Our brain is a powerful biological machine. Every single step, blink, detail, touch is controlled by the brain. The army of a scientist constantly researching our brain functions and its possibilities. Sometimes they seem they’re endless. We can hack our memories. We can exercise to build our brain cells. Evan to learn while sleeping! And yet there is a lot more to be discovered.
TED talks are always inspirational, but when we come to the brain science it is mindblowing. Some of the best psychologists and neuroscientists presented us amazing brain stories and tricks. Here are some of the most intriguing.
Dan Ariely: You have less brain control over your own decisions than you think
Dan Ariely, the behavioral economist, explained how we are incredibly susceptible to outside influences. He used the examples from medicine and online dating, showing the cognitive limitation that we are often unconscious. This TED talk showed us how our decisions are not always fully controlled by us.
Peter Doolittle: You can remember more of what you experience
Peter Doolittle, a professor of educational psychology, explained how we have relatively limited working memory. If we speak about some data, we can remember it for 10 to 20 seconds. Otherwise, those data will disappear. He offers strategies to improve our work memory and preventing those cognitive slip-ups.
Philip Zimbardo: Your perspective of time is a major factor in your happiness
The protagonist of Standford prison experiment, the psychologist Philip Zimbardo explains how we divide our experience into different temporal categories. Depending or our own values of past, present and future we select positive or negative memories. Based on that, we make decisions. So, if we are only focused on future, we sacrifice our present time with family. He suggests that optimal time perspective is high on past-positive.
Ben Ambridge: Most of what you know about the human brain is wrong
The psychologist, Ben Ambridge, debunked some of the most famous human psychology myths. So if you still believe that we use only 10% of our brain capacity, you may now reconsider it. We use every part of our brain. And one more thing: the Rorschach inkblot tests are not used by a modern psychologist.
Tim Harford: Don’t resist discomfort – it could make you more productive
The author of the 2016 book Messy, Tim Harford explains how the obstacles on the path to success can improve our creativity. He uses, as an example, pianist with the inappropriate instrument and how with his creativity to avoid wrong keys, manage to conduct the beautiful concert. Harford concludes that if we fight with challenges, instead of running away from it, our results may be astonishing.
Carol Dweck: There’s power in believing you can achieve
Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. She divides two groups of people. The first group believes in innate talent alone, so they have fixed mindset. The second group believes that through hard working can develop abilities – growth mindset. Of course, the second group tends to be more successful.
Brian Little: There’s no such thing as a completely stable personality
Brian Little, the cognitive psychologist, claims that we all have three natures: biogenic, sociogenic, and idiogenic nature. He is particularly focused on the last nature. What makes us – us is our personal projects. Further, he explains why our personality may be more malleable than we think.