Ep 154: 5 Reasons Why Your Brain Tells You Casey Anthony is Guilty

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!
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Episode 128: Do Brain Training Games Work?

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.
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Brain Games Research

  • Training your brain with games: The “Brain Science” (BS) of Neuro-marketing.
  • A nice review of the brain training research can be found in this excellent book, The Invisible Gorilla.The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us
  • 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
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  • 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.
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  • 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.

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Episode 93: Your Brain on a Website

How can you use psychology to design a website so people are likely to buy products from you? Or design a website so people are likely to donate money to your cause? In this episode Dr. Susan Weinschenk discusses some of these ideas from her book Neuro Web Design. Ever thought you could apply brain science to web design? Find out how in this episode of The Psych Files.


Resources for this Podcast

  • Here is Susan Weinschenk’s blog where you’ll find lots of more information about her and her work.
  • Dr. Weinschenk also has a website devoted to her book Neuro Web Design.
  • Dr. Weinschenk mentioned in the interview a very interesting site called Kiva. Here’s a little information about the site from their homepage, "Kiva lets you lend to a specific entrepreneur in the developing world – empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty."
  • Related episode: In episode 31, Lemon Slices and a New Face on Mars! Gestalt Principles at Work, I talked about how Gestalt principles are used in designing web sites.
  • Dr. Weinschenk’s book:

  • Related: an interview with Web Psychologist Nathalie Nahai on the power of online influence.
  • Other books mentioned during this episode:

The Science of Mental Illness
Image compliments of Best Masters in Psychology Degrees

Episode 72 (video): Memorize the Parts of the Brain

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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 lobes of the brain). 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.

Hundreds of thousands of students have used these mnemonics to improve their test scores on the brain, neuron, neurotransmitters and the different types of brain scans.
These 10 mnemonics plus 25 more are available on all mobile devices!

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