Collective Intelligence

Photo by batwrangler / CC BY-NC-ND

If you wanted to build a team in such a way that you maximized its overall intelligence, how would you do it? Would you stack it with high-IQ brainiacs? Would you populate it with natural leaders? Would you find experts on a wide range of topics? Well, those all sound like great ideas, but the latest research into collective intelligence suggests that none of them would work. In this episode we will discuss what factors constitute the best solution.

You Are Not So Smart

 

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The Divided Brain

Your brain consists of two distinct hemispheres and they collaborate with each other to provide you with different experiences of the world. But has the balance between the two halves of your brain got out of whack – and what’s the impact?

All in the Mind

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How to Beat Distraction and Stay Focused

Today we discuss what goes on in our brains when we use our digital devices, why they distract us, and what we can do about it. Our guest walks us through the cognitive functions we use to focus our attention and to avoid distraction. He then explains why these evolved cognitive functions are mismatched to today’s constantly buzzing digital devices, using a theory of optimal food foraging borrowed from biology. We then discuss action steps grounded in science on how you can beat distraction and stay more focused throughout the day. We end our conversation talking about “prescription” video games that can be used to help elderly patients and individuals with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The Art of Manliness

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Are We Born Evil?

What moves somebody to drive a car into a crowd of people – or trigger a bomb? Krys Boyd questions Yudhijit Bhattacharjee about the origins of malicious impulses. His story “What Science Tells Us About Good and Evil” appeared on the website of National Geographic.

KERA’s Think

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Embrace the Chaos – Why Disorder May Be Good for Us

To many of us, the desire to bring order to chaos can be nearly irresistible.  We tell our kids to clean their rooms, and our politicians to clean up Washington. But economist and writer Tim Harford thinks we’re underestimating the value of disorder. In this episode he explains how an embrace of chaos is beneficial to musicians, speechmakers, politicians – and the rest of us.

Hidden Brain

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The Genetics of Depression

Depression is the most disabling chronic condition worldwide affecting around 14% of world’s population. It’s very likely to cause problems at  school, damage career and disrupt relationships. It can be triggered by enviromental factors, and can run in families. Research is now underway to precisely identify the genes associated with depression and the results may lead to dramatically improved and personalised treatment.

Big Ideas – ABC Radio

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Meditation Under Investigation

Silicon Valley CEOs, scruffy hippies, and Tibetan monks alike describe meditation as blissful and life-changing, but what does the science say? Can it reduce stress, increase your attention, and improve mental health — or is all this focus on breathing just a bunch of hot air? Sit back, get comfortable, focus your mind and let the experts to sort it out for you. Among them are Tim Ferriss, Professor Gaelle Desbordes, Dr. Clifford Saron, and Dr. Britta Hölzel.

Science Vs

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Why DNA Is Not Destiny

One of the things in life we currently can’t change is our DNA. Yet technological progress shows an exciting promise for significant alterations that would eradicate some of the genetic diseases and enhance certain traits in the genome before birth. In addition, modern research indicates that there is no single “cancer”, “IQ” or “infidelity” gene or that DNA would control our destiny contrary to popular beliefs. University of British Columbia psychology professor Steven Heine joins us to discuss his book “DNA is not Destiny: The Remarkable, Completely Misunderstood Relationship Between You and Your Genes” (W.W. Norton and Co.).

KERA’s Think

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Craft Work – ‘Dirty’ Work

Laurie Taylor talks to Richard Ocejo, Associate Professor of Sociology at City University of New York and author of a study which explores the renaissance of bartending, distilling, barbering, and butchering, traditionally low status manual labour jobs which are being re-created as upscale careers by middle class, well educated young men. How does this complicate our notions of upward and downward mobility?

Expertise also provided by Professor Phil Hubbard from Kings College London and Professor Ruth Simpson from Brunel Business School.

Thinking Allowed – BBC Radio 4

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