The Truman Show Delusion

This is Albert. Albert is a twenty-six-year-old, single man from western Pennsylvania. Albert lives with his parents, is an only child, and works at a nearby assembly plant. Albert believes that he is the star of a reality TV show, filmed by cameras implanted in his eyes. He thinks the people in his life are actors, working together to keep…

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How Movies Control Your Brain

Alfred Hitchcock once said of films that “creation is based on an exact science of audience reactions” Many years after that shower scene, audience reactions are becoming an exact science – Neuroscientists are looking at how we watch movies to figure out which styles of filmmaking have maximum control over viewers’ brains. It’s popularly being called “neurocinema”. In one study,…

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The Man With a Hole in His Brain

Back in 1848 in the North-Eastern United States, there was an ordinary young man who had a pretty extraordinary accident. You may have heard of Phineas Gage, the railway foreman who had a one metre iron rod blasted through his skull—and survived. It’s pretty graphic, think bits of skull and brains bursting out of his head. This is my friend…

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This Is How Your Brain Grows

Inside your head you have about 86 billion brain cells, or neurons. That’s Joe, from It’s Okay To Be Smart. Now all those neurons live in particular regions of your brain. Take these here, those are the ones that help you see, whereas, well, way over here, those are the ones that help you move. And it’s pretty amazing to…

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Google Owns 28% of Your Brain

Every morning, when my alarm goes off, I don’t hear a traditional chime – rather, my Amazon Echo plays motivational music to encourage me to actually get out of bed. Then it plays a video news briefing, suggests what I should wear based on the weather and then hands it over to my Google Assistant. Hey Google, what’s on my…

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Your Brain in Virtual Reality

Okay, this is a thought experiment. Imagine there’s a brain, sitting in a jar – and it’s hooked up to a computer which can perfectly simulate experiences of the outside world. The computer inputs sensory information to the brain and the brain responds, just like a real world experience. It responds to simulated pain, touch and smells – just like…

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How to Stay Motivated, Using Psychology.

Every day, you probably have to do at leastone thing you’d rather not do. Maybe you have to finish a boring work project,or go to the gym again, or stick to your diet when you’d rather spend the day bingingNetflix and eating Doritos. Sticking to your long-term goals requiresmotivation. But just like people, motivation is complicated! And understanding more about…

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How Gaslighting Manipulates Your Mind

Have you ever encountered a lie so blatant that it seems improbable someone would actually use it? So improbable that you start wondering maybe you are missing something or misremembering a story? Has anyone ever made you question your reality? Have you ever been gaslighted? This is another Field Guide to Bad Behaviour. Let’s explore how to navigate the wilderness…

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