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Brains & Things
STEM-related learning & thinking & doing & being
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Myths Come From Values, Not From Ignorance

Myths Come From Values, Not From Ignorance | Brains & Things | Scoop.it

Like many interested in how we apply basic cognitive science to education, I was interested in the recent finding that many teachers still endorse many myths and misconceptions about neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Here is the original paper, and an excellent op-ed by Chris Chabris and Dan Simons in the Wall Street Journal. One interesting element of the experiment was that teachers who knew the most were also the most misinformed (from Chabris and Simons):

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Sleeping Brain Behaves as if It's Remembering Something

Sleeping Brain Behaves as if It's Remembering Something | Brains & Things | Scoop.it

UCLA researchers have for the first time measured the activity of a brain region known to be involved in learning, memory and Alzheimer's disease during sleep. They discovered that this region, called the entorhinal cortex, behaves as if it's remembering something, even during anesthesia–induced sleep — a finding that counters conventional theories about sleep-time memory consolidation.

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‘Balanced’ News Reports May Only Inflame

‘Balanced’ News Reports May Only Inflame | Brains & Things | Scoop.it

Hearing both sides of an argument doesn’t tend to sway those with rigid views.

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Graduate Them, Don’t Incarcerate Them!

Graduate Them, Don’t Incarcerate Them! | Brains & Things | Scoop.it

Schools need to rethink zero-tolerance policies and stop abdicating their responsibility for the young to the police. The criminalization of school-based offenses, usually nonviolent in nature, helps drive the juggernaut of mass incarceration that is crushing low-income communities of color. If we want young people to develop concern for others and values based in respect and fair play, school has to become a model of fairness, caring, and respect.

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The Science of “Chunking,” Working Memory, and How Pattern Recognition Fuels Creativity

The Science of “Chunking,” Working Memory, and How Pattern Recognition Fuels Creativity | Brains & Things | Scoop.it

“Generating interesting connections between disparate subjects is what makes art so fascinating to create and to view . . . we are forced to contemplate a new, higher pattern that binds lower ones together.”

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Sleepless Nights May Put The Aging Brain At Risk Of Dementia

Researchers have found an association between sleep problems among older adults and dementia later in life. If diagnosed early, treatments like controlling stimuli before bed can help and possibly reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
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Why We Let Politicians Lie. The Difference Between Being Lied TO, and Lied FOR

Why We Let Politicians Lie. The Difference Between Being Lied TO, and Lied FOR | Brains & Things | Scoop.it

Psychologists have lots of names for the mental tricks we use to hear what we want to hear, and trust and believe who and what we want to trust and believe; selective perception, motivated reasoning, cognitive dissonance. These are all subconscious mental tools that help us interpret information in order to make judgments and decisions that are good for us.

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Buddhism as a “Science of the Mind”

Buddhism as a “Science of the Mind” | Brains & Things | Scoop.it

Buddhism is not a collection of views. It is a practice to help us eliminate wrong views. – Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of Buddha's Teaching.

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Re-opening Windows

Re-opening Windows | Brains & Things | Scoop.it
The brain acquires certain skills—from visual perception to language—during critical windows, specific times in early life when the brain is actively shaped by...
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Psychology of Internet Trolls: Researchers Explain Rise of Cyberbullying and Why People Seem Angrier on the Internet

Alan Manevitz, a clinical psychiatrist at New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital, theorizes that people feel a freedom of speech that they cannot feel elsewhere, where there are few, if any, consequences.
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Drew Bulbuk's curator insight, June 25, 2013 8:27 PM

This is probably the best article that I read overall.  Oftentimes I've heard someone mention that they can say whatever they want online because it's their freedom to do so.  As Alan Manevitz, a clinical phychiatrist at New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital says, people online feel a freedom that they can't feel anywhere else, which empowers them to act on certain fantasies.  Simon Rego, a director of phychology training at director at New York City's Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College, explained to Health Magazine that our brains are hard-wired to take on non-verbal cues such as body language, tone, and facial expressions.  Those are taken away online, which very easily heightens people's level of discourse.  The article actually starts with a heartfelt scenario-an olympic diverer wanted to win the gold medal for his deceased father, only to fall short.  An annonymouse person tweeted at him after he failed to win, mocking him about his dad.  This is such a terrible thought, and it leaves me to wonder what that scenario would look like if that person was face to face with the diver.  Would he berate him, feel bad for him, or do nothing at all?  My guess is that he certainly wouldn't say anything negative, and this article is spot on with those points.

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If you are not in the group, you will not be in consciousness.

If you are not in the group, you will not be in consciousness. | Brains & Things | Scoop.it

What is the influence of social cognitions on consciousness? There is ample data that our response to visual stimuli depends on our social biases. However, perhaps visual perception per se is not altered, but only our responses to these percepts.

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How Depression Shrinks the Brain

How Depression Shrinks the Brain | Brains & Things | Scoop.it

Certain brain regions in people with major depression are smaller and less dense than those of their healthy counterparts. Now, researchers have traced the genetic reasons for this shrinkage.

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Why is it so hard to give good directions?

Why is it so hard to give good directions? | Brains & Things | Scoop.it
Psychologically speaking it is a tricky task, because our minds find it difficult to appreciate how the world looks to someone who doesn't know it yet.
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The Effects of Poverty on the Brain

Unfortunately, stress and poverty go hand-in-hand. More important than unhealthy lifestyles and lack of access to good healthcare, chronic stress makes many susceptible to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes. The impact upon the brain is seen with those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder: the hippocampus part of their brains is atrophied.

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Muhammad Ishbir Azhad's curator insight, January 30, 2013 7:17 PM

This is my insight. Poverty could make a huge effect on the brain. One of the effect is being stress. These people are stressed as they carry lots and lots of burden. Another reason why they are stressed is because they live in violent neighborhoods, walk across many busy vehicular intersections. These people are also likely to get bullied alot. They have a very high level of stress of this could affect their lives. We, should be thankful that we grew up in a well-to-do family. Nonetheless, we should not forget about the people living in poverty. We should try our best and help one another to end poverty.

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Why Mental Pictures Can Sway Your Moral Judgment

Some dilemmas produce vivid images in our head — and we're wired to respond emotionally to pictures. That can trigger unconscious biases that influence our judgment of right and wrong.
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Love To Hate Cilantro? It's In Your Genes And Maybe, In Your Head

Love To Hate Cilantro? It's In Your Genes And Maybe, In Your Head | Brains & Things | Scoop.it
From stinky, crushed bugs to fresh citrus aromas, cilantro's flavor profile is a contentious issue. But is our opinion of the herb hard-wired in our genes, or can we learn to enjoy it? Scientists say maybe it's both.
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The Surprising Motivational Power of Self-Compassion

The Surprising Motivational Power of Self-Compassion | Brains & Things | Scoop.it
We all make mistakes, but should you beat yourself up or show a little mercy?
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Book Review - Proofiness - By Charles Seife

Book Review - Proofiness - By Charles Seife | Brains & Things | Scoop.it

Seife, a veteran science writer who teaches journalism at New York University, examines the many ways that people fudge with numbers, sometimes just to sell more moisturizer but also to ruin our economy, rig our elections, convict the innocent and undercount the needy. Many of his stories would be darkly funny if they weren’t so infuriating.

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Touring the brain

Touring the brain | Brains & Things | Scoop.it

"We effectively have three evolutionary versions of brains in our heads. Our brains are rather like a city that has existed since ancient times...."

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Piano Tuning May Change the Brain

Piano Tuning May Change the Brain | Brains & Things | Scoop.it

Years of playing the piano will alter the brain, but what about years of tuning the instrument? New research show that changes the structure of the mind, too.

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Why Do People REALLY Tweet? The Psychology Behind Tweeting!

Why Do People REALLY Tweet? The Psychology Behind Tweeting! | Brains & Things | Scoop.it
What are the real, closeted reasons behind the action of “tweeting”? Why would someone spend hours tweeting to complete strangers he/she has never met before and will probably never meet in person? What needs does tweeting fulfill?
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The Anatomy of Fear | Visual.ly

The Anatomy of Fear | Visual.ly | Brains & Things | Scoop.it
Humans more fit to fear dangerous situations survived more, therefore as a survival mechanism we've learned to have fears.
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Reality Is Flat. (Or Is It?)

Reality Is Flat. (Or Is It?) | Brains & Things | Scoop.it
Adopting the reductionism that equates humans with other animals or computers has a serious downside: it wipes out the meaning of your own life.
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An Anthropologist Walks Into A Bar And Asks, 'Why Is This Joke Funny?'

Graduate student Robert Lynch is on a quest to deconstruct our built-in instinct for humor, and find out why making people laugh could be important to the way we've adapted to survive.
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