Discover more from Hidden Brain
The benefits of rockin’ out
Plus, consider the jellyfish.
“We all will fall for the right scam.” -Psychologist Dan Simons
Your brain on music. Our brain activity lights up like fireworks when we listen to music because hearing music involves processing different elements of sound. “But when scientists turned from observing the brains of music listeners to those of musicians, the little backyard fireworks became a jubilee,” a TED-Ed video explains. “It turns out that while listening to music engages the brain in some pretty interesting activities, playing music is the brain's equivalent of a full-body workout.” In other words, when we play music rather than simply listen to it, additional areas of the brain light up – areas associated with memory, executive functioning, and problem-solving, for example. Watch the full video to learn why this happens—and what it means for your guitar-picking habit.
Jelly roll. Despite having simple nervous systems with no central brain, jellyfish appear to have the ability to respond to past experiences. In a study, scientists trained tiny Caribbean box jellyfish to learn to spot and dodge obstacles. They put them in a tank that mimicked their natural environment but added gray stripes that looked like distant mangrove roots. However, when the jellyfish bumped into these stripes, they learned that they were not distant after all. It didn’t take long for them to adjust. The jellyfish swam around, avoiding the “roots,” suggesting that they can learn from experience. "If you want to understand complex structures, it's always good to start as simple as you can," said author Anders Garm. If jellyfish can learn from past mistakes, so can we.
Picture perfect. Perfectionism is everyone’s favorite flaw. It’s easy to assume that our push to be perfect is what leads to academic, athletic and professional success. But there are much healthier ways to strive for excellence. Listen to learn more.
ON THE HIDDEN BRAIN PODCAST
How to Spot a Scam: Psychologist Dan Simons says all of us can fall victim to scams, no matter how sophisticated we are. This week, the most common types of scams and the psychological tricks they employ.
ON THE MY UNSUNG HERO PODCAST
Wendy McDowell's story: In 1979, Wendy was eight years old, crying alone in an airport. Then she saw a woman in white walking toward her.
Don’t forget to send us the story of your unsung hero! Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON HIDDEN BRAIN+
Anna Lembke on Addiction: Psychologist Anna Lembke says science, technology and innovation have allowed us to drug-ify almost every human behavior. In this episode, she answers your questions on grappling with our addictive tendencies.
Have you tried out Hidden Brain+ yet? You can find it by searching for our show in the Apple Podcasts app, or by going to apple.co/hiddenbrain.
FROM OUR LISTENERS
What do the following words have in common: revive, banana, grammar, voodoo, assess, potato, dresser, uneven?
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
Don goes to the supermarket and buys 10 tomatoes. On the way back home, all but 9 get ruined. How many tomatoes are still in good condition?
The answer: 9
A MOMENT OF JOY
Life in the slow lane. Hat tip to Hidden Brain listener and reader Paul for sending this story our way. Thank you, Paul.