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Neurological basis for lack of empathy in psychopaths -- ScienceDaily
When individuals with psychopathy imagine others in pain, brain areas necessary for feeling empathy and concern for others fail to become active and be connected to other important regions involved in affective processing and decision-making, reports a new study.
psychology  mind  brain  neurology  neuroscience  research  science 
28 days ago by msszczep
Putting Down Your Phone May Help You Live Longer - The New York Times
Also, try to notice what anxiety-induced phone cravings feel like in your brain and body — without immediately giving in to them. “If you practice noticing what is happening inside yourself, you will realize that you can choose how to respond,” says Jack Kornfield, a Buddhist teacher at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. “We don’t have to be at the mercy of algorithms that are promoting the fear of missing out.”

Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to create healthy boundaries with devices that are deliberately designed to discourage them. But by reducing our stress levels, doing so won’t just make us feel better day-to-day. It might actually lengthen our lives.
iphone  phone  media  tech  technology  mobile  mind  brain  psychology  addiction  life  lifestyle 
8 weeks ago by msszczep
Hypnic Jerks - The Reason Why We Twitch Before Falling Asleep
A hypnagogic jerk is an involuntary muscle spasm that occurs as a person is drifting off to sleep.
The phenomenon is so named in reference to the hypnagogic state — the transitional period between wakefulness and sleep. Hypnagogic jerks, are also commonly known as hypnic jerks or sleep starts.
body  mind  sleep  brain  health  biology 
8 weeks ago by msszczep
How To Become A Centaur
The old story of AI is about human brains working against silicon brains. The new story of IA will be about human brains working with silicon brains. As it turns out, most of the world is the opposite of a chess game: Non-zero-sum — both players can win.

The chessboard isn’t the only place Human+AI centaurs have had success. From art to engineering, the last few years have seen the rise of centaurs in multiple fields:

In 2002, Sung-Bae Cho created a tool where you and an AI create fashion designs together. The tool simulates the process of evolution, but on dresses. The AI provides the “genetic variation” by randomly generating variants of dresses, and you provide the “natural selection” by using your sense of aesthetics to pick the dresses that will go on to “reproduce” in the next generation.

In 2016, Maurice Conti demonstrated another case of evolutionary AI working with a human, to create a quadcopter body. The human sets goals and constraints for the AI (“try to make the body as light as possible, while still remaining sturdy and having four propellers”) and the AI “evolves” a quadcopter body in response. The human can then “reply” to the AI, by setting further goals or constraints.

In 2016, Zhu et al created a painting tool where you draw in the rough outlines, and an AI photo-realistically fills in the gaps. The human and the AI have an artistic “conversation, through pictures. For example, the human can draw some green lines on the bottom, and the AI replies with several possible photo-realistic grassy fields to choose from. Then, the human can draw a black triangle above that, and the AI replies with several pictures of a mountain behind a grassy field. Through this push and pull between human & machine, art is made.

In all these examples of centaurs, the human chooses the questions, in the form of setting goals and constraints — while the AI generates answers, usually showing multiple possibilities at once, and in real-time to the humans’ questions. But it’s not just a one-way conversation: the human can then respond to the AI’s answers, by asking deeper questions, picking and combining answers, and guiding the AI using human intuition.
ai  mind  brain  neurology  neuroscience  future  computer  computers  research 
february 2018 by msszczep
No “far transfer” – chess, memory training and music just make you better at chess, memory training and music – Research Digest
So far transfer remains a weakly supported concept. Theoretically, the evidence lines up with the “common elements theory” of learning, proposed by Thorndike and Woodworth more than one hundred years ago: learning will have the most relevance for the domains precisely being practiced, some relevance for domains with lots in common, and little for those more removed. The practical implications for education are straightforward: if you want to acquire a skill, train that skill, or at least something closely related.
psychology  learning  education  game  games  chess  music  memory  mind  brain 
december 2017 by msszczep
Accessible science reporting can foster overconfidence in readers – Research Digest
Findings like these pose a dilemma to science communicators – do too good a job and you risk leaving your audience with an inflated sense of confidence. To our mind, the benefit of making science accessible to as many people as possible – while remaining accurate – is too important to sacrifice. But this new research is a reminder that it’s always important to alert readers to the caveats and limitations behind new findings, and that science is a messy process – after all, what’s scientifically supported today may turn out to be false tomorrow.
science  communication  research  journalism  media  psychology  mind  brain 
november 2017 by msszczep
Warning: The Most Dangerously Relaxing Song Ever | Ledger Note
Marconi Union - Weightless
Airstream - Electra
DJ Shah - Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix)
Enya - Watermark
Coldplay - Strawberry Swing
Barcelona - Please Don't Go
All Saints - Pure Shores
Adele - Someone Like You
Mozart - Canzonetta Sull'aria
Cafe Del Mar - We Can Fly
song  songs  reference  list  lists  psychology  mind  brain 
november 2017 by msszczep
Jeremy Howard on Language Acquisition Performance - Quantified Self
Jeremy Howard has been studying Chinese for the last two years. The method he uses is called spaced repetitive learning, found in SuperMemo and Anki, in which you prompt yourself to remember something just before you’re about to forget it. Jeremy wrote his own software to track his learning, including variables such as time of day, what he ate, when he slept, what activity he was doing, etc, and correlated it with his learning. In the video below, he shows some of his data and talks about what surprised him along the way. 
memory  languages  learning  language  psychology  mind  brain  inspiration  video 
november 2017 by msszczep
Psychologists have developed the first scientific test of everyday charisma – Research Digest
Removing any redundancy, the researchers ended up with a six-item self-report measure of charisma loading onto two main factors to do with having influence over others (including being able to guide them) and coming across as affable (being able to make others feel comfortable and at ease).

Participants taking the new test are asked to rate their agreement on a five-point scale from 1 Strongly Disagree to 5 Strongly Agree, whether “I am someone who…”:

Has a presence in a room
Has the ability to influence people
Knows how to lead a group
Makes people feel comfortable
Smiles at people often
Can get along with anyone
psychology  charisma  research  mind  brain  social 
august 2017 by msszczep
Artificial Intelligence Is Stuck. Here’s How to Move It Forward. - The New York Times
Artificial Intelligence is colossally hyped these days, but the dirty little secret is that it still has a long, long way to go. Sure, A.I. systems have mastered an array of games, from chess and Go to “Jeopardy” and poker, but the technology continues to struggle in the real world. Robots fall over while opening doors, prototype driverless cars frequently need human intervention, and nobody has yet designed a machine that can read reliably at the level of a sixth grader, let alone a college student. Computers that can educate themselves — a mark of true intelligence — remain a dream.

Even the trendy technique of “deep learning,” which uses artificial neural networks to discern complex statistical correlations in huge amounts of data, often comes up short. Some of the best image-recognition systems, for example, can successfully distinguish dog breeds, yet remain capable of major blunders, like mistaking a simple pattern of yellow and black stripes for a school bus. Such systems can neither comprehend what is going on in complex visual scenes (“Who is chasing whom and why?”) nor follow simple instructions (“Read this story and summarize what it means”).

Although the field of A.I. is exploding with microdiscoveries, progress toward the robustness and flexibility of human cognition remains elusive.
ai  philosophy  philosophyofmind  research  science  mind  brain 
august 2017 by msszczep
Popularity Status Obsession - Mitch Prinstein Interview
"Psychologists and social scientists have found that there are two kinds of popularity: One type suggests people like us, they trust us, they want to spend time with us, they enjoy their time with us. That kind of popularity is really important — it gives us a benefit in life in so many domains, for decades, whether we experience it in childhood or if we’re likable as adults.
"The second type of popularity is the one we remember from high school, that refers to our status; it reflects our visibility, our influence, our power — our celebrity, in some ways. There’s really interesting research showing that type of popularity — status popularity — does not predict long term positive outcomes. In fact, it leads to despair, addiction, and relationship problems. But most people are still confusing the two types of popularity, and searching for the wrong one."
psychology  highschool  life  success  popular  popularity  mind  brain  failure  hope  inspriation  research  science  socialscience 
june 2017 by msszczep
How to Become a ‘Superager’ - The New York Times
Of course, the big question is: How do you become a superager? Which activities, if any, will increase your chances of remaining mentally sharp into old age? We’re still studying this question, but our best answer at the moment is: work hard at something. Many labs have observed that these critical brain regions increase in activity when people perform difficult tasks, whether the effort is physical or mental. You can therefore help keep these regions thick and healthy through vigorous exercise and bouts of strenuous mental effort. My father-in-law, for example, swims every day and plays tournament bridge.

The road to superaging is difficult, though, because these brain regions have another intriguing property: When they increase in activity, you tend to feel pretty bad — tired, stymied, frustrated. Think about the last time you grappled with a math problem or pushed yourself to your physical limits. Hard work makes you feel bad in the moment. The Marine Corps has a motto that embodies this principle: “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” That is, the discomfort of exertion means you’re building muscle and discipline. Superagers are like Marines: They excel at pushing past the temporary unpleasantness of intense effort. Studies suggest that the result is a more youthful brain that helps maintain a sharper memory and a greater ability to pay attention.

This means that pleasant puzzles like Sudoku are not enough to provide the benefits of superaging. Neither are the popular diversions of various “brain game” websites. You must expend enough effort that you feel some “yuck.” Do it till it hurts, and then a bit more.

In the United States, we are obsessed with happiness. But as people get older, research shows, they cultivate happiness by avoiding unpleasant situations. This is sometimes a good idea, as when you avoid a rude neighbor. But if people consistently sidestep the discomfort of mental effort or physical exertion, this restraint can be detrimental to the brain. All brain tissue gets thinner from disuse. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
aging  psychology  brain  mind  neurology  neuroscience  science  life  success 
april 2017 by msszczep
Results of the Holland Code (RIASEC) Test
A Holland Code summarizes your results with an acronym for the categories you score highest for, which makes you an IAC.

The United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration maintains a database of occupations sorted by Holland Code. The list of occupations for the IAC can be found at
szcz  psychology  mind  brain  job  career 
november 2016 by msszczep
CO2 is bad for you | MetaFilter
At levels as low as 600 parts per million, carbon dioxide has measurable effects on human cognition.

In 2013, researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that carbon dioxide had measurable negative effects on human cognition at levels as low as 600 parts per million. That was confirmed by a Harvard study this summer.

There hasn't been much research done on the long-term effects of exposure to high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide on human beings; even NASA has called for more. There's some speculation (alternate link) that the projected increase in CO2 will result in serious health consequences for human beings by the end of the century.
mind  brain  climate  climatechange  climatecrisis  globalwarming  psychology  neurology  neuroscience  cognition  cognitive  cognitivescience 
november 2016 by msszczep
How to stay sane in the face of climate change
Climate change, like a lot of things, is scary. But if mental health professionals a tip for coping, it seems to be this: Talk about it. Share your feelings. And remember that we are all in this together.
psychology  globalwarming  climatechange  climatecrisis  activism  inspiration  hope  protest  health  mind  brain 
november 2016 by msszczep
Rich people pay less attention to other people — Quartz
One percenters of the world may not be terribly concerned about societal income gaps, but they should care about a significant disadvantage to having a bigger stockpile of cash than everyone else: a diminished ability to experience the benefits of strong interpersonal relationships, which may be the most rewarding part of the human experience—even the secret to happiness, according to a 50-year study from Harvard. Humans are built to thrive in a community, and without it we are at increased risk of loneliness, which is harmful to one’s health, and can play a role in heart disease, depression, and even premature death. Privilege comes at a cost.
wealth  money  psychology  activism  protest  parecon  mind  brain 
november 2016 by msszczep
Training men to judge women’s sexual interest more accurately – Research Digest
The researchers found that men who received feedback as they went along used women’s actual emotions more, and their dress and attractiveness less, when making their judgments of the women’s sexual interest.
sex  men  women  woman  sexuality  psychology  mind  brain 
november 2016 by msszczep
What is Deep Canvassing?
The premise of deep canvassing revolves around taking conversations onto a more personal level, leading the audience to realize for themselves the point that canvassers are trying to get across. And it’s working.
psychology  activism  brain  mind  politics  outreach  political 
october 2016 by msszczep
We’re All a Little Biased, Even if We Don’t Know It - The New York Times
“Someone will say, ‘I’m tired of being called a racist,’ ” he said. To which he explains that racism and implicit bias aren’t interchangeable.

“That wrong formulation is so ingrained,” Mr. Goff said. “That’s what’s dangerous. It’s so easy to call it a slight, and if that metastasizes in our political discourse, we really have lost out on an incredible opportunity to take great strides forward.”

He fears that implicit bias could become a political trope, dismissed as an insult and not as science, or worse, tugged into the realm of political correctness. He acknowledges that the left mistreats the topic, too, citing implicit bias as a catchall to explain all the forces of racial unfairness in society that aren’t bigotry.

In fact, implicit bias is just one of many psychological processes that shape how we interact with one another. We also tend to be better at remembering the faces of people in our own racial group, or to subconsciously favor people in our group. The fear of being stereotyped psychologically weighs on people, too. In police training, Mr. Goff has watched officers using other kinds of mental shortcuts in which they assume “active shooters” must be men. He now talks more broadly about “identity traps” that encompass implicit biases and much more.

The challenge, he argues, isn’t to eliminate biases, but to try to interrupt them so we can act more often in ways that line up with our values. Researchers, though, still have a lot to learn about how to do that. And it would be unfortunate, Mr. Goff argued, if implicit bias became politically unmentionable right at the moment when science was trying to uncover the answer.
psychology  racism  research  cognitive  cognition  bias  reference  race  mind  brain 
october 2016 by msszczep
Request for Comments on “Playing Through the Pain” — Thiemeworks
The real cost of security work and professional intelligence goes beyond dollars. It is measured in family life, relationships, and mental and physical well-being. The divorce rate is as high among intelligence professionals as it is among medical professionals, for good reason – how can relationships be based on openness and trust when one’s primary commitments make truth-telling and disclosure impossible?

One CIA veteran wrote: “I was for a while an observer to the Personnel Management working group in the DO. I noted they/we were obscenely proud of having the highest rates of alcoholism, adultery, divorce, and suicide in the US Government. I personally have 23 professional suicides in my mental logbook, the first was an instructor that blew his brains out with a shotgun when I was in training. The latest have tended to be senior figures who could not live with what they knew.”
psychology  intelligence  mind  brain  health  life  death  politics  surveillance 
october 2016 by msszczep
BBC - Future - How curiosity can protect the mind from bias
So, curiosity might just save us from using science to confirm our identity as members of a political tribe. It also shows that to promote a greater understanding of public issues, it is as important for educators to try and convey their excitement about science and the pleasures of finding out stuff, as it is to teach people some basic curriculum of facts.
curiosity  clever  intelligence  science  psychology  bias  mind  brain  research 
september 2016 by msszczep
Mystery of what sleep does to our brains may finally be solved | New Scientist
Support is growing for a theory that sleep evolved so that connections in the brain can be pruned down during slumber, making room for fresh memories to form the next day. “Sleep is the price we pay for learning,” says Giulio Tononi of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who developed the idea.
science  sleep  memory  research  mind  brain  learning  learn  neurology  neuroscience 
september 2016 by msszczep
Do we really want to fuse our brains together? | Aeon Essays
New research puts us on the cusp of brain-to-brain communication. Could the next step spell the end of individual minds?
brain  mind  psychology  neurology  neuroscience  ai  tech  technology  computer  internet  biology  biotech 
september 2016 by msszczep
Where in Your Head? - Neatorama
Here are a very few highlights from the many recent studies of the brain. They tell us the specific locations in the brain of: reading; writing; arithmetic; creativity; persistence; self-reflection; empathy and forgiveness; guilt and embarrassment; neuroticism, extraversion, and self-consciousness; racism; ethical decision-making; self-reflection; moral judgment; honesty and dishonesty; happiness and sadness; disgust; aesthetic preference for paintings; aesthetic judgment of beauty; and sense of humor.
neurology  neuroscience  brain  mind  research  science  psychology 
may 2016 by msszczep
Buying Stuff Won't Make You Happier -
Author and Harvard professor Michael Norton details how people can spend their money in a way that benefits their well-being. He argues that happiness has nothing to do with material belongings, and makes the case that we should all be buying less "stuff" for ourselves.
video  psychology  mind  money  success  failure  research  brain  happy  happiness 
may 2016 by msszczep
Humans Can Still Do One Thing Better Than AI
Google’s AlphaGo computer may have bested a human in four out of five matches last month, but human beings still excel when it comes to intuitive leaps in problem solving. That’s the conclusion of a new paper in Nature by Danish scientists. Blending the two approaches yields the best of both worlds—a marriage of man and machine.
ai  philosophyofmind  philosophyofscience  psychology  brain  mind  machinelearning  research 
april 2016 by msszczep
What Is The Opposite Of Deja Vu?
The opposite of deja vu is called Jamais vu. It’s a French word meaning “never seen”. It’s the feeling or experience that a person knows or recongnizes a situation, but that it still seems very unfamiliar or unknown. A common example of Jamais vu is when a person momentarily does not recognize a word, person, or place that they already know.

Bonus Fact: The feeling that something is on the tip of your tongue is called “Presque vu“. The term is also French and means “almost seen”. It is the sensation of being on the brink of an epiphany.
memory  psychology  words  mind  brain  language  word 
april 2016 by msszczep
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