Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Why People Can’t Agree on Basic Facts

If there is an emotion involved in acquiring a belief, there is a much lower chance of changing it, even if it is a false belief.  And the excitement of getting a new social media  message seems to be a perfect way to cement information, true or not.  Think about it — do you have false beliefs that cannot be corrected by data?

Neuroscientist Tali Sharot has been investigating what determines whether someone can be persuaded by an argument. You can read about it in her book, The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others, or check out this article for a taste of what you can do to avoid getting stuck with false beliefs:

Why People Can’t Agree on Basic Facts

By TALI SHAROT | September 19, 2017 | Time magazine

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January 20, 2018 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, emotions, neuroscience | , , | Leave a comment

Your Biology Runs on Feelings

From Damasio’s new book, an interesting explanation of the importance of feelings. Not an easy read, but worth the trouble to get through it.

Why Your Biology Runs on Feelings

By Antonio Damasio | January 18, 2018 | Nautilus

Think feelings are important? You’re more right than you know.

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January 18, 2018 Posted by | behaviour, brain, emotions, neuroscience | , , | Leave a comment

The real problem of consciousness

An interesting view on consciousness.

The real problem of consciousness

It looks like scientists and philosophers might have made consciousness far more mysterious than it needs to be

Anil K Seth | November 2, 2016 | Aeon

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August 25, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, brain, neuroscience, philosophy, psychology | , | Leave a comment

Is Consciousness Fractal?

What I found fascinating is how fractal nature is and how we perceive and react to it.

Is Consciousness Fractal?

Our subconscious love for fractals may tell an evolutionary story.

By Jordana Cepelewicz | May 4, 2017 | Nautilus

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May 14, 2017 Posted by | brain, evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, psychology | , , , , | 1 Comment

I predict (myself), therefore I am

A fascinating view of consciousness. Worth the effort to read all the way to the end.

The Hard Problem of Consciousness

It looks like scientists and philosophers might have made consciousness far more mysterious than it needs to be

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December 14, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, brain, neuroscience, philosophy | | Leave a comment

What Neuroscience Says about Free Will

 

Not quite what I expected:

What Neuroscience Says about Free Will

We’re convinced that it exists, but new research suggests it might be nothing more than a trick the brain plays on itself

Adam Bear | April 28, 2016 | Scientific American Mind

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May 17, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, neuroscience | | Leave a comment

Why We Snap: From Road Rage to Barroom Brawls

“…Most violent behavior, Fields discovered, results from a clash between our evolutionary hardwiring and our modern world…”

Watch the video.

Why We Snap: From Road Rage to Barroom Brawls

By Carl Engelking | January 13, 2016 2:03 pm | Discover Blogs

January 21, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, brain, evolutionary psychology, neuroscience | , , , | Leave a comment

How the Eyes Betray Your Thoughts

One more way we can be exploited to purchase stuff we don’t want.

How the Eyes Betray Your Thoughts

By Mo Costandi | 22 May 2015 | BBC Future

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May 24, 2015 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, neuromarketing, neuroscience | , , | Leave a comment

How Your Brain Decides Without You

” It must be true, I saw it with my own eyes! ” — well, maybe not. It may depend on what you perceive, which may depend on what you believe. Fascinating read; follow it up with  Fooled By Your Own Brain from the same issue.

How Your Brain Decides Without You

In a world full of ambiguity, we see what we want to see.

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May 17, 2015 Posted by | brain, decision making, neuroscience | , , , | Leave a comment

Near wins hook compulsive gamblers

Near wins spur compulsive gamblers on to keep gambling in hopes of winning, but not so much ordinary people.  This has been known for a while from behavioural studies.  Dr. Drymond et al has demonstrated that compulsive gamblers’ brains actually react differently to near wins.  From The Economist, March 15, 2014:

Gambling and the brain: Slotting in an explanation

A neural seat of compulsive gambling may have been found

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April 23, 2014 Posted by | behaviour, brain, neuroscience | , , | Leave a comment