Development of the Infant Brain

Looking primarily at the research of Alison Gopnik, Jonah Lehrer looks at the development of the infant brain.

Gopnik argues that, in many respects, babies are more conscious than adults. She compares the experience of being a baby with that of watching a riveting movie, or being a tourist in a foreign city, where even the most mundane activities seem new and exciting. “For a baby, every day is like going to Paris for the first time,” Gopnik says. “Just go for a walk with a 2-year-old. You’ll quickly realize that they’re seeing things you don’t even notice.”

via Mind Hacks, which itself has a word of caution about the claim that babies have more neurons than adults.

How We Decide

One of my favourite science writers—the editor at large of Seed Magazine, Jonah Lehrer—has been interviewed by The Commonwealth Club about his forthcoming book, The Decisive Moment/How We Decide (UK/US titles, respectively).

The video of the interview is full of excellent anecdotes (backed-up by peer reviewed research) on many topics ranging from emotional and rational decision making to the tip-of-the-tongue effect and the placebo effect.

(For those of you who attended Ignite Cardiff last night, Lehrer discusses a study very similar to one I discussed in my talk that you may find interesting.)