Brain scans on movie watchers reveal how we judge people

Unconscious bias has become a hot topic recently, with high profile incidents reported around the world. Researchers at Aalto University are exploring the causes of these biases in our neural wiring, and are developing techniques using MRI scanners that let us see the brain making assumptions in real time. The results show for the first time that the brain is not only unconsciously biased towards people based on appearance, but it also forms biases based on what we know about the person as well.

Peoples’ brains are naturally biased towards other people who are the same as them — a behavioural trait scientists call ‘in-group favouritism’. The opposite trait is also true: people are often naturally biased against people who are not the same as them, called ‘out-group derogation’. Mamdooh Afdile — a filmmaker studying for a PhD in neuroscience at Aalto University — decided to use cinema to explore this.

Leer Más

How listening to music ‘significantly impairs’ creativity

Summary: The popular view that music enhances creativity has been challenged by researchers who say it has the opposite effect. Psychologists investigated the impact of background music on performance by presenting people with verbal insight problems that are believed to tap creativity. They found that background music ‘significantly impaired’ people’s ability to complete tasks testing verbal creativity — but there was no effect for background library noise.

Leer Más

Fibonacci, el matemático que se puso a contar conejos y descubrió la secuencia divina


Durante los siglos en que China, India y el imperio islámico habían estado en ascenso, Europa había caído bajo una sombra.

Toda la vida intelectual, incluido el estudio de las matemáticas, se había estancado.

Pero en el siglo XIII, las cosas estaban empezando a cambiar.

Liderada por Italia, Europa empezó a explorar y comerciar con el oriente.

Con ese contacto llegó la difusión del conocimiento oriental hacia occidente.

Y sería el hijo de un funcionario de aduanas quien se convertiría en el primer gran matemático medieval de Europa.

Leer Más