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Tactile Maps of Greenland - Arctic Kingdom Polar Expeditions
a tactile map used by the Inuit of Kalaallit Nunaat (aka Greenland) to navigate the coastline. The maps, carved from wood, were held inside the users’ mittens, and read by feel, rather than visually. Made from wood, they were durable, floated if dropped in the water, and were unaffected by weather and damp. The contours of the land are exaggerated, allowing users to navigate entirely by feel.
tool  philosophy  anthropology  map  mapmapking  history  thinking  cognition 
3 days ago by sbelak
When Your Child Is a Psychopath - The Atlantic
He started talking in therapy and in class. He quit mouthing off and settled down. He developed the first real bonds in his young life. “The teachers, the nurses, the staff, they all seemed to have this idea that they could make a difference in us,” he says. “Like, Huh! Something good could come of us. We were believed to have potential.”
psychology  crime  cognition  kids 
3 days ago by kme
“I just choose to not listen”: why Trump supporters are tuning out the scandals - Vox
Politics is about establishing a shared sense of reality with like-minded people. It’s not about facts.
Here’s a simple truth: We find inconvenient political facts to be genuinely unpleasant. Psychologists theorize that’s because our partisan identities get mixed up with our personal identities — which would mean that an attack on our strongly held beliefs is an attack on the self.

“The brain’s primary responsibility is to take care of the body, to protect the body,” Jonas Kaplan, a psychologist at the University of Southern California, told me earlier this year. “The psychological self is the brain’s extension of that. When our self feels attacked, our [brain is] going to bring to bear the same defenses that it has for protecting the body.”
politics  psychology  cognition 
4 days ago by sampenrose
The unique way Einstein saw the world - Business Insider
Robbert Dijkgraaf is a theoretical physicist and Leon Levy Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is also the co-author of "The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge."

In this video, he explains how Albert Einstein saw the world in a different way from how most scientists see it. Following is a transcript of the video.
philosophy  einstein  genius  video  cognition 
4 days ago by cyberchucktx
Charles Murray is once again peddling junk science about race and IQ - Vox
Murray casually concludes that group differences in IQ are genetically based. But what of the actual evidence on the question? Murray makes a rhetorical move that is commonly deployed by people supporting his point of view: They stake out the claim that at least some of the difference between racial groups is genetic, and challenge us to defend the claim that none, absolutely zero, of it is. They know that science is not designed for proving absolute negatives, but we will go this far: There is currently no reason at all to think that any significant portion of the IQ differences among socially defined racial groups is genetic in origin.

Here, too briefly, are some facts to ponder — facts that Murray was not challenged to consider by Harris, who holds a PhD in neuroscience, although they are known to most experts in the field of intelligence.
charlesmurray  race  racism  iq  intelligence  socialscience  cognition  takedowns  samharris 
5 days ago by sampenrose
The March of Science — The True Story — NEJM
As we strategize about changing the narrative, Wegner’s better-known work on thought suppression may be equally germane. As he famously demonstrated, when people are told not to think of a white bear, they find themselves unable to think of anything else.10 Moreover, there is a rebound effect: if we are initially trying to suppress a thought and are then given permission to indulge it, we focus on the thought far more than if it had never been forbidden in the first place. So although communicating science’s dynamic by focusing heavily on its failings risks heightening public disbelief, the remedy is not to hide our errors. Such suppression will “rebound” and undoubtedly fuel further distrust. Instead, I think we have to learn to tell stories that emphasize that what makes science right is the enduring capacity to admit we are wrong. Such is the slow, imperfect march of science.
metascience  sciencecommunication  scientism  culturing  scienceculture  psychology  cognition  dangilbert 
5 days ago by sampenrose
An app that helps you sleep, built on cognitive science, that takes counting sheep to the next level — Quartz
A cognitive scientist may have solved a familiar sleep riddle: If you struggle to fall asleep, you're likely to keep thinking about how you can't fall asleep, which makes it harder to fall asleep. So how do you stop thinking about your struggle to sleep? Luc Beaudoin of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, has invented...
mind  twitter  sleep  brain  lifehacks  cognition  neuroscience 
6 days ago by otlib
Creative constraints: Brain activity and network dynamics underlying semantic interference during idea production
Functional neuroimaging research has recently revealed brain network interactions during performance on creative thinking tasks—particularly among regions of the default and executive control networks—but the cognitive mechanisms related to these interactions remain poorly understood. Here we test the hypothesis that the executive control network can interact with the default network to inhibit salient conceptual knowledge (i.e., pre-potent responses) elicited from memory during creative idea production. Participants studied common noun-verb pairs and were given a cued-recall test with corrective feedback to strengthen the paired association in memory. They then completed a verb generation task that presented either a previously studied noun (high-constraint) or an unstudied noun (low-constraint), and were asked to “think creatively” while searching for a novel verb to relate to the presented noun. Latent Semantic Analysis of verbal responses showed decreased semantic distance values in the high-constraint (i.e., interference) condition, which corresponded to increased neural activity within regions of the default (posterior cingulate cortex and bilateral angular gyri), salience (right anterior insula), and executive control (left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) networks. Independent component analysis of intrinsic functional connectivity networks extended this finding by revealing differential interactions among these large-scale networks across the task conditions. The results suggest that interactions between the default and executive control networks underlie response inhibition during constrained idea production, providing insight into specific neurocognitive mechanisms supporting creative cognition.
networks  default-network  language  functional-connectivity  creativity  cognitive-control  fmri  neuroimaging  cognition  reading-list 
9 days ago by dantekgeek
Mind-Wandering With and Without Intention
The past decade has seen a surge of research examining mind-wandering, but most of this research has not considered the potential importance of distinguishing between intentional and unintentional mind-wandering. However, a recent series of papers have demonstrated that mind-wandering reported in empirical investigations frequently occurs with and without intention, and, more crucially, that intentional and unintentional mind-wandering are dissociable. This emerging literature suggests that, to increase clarity in the literature, there is a need to reconsider the bulk of the mind-wandering literature with an eye toward deconvolving these two different cognitive experiences. In this review we highlight recent trends in investigations of the intentionality of mind-wandering, and we outline a novel theoretical framework regarding the mechanisms underlying intentional and unintentional mind-wandering.
mind-wandering  undirected-cognition  reading-list  review  cognitive-control  self-generated-thought  cognition 
9 days ago by dantekgeek
Internal and external attention and the default mode network
Focused attention meditations have been shown to improve psychological health and wellbeing and are nowadays an integral part of many psychotherapies. While research on the neural correlates of focused attention meditation is increasing, findings vary on whether meditations are associated with high or low activity in the default mode network (DMN). To clarify the relationship between focused attention meditation and the activity in DMN regions, it may be helpful to distinguish internal and external attention as well as different phases within one meditation: During focused attention meditation, the practitioner switches between mindful attention, mind-wandering and refocusing. Here, we employed a thought-probe paradigm to study the neural correlates of these different phases. Twenty healthy, meditation naïve participants were introduced to external (mindfulness of sound) and internal (mindfulness of breathing) attention meditation and then practiced the meditation at home for four consecutive days. They then performed the same focused attention meditations during fMRI scanning, in four runs alternating between internal and external attention. At pseudorandom intervals, participants were asked whether they had just been focused on the task (mindful attention) or had been distracted (mind-wandering). During mindful attention, brain regions typically associated with the DMN, such as the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex and left temporoparietal junction showed significantly less neural activation compared to mind-wandering phases. Reduced activity of the DMN was found during both external and internal attention, with stronger deactivation in the posterior cingulate cortex during internal attention compared to external attention. Moreover, refocusing after mind-wandering was associated with activity in the left inferior frontal gyrus. Our results support the theory that mindful attention is associated with reduced DMN activity compared to mind-wandering, independent of the practitioner's attention focus (i.e., internal vs. external).
meditation  attention  internal-mentation  cognition  neuroimaging  mindfulness  mind-wandering  cognitive-control  experience-sampling  fmri  reading-list  default-network 
9 days ago by dantekgeek

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