Panpsychism, the idea that inanimate objects have consciousness, gains steam in science communities

DNA, Atoms and particles (Getty Images/Yuichiro Chino) An expanding notion of what “consciousness” is could have profound repercussions By MATTHEW ROZSA Dr. Martin Picard is an associate professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, specializing in both psychiatry and neurology. Together, expertise in these two fields suits one well to understanding the essence of what makes one human. Picard is particularly knowledgable about mitochondria, a structure found within nearly all cells that have a nucleus. They provide most of the chemical energy that cells use in their various biochemical tasks, and are sometimes likened to batteries. Picard sees something else in mitochondria, too. Last year, he … Continue reading Panpsychism, the idea that inanimate objects have consciousness, gains steam in science communities

Your brain has limits. Here are some simple ways to extend your mind, according to science

Acclaimed science writer Annie Murphy Paul says that in order to think the intelligent, informed, original thoughts we’re capable of, we can’t rely on the brain alone. Read on to learn how you can extend your mind. BY BOOK BITES Annie Murphy Paul is an acclaimed science writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Scientific American, TIME magazine, and the Best American Science Writing. She is currently a fellow in New America’s Learning Sciences Exchange. Below, Annie shares five key insights from her new book, The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain. Listen to the audio version—read by … Continue reading Your brain has limits. Here are some simple ways to extend your mind, according to science

Perfectionistic tendencies are associated with reduced cognitive flexibility and heightened emotional suppression

by Eric W. Dolan Perfectionistic individuals are more likely to view their problems as outside their control, according to new research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, which may help to explain why they often struggle to cope with stressful events. But the new findings indicate that the emotion regulation strategy known as cognitive reappraisal could help perfectionists view difficult situations as more controllable. “I study psychological attributes that make it possible for people to achieve their goals. One of these attributes is cognitive flexibility — which is the ability that allows us to change our perspective or alter our behaviors,” … Continue reading Perfectionistic tendencies are associated with reduced cognitive flexibility and heightened emotional suppression

How to Unlearn a Disease

Medicine’s latest cure is forgetting you’re sick. BY KELLY CLANCY My father, a neurologist, once had a patient who was tormented, in the most visceral sense, by a poem. Philip was 12 years old and a student at a prestigious boarding school in Princeton, New Jersey. One of his assignments was to recite Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. By the day of the presentation, he had rehearsed the poem dozens of times and could recall it with ease. But this time, as he stood before his classmates, something strange happened. Each time he delivered the poem’s famous haunting refrain—“Quoth the Raven … Continue reading How to Unlearn a Disease

A good scrap

Disagreements can be unpleasant, even offensive, but they are vital to human reason. Without them we remain in the dark Ian Leslie writes about psychology, culture, technology and business for the New Statesman, The Economist, The Guardian and the Financial Times. He is the author of several books on human behaviour, the most recent of which is Conflicted: How Productive Disagreements Lead to Better Outcomes (2021). He lives in London. Edited by Christian Jarrett In the town of Dayton, Ohio, at the end of the 19th century, locals were used to the sound of quarrels spilling out from the room above the bicycle store on West Third Street. The … Continue reading A good scrap

Our brains “read” expressions of illusory faces in things just like real faces

“For the brain, fake or real, faces are all processed the same way.” by JENNIFER OUELLETTE  Human beings are champions at spotting patterns, especially faces, in inanimate objects—think of the famous “face on Mars” in images taken by the Viking 1 orbiter in 1976, which is essentially a trick of light and shadow. And people are always spotting what they believe to be the face of Jesus in burnt toast and many other (so many) ordinary foodstuffs. There was even a now-defunct Twitter account devoted to curating images of the “faces in things” phenomenon. The phenomenon’s fancy name is facial pareidolia. Scientists at the University of … Continue reading Our brains “read” expressions of illusory faces in things just like real faces

The psychology of penalty shootouts after England’s devastating loss in Euro 2020 final

England lost out to Italy in the Euros 2020 final after a devastating loss on penalties. By Rebecca Marano Gareth Southgate’s side were taken to a penalty shoot out following a 1-1 draw in Sunday night’s final at Wembley. It was Saka who saw his decisive spot-kick saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma and the Italians were crowned European champions following a 3-2 victory on spot kicks. Dr Andrew Manley, a Principal Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Psychology at Leeds Beckett, said that the mental side of a penalty shootout is often the hardest part. Dr Manley said: “Sven-Göran Eriksson said on reflection … Continue reading The psychology of penalty shootouts after England’s devastating loss in Euro 2020 final

Lies and honest mistakes

Richard V Reeves is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he directs the Future of the Middle Class Initiative and co-directs the Center on Children and Families. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, National Affairs, and The New York Times, among others. His latest book is Dream Hoarders (2017). He lives in Washington, DC. Edited byNigel Warburton The other day, I told a friend that Knoxville is the capital of Tennessee. Five seconds and a blur of fingers later, he said: ‘No, it’s Nashville.’ My statement was obviously not true. But since I sincerely believed in the accuracy of what I was … Continue reading Lies and honest mistakes

BUBBLES OF HATE: HOW SOCIAL MEDIA KEEPS USERS ADDICTED, ALONE, & ILL-INFORMED

by Dr. Tim Coles, New Dawn Waking Times Internet communication has gone from emails, messaging boards, and chatrooms, to sophisticated, all-pervasive networking. Social media companies build addictiveness into their products. The longer you spend on their sites and apps, the more data they generate. The more data, the more accurately they anticipate what you’ll do next and for how long. The better their predictions, the more money they make by selling your attention to advertisers. Depressed and insecure about their value as human beings, the younger generations grow up knowing only digital imprisonment. Older users are trapped in polarised bubbles of … Continue reading BUBBLES OF HATE: HOW SOCIAL MEDIA KEEPS USERS ADDICTED, ALONE, & ILL-INFORMED

Collective narcissism can warp your moral judgments, according to new psychology research

by Eric W. Dolan A large body of research indicates that egocentrism shapes moral judgments. Now, new research indicates that people not only prefer moral decision that benefit them, some people — particularly those high collective narcissism — also display a bias towards moral decision that benefit their group. The new findings appear in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. “In the past, we found evidence that people judge unethical actions of other people less harsh when they benefit from them. Thus, we wanted to investigate if the same kind of self-interest bias would be observed on the group level when in-group members … Continue reading Collective narcissism can warp your moral judgments, according to new psychology research