I give you 5 reasons why your brain is telling you that Casey Anthony is guilty. These are 5 reasons why we tend to think that a lot of people are guilty even before they’ve been tried. The trial of accused child murdered Casey Anthony is over and Casey was found not guilty. Most people are extremely upset because she appeared to be guilty for many reasons. None of these are based on evidence, but instead on what might be going on inside your mind that made you think she was guilty. Caution: open mindedness required!
You’ve probably heard about these Brain Training games. While there is some evidence that such games can have positive effects (Brain training for babies actually works (short term, at least), do they really help you to keep your mind sharp? Will they prevent cognitive decline as you get older or will they slow the effects of alzheimer’s disease? In this episode I review some recent studies on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of these popular games.
Brain Games Research
- A nice review of the brain training research can be found in this excellent book, "The Invisible Gorilla"
- Owen, A.M., Hampshire, A., Grahn, J.A., Stenton, R., Dajani, S. Burns, A. S., Howard and Ballard, C.G (2010). Putting brain training to the test, Nature, 465, 775-779.
- In Defense of Working Memory Training
- Colcombe, S. and Kramer, A.F. (2003). Fitness effects on the cognitive function of older adults. Psychological Science, 14(2), 125-130.
- Debunking 10 Brain Fitness and Brain Training Myths during Brain Awareness Week 2013
- Papp, K.V., Walsh, S.J. and Snyder, P.J. (2009). Immediate and delayed effects of cognitive interventions in healthy elderly: A review of current literature and future directions. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 5, 50-60.
- Willis, S.L., Tennstedt, S.L., Marsiske, M. Ball, K., Elias, F., Koepke, K.M., Morris, J.N., Rebok, G.W., Unverzagt, F.W., Stoddard, A.M., and Wright, W. (2006). Long-term effects of cognitive training on everyday functional outcomes in older adults. Journal of the American Medical Association, 296 (23).
- Smith, G.E., Housen, P., Yaffe, K., Ruff, R., Kennison, R.F., Mahncke, H.W. and Zelinski, E.M. (2009). A cognitive training program based on principles of brain plasticity: Results from the improvement in memory with Plasticity-based adaptive cognitive training (IMPACT) Study. The American Geriatrics Society.
- For a different perspective, read this article by CogMed a company that makes brain training tools. You’ll see how they critique the Owen, et. al study (above). Putting “brain training” to the test – and about time. They recommend that you read the research that they have conducted. If you do so, do you think their research is more convincing that those cited above?
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Memorize the parts of the brain once and for all! If you need to memorize the parts of the brain and what they do, then here are some mnemonic devices to help you remember the parts of the brain (including the hemispheres). You will never forget the anatomy of the brain after this. Even if you’re not interested in the brain, this is how to improve your memory: use imagery – and preferably funny and unusual images that will stick in your mind. Using this approach will be successful in memorizing parts of the brain. If you’re looking for psychology mnemonics, this website is the place.
Psych Files listener Toby sent me this link to an excellent site where you can find mnemonics for all kinds of disciplines: Mnemonics Guide from EUdesign.