Category: Cognitive Science

Exploring the potential of the human mind and body

What is Resilience, and How Do I Bounce Back?

The ABCDE of managing life’s challenges “Resilience is our ability to bounce back from life’s challenges and unforeseen difficulties, providing mental protection from emotional and mental disorders,” says Professor Michael Rutter, often described as the father of child psychology. A resilient person is less vulnerable to stressful events, has an internal drive, and can think…
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When Your Brain Doesn’t Recognize Faces

The science behind ‘face blindness’ Much of human engagement relies upon the ability to recognize familiar faces. And yet this seemingly simple, widespread human capacity, which builds and strengthens social bonds, is not a given for everyone. People with “face blindness”— known as prosopagnosia (from the Greek words for “face” and “without knowledge”) — find it difficult,…
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You Have No Idea How Much Your Brain Is Ignoring

The eye-opening science behind ‘inattentional blindness’ In an iconic study from 1999, Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris, researchers at Harvard University, used a gorilla costume as a prop to explore visual perception. Subjects were asked to watch a video and count the number of times players passed a basketball between a small, continually moving group of students. Partway…
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How to Build an Expert Mindset Using Deliberate Practice

What science tells us about expertise Psychologists, cognitive scientists, and AI researchers have for decades grappled with answering: what does it mean to be an expert, and how does someone become one? To theorize about human ability, science must consider whether expertise is acquired as a result of nature or nurture. Are you born with the capacity to be…
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Searching for Consciousness - The Ghost in the Machine

Research is unraveling the greatest mystery of the mind Scientists and philosophers have grappled with the question of consciousness for over two thousand years. But, despite more than 7 billion humans on the planet — experiencing and aware — until recently, scientists have been in the dark regarding the feeling of life itself. Consciousness “does not appear in the equations…
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Exercise Can Help Reduce the Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease

As little as 10 minutes of exercise improves cognitive impairment Recent research has shown that not only does exercise benefit our general cardiovascular health, but also our mental well-being. Indeed, physical exercise has been strongly linked to adaptation in both our behaviour and our neurobiology — including the structure and function of the brain. Importantly increases have…
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Embodied cognition – initial thoughts

According to the concept of ’embodied cognition’, drawing from cognitive science, philosophy and psychology, our cognitive processes arise, not simply from the brain, but rather from entire physical systems (i.e. including the body, and the somatic nervous system) and importantly, from interactions with the environment. ‘Affordances’ in the environment, such as the doorknob, the ladder,…
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The environment drives our thinking…

Clark and Chalmers  (1998), in their classic work on the boundaries of the mind, speculate that the environment plays an active role in human cognition. For ultra-marathoners and others participating in endurance sports, taking place in many challenging environments, this idea  may be an important one. As humans, we often split tasks between manipulation within…
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