IQ and death: why smarter people live longer

In my article about neuromyths, I debunked the commonly-held belief that IQ tests results only represent your ability to take IQ tests. In reality—and despite their flaws—IQ tests are predictive of many things. And, in particular, IQ tests can help predict your chances of dying. In a cohort study conducted in 2009 with almost a …

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Neuromyths: debunking the misconceptions about our brains

Fake news has become a hot topic. But the deliberate disinformation of the general public via traditional outlets or social media goes beyond the news: there is also an alarming rise in “fake science.” The brain and the mind feel extremely familiar. We do spend lots of our time inside our heads. That’s why it’s …

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The Mind, Explained: a Netflix documentary

The news and opinion website Vox just released a new mini-series on Netflix. It’s five 20-minute episodes, all about how the mind works. In typical Vox style, The Mind, Explained mixes cultural narratives, philosophy, and light science to ask interesting questions. I spent the evening watching these and wanted to share my notes. Overall, this …

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The science of decision making: why smart people do dumb things

Chocolate or vanilla? Trello or Jira? Atom or VS Code? Stay in or go out? Should I click on this link or not? We make thousands of choices everyday, often automatically, using mental shortcuts we have created over years of experience. Decision making is the process we use to identify and choose alternatives, producing a …

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The neuroscience of ikigai

I lived in Japan for seven months when I was younger. For all of the challenges I faced there as a woman and a foreigner, I still was fascinated by the culture. Because Japan experienced a long period of relative isolation from the outside world—caused by sakoku (“closed country”), the isolationist foreign policy of the …

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5 books to understand how your brain works

I love reading. I read a couple of books a month. And, as you know, I’m fascinated with the weird ways our brain works and the biology of the mind. This is a short list of great books about the human brain which anyone can read. No need for a neuroscience degree, just a lot …

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Why we wait: the neuroscience of procrastination

I have been meaning to write about procrastination for a while, but… Well, I procrastinated. We procrastinate when we delay or postpone the stuff we should be doing. Procrastination is incredibly common and something we have all struggled with at one point or another. Some people procrastinate out of fear of being judged for their …

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The science of curiosity: why we keep asking “why”

It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. Albert Einstein. Children have an incredibly inquisitive mind. “Why?” they keep asking. They explore new things for no other reason except that they just want to know. Researchers tried to figure out how often kids ask questions. Turns out, a lot: on average, children ask 107 …

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Learning how to learn

We spend years of our lives attending school, but there are many life skills missing from the typical curriculum. Critical thinking, constructive conversations, handling money, business writing, time management, and self-care are just but a few. Another skill we don’t spend enough time honing is learning how to learn. It’s a shame, because there are …

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