Is Bullshit the Normal Condition?
June 26, 2020


What does it mean to label someone a bullshitter? Does it mean they are a liar? Does it mean they are guilty of talking too much? Does it mean they have something to say about everything, even if they know little or nothing about it? The term bullshit, as used in everyday conversation, is generic …

The Truth About Nootropic Brain Supplements and Brain Power
May 29, 2020


Nootropic substances—from the Greek words meaning “mind-bending” –are ingestible chemicals often promoted for their cognitive enhancing properties (Jasanoff 2018). According to companies selling nootropic products, benefits of using the products include prevention of cognitive decline, enhanced memory, increased learning, improved concentration, and rapid cognition. Nootropic drugs include stimulants like amphetamine and methylphenidate, marketed under the …

Can Machines Detect Lies?
March 24, 2020


Most everyone lies from time to time. In most cases, lies (deception) are no big deal. College students admit to lying twice a day on average, and others in the community admit to lying once a day on average (Lilienfeld et al. 2010). Knowing whether or not someone is lying is hard, but what if …

Why We Use More Than 10 Percent Of Our Brain Power
February 28, 2020


A large body of research has shown humans tend to be cognitive misers (Stanovich et al. 2016). We can’t afford to engage in hard thinking all the time because it isn’t efficient. In our daily lives, we need to think at different levels in different situations. Too much thinking when engaging in trivial situations may …

Scientific Mindware
February 10, 2020


It is common for popular science articles and books to misrepresent science, a practice that isn’t limited to popular publications. Textbooks, peer reviewed publications, and college courses sometimes promote misinformation. To avoid being bamboozled, think for yourself or go to the source and evaluate the evidence for yourself. Science is hard; methods and statistics used …

Depression, The Chemical Imbalance Myth, and What Causes Depression
December 17, 2019


Depression affects a relatively large portion of Americans. It is normal to feel depressed on occasion, but severe negative moods and lack of interest in what was once considered a pleasurable activity, for a prolonged length of time (everyday for 2 weeks), may reflect major depressive disorder. Approximately 16% of Americans will experience major depressive …

Sagan’s Candle In The Dark
November 13, 2019


Carl Sagan’s book The Demon-Haunted World was published in 1996. The contents reveal Sagan’s passion for critical thinking (scientific thinking) and dislike for popular media misrepresentations of science. He warns and provides examples of the negative impacts associated with pseudoscience. The contents cover a wide range of topics and illustrate his love of finding the …

Can Brain Imaging Read the Mind?
October 23, 2019


Brain imaging or brain scanning methods are used to observe and manipulate the brain and its activities. Imaging is also useful for locating brain injury. There are various brain-imaging methods, including electrical recordings, brain stimulation, X-ray imaging, and dynamic imaging (Kolb and Whishaw 2009). Brain imaging has led to important psychological and behavioral discoveries and …

Why Exercise Is Good for the Brain
September 30, 2019


Computerized brain training games and dietary supplements will make your brain healthier, and you will get smarter—according to companies selling those products. There are many products aimed at improving brain health and cognition, but research is inconclusive regarding the benefits of many of these products. So what has been shown to enhance brain functioning?  Exercise …

Searching for the Ghost in the Machine
August 22, 2019


You have probably heard the phrases “mind over matter,” “it’s all in your head,” or “mind and body.” These phrases imply the separation of mind and body/brain. Notions of the mysterious mind being something other than physical or material have existed throughout time. Some brain scientists have suggested most people are naturally dualist; they believe …