INCREASE YOUR MIND POWER: The Science of Clear Thinking
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But then, in , a pair of workaholic psychologists from Switzerland, Susanne Jaeggi and her boyfriend Martin Buschkuehl, published a study that sent eyebrows shooting upwards, and that's still being fiercely debated today. You can really do this.
The Jaeggi study relied on an especially vicious brain-training game known as the "dual n-back". You can try it for yourself at soakyourhead. So far, so tolerable — but at the same time, you're playing a visual version of the same game, in which one of a set of eight squares lights up in orange; when the illuminated square is the same as the one before last, you press your computer's A key. Doing both these tasks at once feels savagely unpleasant, but if you make it through to the end, something worse is in store: If you can make it to the next stage — looking for matches three times before last — you're probably a witch.
Jaeggi and Buschkuehl persuaded undergraduates at the University of Bern, and later other subjects, to submit to the dual n-back for several minutes a day, over weeks. They tested their fluid intelligence using Raven's Progressive Matrices , a widely respected test involving visual pattern manipulations.
Think of those old newspaper ads for Mensa, and you won't be far off. What they discovered upended the conventional wisdom: By then, the first generation of commercial brain games had been largely discredited: But playing the dual n-back, it appeared, could truly make people more intelligent.
There are few surer ways to create a firestorm among psychologists and neuroscientists, it turns out, than to claim such impressive changes to an aspect of intelligence long considered fixed. Some in the field compared the Jaeggi findings to cold fusion, which is as close as you can get to accusing a fellow academic of hallucinating while remaining minimally polite.
Some prominently reported attempts to replicate the Jaeggi findings failed, but others found similar positive results in schoolchildren and the elderly. In , a meta-analysis based on 23 studies found "no convincing evidence of the generalisation of working memory training to other skills", though there's been debate about the selection criteria involved. Interviews conducted for Hurley's book show the scientific establishment to be well and truly divided.
I got transcranial stimulation at Guy's hospital in , as a guinea pig.
But then you do the hard research and you don't see much difference. Yet it would be very strange, ultimately, if it were to prove utterly impossible to modify your brain's basic capacities through any form of training. Sadly, that's probably a good sign, and it's one thing on which researchers do tend to agree: If the individual has relevant expertise, she will recognize the situation, and the intuitive solution that comes to mind is likely to be correct.
This is what happens when a chess master looks at a complex position: When the question is difficult and a skilled solution is not available, intuition still has a shot: This is the essence of intuitive heuristics: The human brain activates fires roughly 20 quadrillion neurons every second. A blueprint for coming up with new solutions to old problems, accompanied by amusing examples. Even on the most important issues of the day, we often adopt the views of our friends, families, and colleagues.
On some level, this makes sense: But running with the herd means we are quick to embrace the status quo, slow to change our minds, and happy to delegate our thinking. A guide for using the human tendency toward habitual behavior to positive use. We now know why habits emerge, how they change, and the science behind their mechanics. We know how to break them into parts and rebuild them to our specifications.
22 Books That Expand Your Mind and Change The Way You Live - Darius Foroux
We understand how to make people eat less, exercise more, work more efficiently, and live healthier lives. Francis Bacon said it best:. So when I recently stumbled upon a question on Quora that went like this: Because not every book has the same impact. To me, expanding your mind means that a book had an impact on the way I look at the world. And after serious thought, I came up with the following 22 books that caused a real shift in the way I think. I hope they expand your mind too.
I still think about this book almost daily, years after I first read it. What happened to millions of Jews 70 years ago, is truly horrific. We forget that it was only a few decades ago. His philosophy and perspective on life should be cherished and passed on forever. I remember how I discovered his writings — through the movie Into The Wild. But his biggest inspiration was Thoreau. We make a lot of decisions in our life.
22 Books That Expand Your Mind and Change The Way You Live
How many of those decisions are rational? If you ask Dobelli, very little. This book is an excellent collection of 99 thinking errors — from cognitive biases to social distortions. This book lives up to its hype. Self-control is the number one skill that helped me through my college years.
And this practical book inspired me to bring my willpower to the next level.
Can I increase my brain power?
McGonigal writes in a down-to-earth manner that inspires you to take action. Your ability to enjoy your work not only determines work satisfaction, but it also impacts how good you become at something. Flow is one of those books I think about every day. Getting in a flow state is something that actually changes the way you work and experience life.