Posts Tagged ‘TED’

Elizabeth Waters: The left brain vs. right brain myth (2017)


The human brain is visibly split into a left and right side. This structure has inspired one of the most pervasive ideas about the brain: that the left side controls logic and the right side controls creativity. And yet, this is a myth, unsupported by scientific evidence. So how did this idea come about, and what does it get wrong?


Annie Bosler and Don Greene: How to practice effectively…for just about anything (2017)


Mastering any physical skill takes practice. Practice is the repetition of an action with the goal of improvement, and it helps us perform with more ease, speed, and confidence. But what does practice actually do to make us better at things? Annie Bosler and Don Greene explain how practice affects the inner workings of our brains.

David Dunning: Why incompetent people think they’re amazing (2017)


How good are you with money? What about reading people’s emotions? How healthy are you, compared to other people you know? Knowing how our skills stack up against others is useful in many ways. But psychological research suggests that we’re not very good at evaluating ourselves accurately. In fact, we frequently overestimate our own abilities. David Dunning describes the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Lea Gaslowitz: How to spot a misleading graph (2017)


When they’re used well, graphs can help us intuitively grasp complex data. But as visual software has enabled more usage of graphs throughout all media, it has also made them easier to use in a careless or dishonest way – and as it turns out, there are plenty of ways graphs can mislead and outright manipulate. Lea Gaslowitz shares some things to look out for.

Stuart Vyse: Where do superstitions come from? (2017)


Are you afraid of black cats? Would you open an umbrella indoors? How do you feel about the number 13? Whether or not you believe in them, you’re probably familiar with a few of these superstitions. But where did they come from? Stuart Vyse shares the weird and specific origins of some of our favorite superstitions.


Wilfred Manzano: How blood pressure works? (2015)


If you lined up all the blood vessels in your body, they’d be 60 thousand miles long. And every day, they carry the equivalent of over two thousand gallons of blood to the body’s tissues.

Richard St. John: 8 secrets of success (2007)


Why do people succeed? Is it because they’re smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success.

Noah Zandan: The language of lying (2014)


We hear anywhere from 10 to 200 lies a day. And although we’ve spent much of our history coming up with ways to detect these lies by tracking physiological changes in their tellers, these methods have proved unreliable. Is there a more direct approach? Noah Zandan uses some famous examples of lying to illustrate how we might use communications science to analyze the lies themselves.


Randall Hayes: At what moment are you dead? (2014)


For as far back as we can trace our existence, humans have been fascinated with death and resurrection. But is resurrection really possible? And what is the actual difference between a living creature and a dead body anyway?

Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness (2015)


What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness (2004)


Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.”

Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread (2003)


In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to just ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.

Eleanor Nelsen: Why do your knuckles pop (2015)


Some people love the feeling of cracking their knuckles, while others cringe at the sound. But what causes that trademark pop? And is it dangerous? Eleanor Nelsen gives the facts behind joint popping.

Jeffrey Siegel: What makes muscles grow (2015)


We have over 600 muscles in our bodies that help bind us together, hold us up, and help us move. Your muscles also need your constant attention, because the way you treat them on a daily basis determines whether they will wither or grow. Jeffrey Siegel illustrates how a good mix of sleep, nutrition and exercise keep your muscles as big and strong as possible.

Tim Urban: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator (2016)


Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn’t make sense, but he’s never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window — and encourages us to think harder about what we’re really procrastinating on, before we run out of time.

Adam Grant: The surprising habits of original thinkers (2016)


How do creative people come up with great ideas? Organizational psychologist Adam Grant studies “originals”: thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world.


James O’Keefe: Run for Your Life! At a comfortable pace, and not too far (2012)

Run for Your Life! At a comfortable pace, and not too far

Run for Your Life! At a comfortable pace, and not too far

“The fitness patterns for conferring longevity and robust lifelong cardiovascular health are distinctly different from the patterns that develop peak performance and marathon/superhuman endurance. Extreme endurance training and racing can take a toll on your long-term cardiovascular health. For the daily workout, it may be best to have more fun endure less suffering in order to attain ideal heart health.” Dr. James O’Keefe Jr. is the director of Preventative Cardiology Fellowship Program and the Director of Preventative Cardiology at Cardiovascular Consultants at the Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, a large cardiology practice in Kansas City.


Nicole Avena: How sugar affects the brain (2014)

How sugar affects the brain

How sugar affects the brain

When you eat something loaded with sugar, your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice. This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine – an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more. Nicole Avena explains why sweets and treats should be enjoyed in moderation.

Andrew Connolly: What’s the next window into our universe? (2014)

What's the next window into our universe?

What’s the next window into our universe?

Big Data is everywhere — even the skies. In an informative talk, astronomer Andrew Connolly shows how large amounts of data are being collected about our universe, recording it in its ever-changing moods. Just how do scientists capture so many images at scale? It starts with a giant telescope …

Carter Emmart demos a 3D atlas of the universe (2010)

Carter Emmart demos a 3D atlas of the universe

Carter Emmart demos a 3D atlas of the universe

For the last 12 years, Carter Emmart has been coordinating the efforts of scientists, artists and programmers to build a complete 3D visualization of our known universe. He demos this stunning tour and explains how it’s being shared with facilities around the world.

Patricia Burchat sheds light on dark matter (2008)

Patricia Burchat sheds light on dark matter

Patricia Burchat sheds light on dark matter

Physicist Patricia Burchat sheds light on two basic ingredients of our universe: dark matter and dark energy. Comprising 96% of the universe between them, they can’t be directly measured, but their influence is immense.

Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles” (2011)

Beware online "filter bubbles"

Beware online "filter bubbles"

As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

Charles Limb: Your brain on improv (2010)

Charles Limb

Charles Limb

Musician and researcher Charles Limb wondered how the brain works during musical improvisation — so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an fMRI to find out. What he and his team found has deep implications for our understanding of creativity of all kinds.

Jason Fried: Why work doesn’t happen at work (2010)

Why work doesn't happen at work

Why work doesn't happen at work

Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn’t a good place to do it. At TEDxMidwest, he lays out the main problems (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make work work.

Jill Tarter’s call to join the SETI search (2009)

Jill Tarter

Jill Tarter

The SETI Institute’s Jill Tarter makes her TED Prize wish: to accelerate our search for cosmic company. Using a growing array of radio telescopes, she and her team listen for patterns that may be a sign of intelligence elsewhere in the universe.

Pranav Mistry: The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology (2009)

Pranav Mistry

Pranav Mistry

At TEDIndia, Pranav Mistry demos several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data – including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper “laptop.” In an onstage Q&A, Mistry says he’ll open-source the software behind SixthSense, to open its possibilities to all.

Henry Markram builds a brain in a supercomputer (2009)

Henry Markram

Henry Markram

Henry Markram says the mysteries of the mind can be solved – soon. Mental illness, memory, perception: they’re made of neurons and electric signals, and he plans to find them with a supercomputer that models all the brain’s 100,000,000,000,000 synapses.

Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight (2008)

Jill Bolte Taylor

Jill Bolte Taylor

Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, self-awareness — shut down one by one. An astonishing story.

Martin Rees asks: Is this our final century? (2005)


Speaking as both an astronomer and “a concerned member of the human race,” Sir Martin Rees examines our planet and its future from a cosmic perspective. He urges action to prevent dark consequences from our scientific and technological development.

George Smoot on the design of the universe (2008)


At Serious Play 2008, astrophysicist George Smoot shows stunning new images from deep-space surveys, and prods us to ponder how the cosmos — with its giant webs of dark matter and mysterious gaping voids — got built this way.