October 14, 2020

Why Brains Love Braincat

Braincat looks like a piece of software, but it’s actually a mental process. The software just makes the process easy to do. The Braincat process allows you to take a mass of unsorted stuff — ideas and information — and quickly organize it. Then you can think clearly, and take action.  What kind of information […]

January 23, 2021

The Editing Toolkit: Polish Your Writing With These Six “Reader’s Questions”

As every writer knows, writing is just half the job. The other half is editing. I like to think of my first draft as clay I’ve thrown onto the potter’s wheel. (Not that I have the faintest ceramic skills, but as a writer I’m allowed to imagine!). Now I’ve created that raw, wet stuff, I’m […]

January 20, 2021

Hate Writing? Learn to Love It With These Four Hacks

It’s no mystery why so many people hate writing. Someone (usually a teacher) made them feel stupid because of something they’d written. This is a horrible thing to do to a child — or an adult. Confidence in all of us is fragile and it can be broken way too easily. Writing in particular can […]

January 06, 2021

The Power of Emergent Thinking

Once I was moving house and I bought a stack of cardboard boxes from the moving company to help. They were printed with large bold labels like “Kitchen” “Clothes” “Toys” “Books” etc. Sounds like a helpful idea? Not for me! Of course, some of my belongings fit under these labels, but many did not. I […]

December 20, 2020

There Is No Such Thing As “The Brain”

I’m an avid subscriber to Dr. Ginger Campbell’s wonderful Brian Science Podcast. I have my Flipboard set to capture brain news. When time allows, I rummage around Google Scholar for obscure neuroscience studies. In sum, I’m one of a swelling population of brain science junkies. So it’s a bit troubling to notice a weird proposition […]

November 15, 2020

Thinking in Many Dimensions

Your brain is not a computer. Human thinking is multidimensional. It includes reason, emotions, images, memories… the list is endless. To save ourselves effort, we often tend to shrink this dimensional aspect. It’s way easier to maintain our thinking along a single track. People get confused about “intelligence”.  Someone who can recall and handle large […]

October 25, 2020

This One Little Game Will Make You Smarter—But Why?

Brain training is big business, with a multitude of online apps and a huge variety of exercises. It’s also a battleground of hotly contested claims. Studies appear denouncing all brain training as worthless, and these are countered by claims for every conceivable benefit from IQ increase to preventing Alzheimer’s. In the middle of all this […]

October 19, 2020

Thinking is Only Thinking

Brains are not computers: they come with bodies. Whenever we think, the entire body, from head to toe, is in full activation. Check for yourself: there’s a constant flow of sensations running alongside the chatter in your mind. You cannot just think. You also feel. Part of that flow is what we call “emotions.” Emotions […]

October 07, 2020

Finding Neutral

The biggest threat to mental mobility is anxiety. When we are anxious, we tighten the mind. Few things produce this effect quite so rapidly as an overload of information. Unfortunately the experience of TMI—too much information —has become pandemic, a direct result of digital technologies. Anxiety triggers our fight-or-flight response. This is one of the […]

September 18, 2020

Use It or Eat It

The sea squirt is much beloved by neuroscientists. It has a brain, but with only 177 neurons—somewhat less than our estimated 100 billion. So it’s possible to make a complete map of its cognitive apparatus. But here’s what’s interesting. The sea squirt starts out looking rather like a tadpole, and it swims around searching for […]