The brain and illusions
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The brain and illusions
What can illusions teach us about the brain?
Curated by Gerald Carey
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What know-it-alls don’t know, or the illusion of competence – Kate Fehlhaber | Aeon Ideas

What know-it-alls don’t know, or the illusion of competence – Kate Fehlhaber | Aeon Ideas | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
One day in 1995, a large, heavy middle-aged man robbed two Pittsburgh banks in broad daylight. He didn’t wear a mask or any sort of disguise. And he smiled at surveillance cameras before walking out of each bank. Later that night, police arreste
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A good article explaining the Dunning-Kruger effect where people can sometimes be so incompetent that they don't know they are incompetent.
 
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Introducing the Invisibility Cloak Illusion: We think we’re more observant (and less observed) than everyone else

Introducing the Invisibility Cloak Illusion: We think we’re more observant (and less observed) than everyone else | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Other people are probably paying more attention to you than you think, but that doesn't mean they're judging you. By Juliet Hodges
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In research published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Erica Boothby and her colleagues show how we have a tendency to believe that we are incredibly socially observant ourselves, while those around us are less so. These assumptions combine to create the illusion that we observe others more than they observe us.
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Confirmation Bias: How Intelligent People Develop Totally Incorrect Beliefs - PsyBlog

Confirmation Bias: How Intelligent People Develop Totally Incorrect Beliefs - PsyBlog | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Study debunks long-held myth probably arising from the confirmation bias.
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An all too brief article on this phenomenon. It focuses on the belief that people go more crazy during a full moon even though there is no evidence for this.
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The Road to Pseudoscientific Thinking

The Road to Pseudoscientific Thinking | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
How to prevent the most salient feature from being the least informative
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A short article from Scientific American indicating why we are more likely to remember useless ideas.
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How liars create the illusion of truth

How liars create the illusion of truth | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Repetition makes a fact seem more true, regardless of whether it is or not. Understanding this effect can help you avoid falling for propaganda, says psychologist Tom Stafford. “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”, is a law of propaganda often attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels. Among psychologists something like this…
Gerald Carey's insight:
An article on the 'illusion of truth' effect - what causes it and how we can guard against it.
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Yasmine Nouar's curator insight, April 1, 8:07 AM
An article on the 'illusion of truth' effect - what causes it and how we can guard against it.
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The basic neurobiology behind the visual illusion that is ‘here to break the internet’.

The basic neurobiology behind the visual illusion that is ‘here to break the internet’. | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
At this point, you might already be familiar with the visual illusion which, according to Time Magazine, is here to break the internet. Exactly 12 small black circles are scattered around this image - but the tantalising bit is that you can only see a few of them at any one time. As you move…
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A very detailed explanation of how this illusion works. Get ready for a long read.
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Meet the Animal Masters of Illusion

Meet the Animal Masters of Illusion | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Humans are not the only species to use visual trickery to their advantage
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Another great set of animal illusion examples. 

The post discusses the techniques of masquerade, crypsis and mimicry

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Why people fall for pseudoscience (and how academics can fight back)

Why people fall for pseudoscience (and how academics can fight back) | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Ingrained cognitive biases play a role, as does inverted snobbery about educational privilege. But we must battle on, says this scientist
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This post examines the Sunk Cost fallacy, confirmation and selection bias, the clustering illusion and the Dunning-Kruger effect. It includes some explanations for why will fall for such illusions particularly in the area of health.

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Dunning-Kruger and the curse of knowledge

Dunning-Kruger and the curse of knowledge | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias where a relatively unskilled individual overestimates his level of skill within a particular area. It is thought to arise because the individual lacks the knowledge needed for accurate calibration. If you don't know what an expert performance looks like then you won't realise that you are lacking that expertise.…
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Applying the Dunning-Kruger effect to teaching and learning.

 

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The Illusion of Taste

The Illusion of Taste | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
How packaging can make food more flavorful.
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This lengthy article is an excellent introduction into how food container shapes and colours can affect how the food tastes. It includes information on potato chips, chocolate and Coke.  It reviews the work of Charles Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University.

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Web of illusion: how the internet affects our confidence in what we know

Web of illusion: how the internet affects our confidence in what we know | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
The internet can give us the illusion of knowledge, making us think we are smarter than we really are. Fortunately, there may be a cure for our arrogance, writes psychologist Tom Stafford. The inte...
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A review of research about how access to the internet can give us extra confidence about our knowledge in general.

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Gamblers, Scientists and the Mysterious Hot Hand

Gamblers, Scientists and the Mysterious Hot Hand | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
New research shows how we can be fooled by our instinctive belief in patterns.
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A brief overview of the Gambler's Fallacy.

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The Social-Network Illusion That Tricks Your Mind | MIT Technology Review

The Social-Network Illusion That Tricks Your Mind | MIT Technology Review | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

somNetwork scientists have discovered how social networks can create the illusion that something is common when it is actually rare.

Gerald Carey's insight:

An interesting explanation for why some memes and ideas get spread quickly and others don't. Find the well-connected, early adopters in your friendship group!

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Our Intuitions About the World Are Usually Wrong

Our Intuitions About the World Are Usually Wrong | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
On flat-Earthers, science denial, and why teaching critical thinking isn’t enough.
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Great article on the misconceptions we develop as youngsters and how difficult it is to shake them as you grow older.
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Living a Lie: We Deceive Ourselves to Better Deceive Others

Living a Lie: We Deceive Ourselves to Better Deceive Others | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
New research provides the first evidence for a theory first put forward in the 1970s
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Deceiving ourselves might be for more than just self-enhancement or increasing motivation.
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The "Bad Is Black" Effect

The "Bad Is Black" Effect | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Research finds darker skin is associated with perceptions of evil
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Article summarising recent research which indicates that reporters are more likely to use darker-skinned images of humans in articles of a more negative nature.
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Kahneman: Your Cognitive Biases Act Like Optical Illusions

Kahneman: Your Cognitive Biases Act Like Optical Illusions | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Blind spots are more than visual.
Gerald Carey's insight:
Daniel Kahneman and why we have cognitive biases. It's a short article but might be incentive to read his book, "Thinking Fast and Slow".
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Is that my hand? How your brain falls for the 'rubber hand illusion'

Is that my hand? How your brain falls for the 'rubber hand illusion' | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
The "rubber hand illusion" tricks people into believing a body part is theirs even though it isn't — and new findings show what's going on in the brain.
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An explanation of the rubber hand illusion. It tells of some unusual actions by the brain during the process.
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Optical Illusions | ASU - Ask A Biologist

Optical Illusions | ASU - Ask A Biologist | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
An optical illusion occurs when you the way you see something is different from what the object really is. Optical illusions occur when there is an error in how the brain interprets what the eyes are seeing. In general, there are 3 types of optical illusions.
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A simple introduction to the three main types of illusions.
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You can train your body into thinking it’s had medicine

You can train your body into thinking it’s had medicine | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Science of life
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Silly picture is irrelevant but the article is intriguing. It is a series of stories about using the placebo effect to increase immuno-suppression instead of taking huge amounts of toxic drugs. It's a bit of a slog to read through but interesting just the same.

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How to evaluate an argument like a trained scientist

How to evaluate an argument like a trained scientist | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

From the pontifications of the politician on the nightly news, to the latest tabloid health scare, we're constantly bombarded by other people's arguments – their attempts to make a particular claim based on some kind of evidence. How best to evaluate all these assertions and counter-assertions? Some insights come from a 

Gerald Carey's insight:

Putting this article within this group of scoops is a bit dodgy but I like the article and can justify it by describing how to avoid illusions in our thinking.  

The article explores the mechanisms used by experience scientists and students in deciding if text examples were plausible.

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Frontal brain wrinkle linked to hallucinations - BBC News

Frontal brain wrinkle linked to hallucinations - BBC News | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Scientists say a particular fold at the front of the brain tends to be shorter in those schizophrenia patients who experience hallucinations.
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New observations about this part of the brain and correlation with those people that experience hallucinations.

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Believing What You Don’t Believe

Believing What You Don’t Believe | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
Sometimes, you’re certain of something you know isn’t true.
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An explanation of why we persist with superstitious rituals even though we know they cannot possibly have any effect on an outcome. 

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What Happens to the Brain During Cognitive Dissonance?

What Happens to the Brain During Cognitive Dissonance? | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it

Cognitive dissonance is that uncomfortable feeling you get when you try to maintain two or more inconsistent beliefs at the same time or when you believe one thing but act in a contradictory way

Gerald Carey's insight:

I've always thought that cognitive dissonance is holding onto a belief despite overwhelming contradictory evidence.  This article is worth a read because it outlines some of the basic neuroscience behind the condition.

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Phantosmia, the brain condition that makes your nose hallucinate

Phantosmia, the brain condition that makes your nose hallucinate | The brain and illusions | Scoop.it
When a skateboarding accident left Serge Negus with no sense of smell, he shrugged it off. But then he began to experience olfactory hallucinations, or phantom smells. He describes what it is like to live with phantosmia, a rare neurological condition.
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A personal story about this experience. It includes an audio clip of the segment from the Science Show.

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