probably secrets the brain simply doesn't want us to know. But by no means should that stop us from tinkering around in there, using somewhat questionable and possibly dangerous techniques to make our brains do what we want. We can't vouch for any of these, either their effectiveness or safety. #5. So you just picked up the night shift at your local McDonald's, you have class every morning at 8am and you have no idea how you're going to make it through the day without looking like a guy straight out of Dawn of the Dead, minus the blood... hopefully. "SLEEEEEEEEEP... uh... What if we told you there was a way to sleep for little more than two hours a day, and still feel more refreshed than taking a 12-hour siesta on a bed made entirely out of baby kitten fur? Holy Shit! We're pretty sure Kramer did this once on Seinfeld. How Does It Work? #4. #3. 1. 2. 3.
Exploding head syndrome Exploding head syndrome (EHS) is a form of hypnagogic auditory hallucination and is a rare and relatively undocumented parasomnia event in which the subject experiences a loud bang in their head similar to a bomb exploding, a gun going off, a clash of cymbals, ringing, an earthquake, or any other form of loud, indecipherable noise that seems to originate from inside the head. This noise usually happens at the onset of sleep or within an hour or two of falling asleep, but is not necessarily the result of a dream. Although the sound is perceived as extremely loud, it is usually not accompanied by pain. Attacks appear to change in number over time, with several attacks happening in a space of days or weeks, followed by months of remission. Sufferers often feel a sense of fear and anxiety before and after an attack, accompanied by elevated heart rate. Causes Related phenomena These loud noises are a common feature of out-of-body experiences. Symptoms See also Notes