Category Archives: Cognition

A Deeper Level: Conversation Without Words

What are some alternative ways that we can use to understand each other and the world around us, besides using words in verbal communication? First, consider nonverbal communication in general: Facial Expressions Tone of voice, inflection, etc. Posture, Body Language … Continue reading

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The Smartphone Generation: Human Brain Optional

An eighth-grade teacher tells me that for many years she has had successive classes of students read the same book, Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. Her students have loved it — until five years ago or so. “I started to see kids … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood Development, Cognition, Technology | 1 Comment

How Belief Systems Crumble

Human belief systems are fascinating things. Whether they last a lifetime or whether they are demolished and rebuilt every few years, they all share some things in common. A belief system is ordinarily built from many separate pieces, like a … Continue reading

Posted in Cognition, Ideology, Philosophy | 2 Comments

The Amygdala and Persistent Dark Mood

Surviving on the wild savannah without amygdalas would have been difficult for ancestral tribes of humans. But it is no picnic trying to be happy in modern hectic times with our amygdalas. Recent research by U. Miami psychologists published in … Continue reading

Posted in Cognition, emotions, Enlightenment, Human Brain, meditation | Leave a comment

Is it a Trance? Or is it Meditation?

It makes a huge difference to your brain whether you are sitting there meditating, or whether you are just spinning your wheels in an aimless trance. Meditation enlarges your prefrontal cortex executive functions, boosts your hippocampal memory centers, grows your … Continue reading

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Can Your Cinnamon Do This?

Can your cinnamon prevent Alzheimer’s, cure cancer before it starts, control type II diabetes, reverse some effects of Traumatic Brain Injury, prevent heart disease, make you smarter, and promote healthy weight loss? Cinnamon contains vital oils and derivatives which makes … Continue reading

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If We Cannot Solve Our Problems on the Same Level of Thinking that We Created Them then What Do We Do?

One of the largest problems needing to be solved is that most of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful elites do not want real problems to be solved at all. “A great crisis is a terrible thing to waste,” as … Continue reading

Posted in Cognition, Knowledge, Learning Theory, Philosophy | 2 Comments

Wake the F#ck Up!

Parked in my Fiat Bravo at 3AM, I found myself breaking off more white rocks for my crack pipe. I was high, paranoid, and losing the plot. I had not slept in days and my mistrustful thoughts obsessed about the … Continue reading

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Deliberately Instigated Violence in an Election Year

Among political parties, only the Democrats allowed and tacitly encouraged the destruction of our cities. Of our businesses. Of our way of life. They’ve consistently tried to hide and downplay what has actually occurred. But most people aren’t that far … Continue reading

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Another Hangover in Church

Hangovers are painful. A hangover in church is even worse. Why do we put ourselves through such things? One of the reasons the temporary relief of being drunk gets to be so precious is that getting drunk knocks one’s conscience … Continue reading

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Can’t Read, Can’t Think

Ever since the Gutenberg press, the widespread effect of “deep reading” on the brains of educated classes has unleashed a rapid expansion of intellectual productivity in more modern parts of the world. Those gains are now under threat from technology, … Continue reading

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You Have to be Smart to Understand How Stupid You Are

Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher in the late 1880s once wrote, “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” Turns out, Russell was right. Research shows that people who are … Continue reading

Posted in Cognition, Competence, Everything You Think You Know Just Ain't So | Tagged | 1 Comment

This is Mind Control to Major Tom

This is mind control to major Tom, you’ve really made the grade And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare This is major Tom to mind control, I’m … Continue reading

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Don’t Stay Stuck on the First Rung of Thought

It’s easy to understand why some people would see data mining as the finish rather than the first step. It promises a solution using available technology. It saves us, as well as future machines, the work of having to consider … Continue reading

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Can A Single Neuron Understand the Whole Brain?

Neuroscientists are beginning to ask themselves: Can a human brain understand the human brain? The sheer amount of descriptive data on the brain being generated in neuroscience labs is terribly daunting — and is being described as “an existential crisis” … Continue reading

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Four Paths to Savant Mental Skills

Savant skills are typically confined to five areas: art, music, calendar calculating, mathematics and mechanical/spatial skills (Treffert 2005). These skills are [ed: in brain-damaged savants] accompanied by an exceptional ability to recall meaningless detail—memory without understanding (Sacks 2007) and a … Continue reading

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Evolution and Human Cognition

Since the split from the chimpanzee lineage, the human brain has increased three-fold in size and has acquired abilities for vocal learning, language and intense cooperation. … the increasing availability of genome sequences from humans, chimpanzees and other primates, as … Continue reading

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Augmenting Human Cognition

It is important to understand that human cognitive ability is strongly influenced by genes — with the genetic influence generally increasing as a person grows older, from about 40% heritability in childhood to roughly 80% heritability in late maturity. Intelligence … Continue reading

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Why Men Have to be Funnier than Women

Scientists Ask: Why Are Men Funnier than Women? Simply by looking at the highest paid and best known comedians, we should all suspect that men are funnier than women. But even among the population of average men and women, men … Continue reading

Posted in Cognition, Evolution, Sex Differences | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Perils of “Crisis Thinking”

In a genuine disaster, most people’s brains fail them. Here is a list of ways in which the “crisis thinking” of most people leads them astray: 1. Freezing Though it looks passive from the outside, when we’re paralysed with fear … Continue reading

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Drowning in the Shallows of Distraction?

The following article is adapted and re-published from The Dangerous Child blog. Choosing Between Shallow Distraction and Deep Work Deep Work is the ability to focus intensely on a problem for hours at a time, bringing all of your cognitive … Continue reading

Posted in Cognition, Dangerous Child, Internet, Media | Tagged | 1 Comment

Styles of Thought

The human brain did not evolve with any particular end in mind. But we have been lucky to find at this late date in our evolution that our brains are capable of several types of thinking. Using these different approaches … Continue reading

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Five Year-Olds Just Don’t Get No Respect

But Perhaps They Should In 1968, George Land conducted a research study to test the creativity of 1,600 children ranging in ages from three-to-five years old who were enrolled in a Head Start program. This was the same creativity test … Continue reading

Posted in Cognition, Creativity | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Paradox of the Flat Mind

Psychologist Nick Chater says that he has discovered that the human mind is exceedingly shallow — or even flat. This is not what most people want to hear about themselves, and has not been a very popular message on the … Continue reading

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Big Five Personality Test

The big five personality traits are the best accepted and most commonly used model of personality in academic psychology. The big five come from the statistical study of responses to personality items. Using a technique called factor analysis researchers can … Continue reading

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