With Good Reason

Nuts and Bolts: Our Brains on STEM
January 18th, 2014

Courtesy of Flickr member CaptPiper

Courtesy of Flickr member CaptPiper

What if you could change not just how much you know, but your actual intelligence? Psychologist Oliver Hill (Virginia State University) believes that special cognitive training can rewire the way brains work and help kids succeed in math and science. And: Stereotypes affect the way others see us and the way we see ourselves. They can also lead to lower test scores. Claude Steele (Stanford University) and Margaret Shih (University of California, Los Angeles) explain that stereotypes about math and science can self-handicap. Plus: Cheryl Talley (Virginia State University) is helping students overcome self-handicapping through things like journaling and text-messages.

Later in the show: You know what it’s like to have a song stuck in your head. But what if your brain was constantly making music of its own without your knowledge? “Brainwave Chick” Paras Kaul (George Mason University) has found a way to tap into the natural melodies of her mind, convert them to digital sound, and make brain music. She explains how using music to alter one’s mental state can heighten concentration and problem-solving ability.  Also: Dennis Proffitt (University of Virginia) is developing technology that allows the brain to express itself artistically without the use of any muscles. He hopes to facilitate the participation of fully paralyzed or “locked-in” individuals in society through the use of “brain painting.”

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