The art and science of mind wandering

“Sorry, I spaced out, what were you saying?” you ask your friend. It has happened to all of us: we are physically in place, while our mind is in another one. Mind wandering, while it can take many forms, is an experience of thought shared by all of humanity. Some people see it as a …

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The psychology of mindful productivity

Mindful productivity is a sustainable way to work and think. It’s not a product, it’s not an app, it’s not a system—it’s a flexible roadmap. While mindful productivity is first and foremost a set of principles anyone can apply to work better and think better, many of the habits and routines it prescribes are rooted …

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Beyond human consciousness

“What is it like to be a bat?” famously asked Thomas Nagel in 1974 in The Philosophical Review. It may sound like a silly question, but it has profound implications. We quite literally make sense of the world through our touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste. Our sense of space in particular is governed in …

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Science-based methods to improve your memory

Many think it’s impossible to improve your memory. But scientific research shows that many techniques do have an impact on how well we remember things. Unfortunately, lots of people use the wrong methods. For example, highlighting has virtually zero effect on information retention. “It seems like if I have highlighted something (…) then I should …

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The comforting pseudoscience of the MBTI

When I was in uni, we had to attend a series of workshops designed to improve our career prospects. We were supposed to learn how to create a resume, how to use job boards, and lots of other useful skills. At the beginning of the very first session, the instructor gave us a long personality …

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Neuroproductivity: how to be more productive using neuroscience

Neuroproductivity is the neuroscience of productivity. Most of us have goals we would like to achieve. These can be professional or personal. But obstacles get in the way, which we need to overcome to get closer to where we want to be. External obligations such as social events, unforeseen additional work, and demanding customers can …

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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 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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Are emotions good or bad?

The role of emotions has been debated over the years, with some claiming that they are “bad for our peace of mind” (Skinner, 1948), and others arguing that they are important for our “physical or social survival” (Keltner & Gross, 1999). Emotions can be defined as states induced by the occurrence, termination, or omission of …

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A quick overview of the polymerase chain reaction

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a laboratory method that allows researchers to produce a significant amount of specific DNA using trace amounts of source DNA, which can be obtained from a variety of organisms and tissues (Garibyan & Avashia, 2013). When discovered in the 1980s, the technique – which can produce billions of copies …

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