Self Help

The Extended Mind - Annie Murphy Paul

Author Photo

Matheus Puppe

· 87 min read



  1. The book argues that thinking happens not just inside the brain, but also with the body, surroundings, and relationships. The mind is like a bird constructing a nest - it uses available parts in the environment to think.

  2. Stories of scientists, artists, and leaders show how they think through embodiment, place, and interaction with others. Barbara McClintock embodied plant chromosomes, and Susie Orbach senses feelings through her own body. James Watson used cardboard cutouts, and Robert Caro plots lives on big maps. Jonas Salk was inspired by a monastery, and Jackson Pollock painted in the countryside. Brad Bird argues with his producer to create films, and Carl Wieman got his students to talk to each other.

  3. Research shows the importance of extra-neural factors beyond the brain for thinking: embodied cognition research shows the role of the body, situated cognition research shows the role of place, and distributed cognition research shows the role of others.

  4. The book aims to reclaim thinking outside the brain as a legitimate way that humans achieve intellect and creativity. The prevailing view that the brain does it all on its own is limited. Thinking with the body, spaces, and relationships often produces the best thinking.

That’s a high-level summary of the main points based on the Contents provided. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions.

  1. Transactive memory: Individuals in a group develop areas of specialized expertise. They then contribute this knowledge to the group, enabling the group as a whole to know more than any individual member.

  2. Collective intelligence: Groups can produce results that exceed the sum of their members’ individual contributions. The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

  3. Thinking outside the brain means utilizing external resources to enhance thinking and cognition:

  • The body: Using gestures, physical movements, and physiological states to aid thinking.

  • Physical spaces: Arranging workspaces and learning environments to promote focus, creativity, and productivity.

  • Other minds: Engaging in social practices like teaching, storytelling and discussion that improve memory, understanding and cognition.

  • Tools and technology: Offloading information onto devices to reduce cognitive load and free up mental resources.

  1. Thinking inside the brain, relying only on internal mental processes, limits our thinking. Engaging external resources can transform and augment cognition.

  2. We’re taught to “use our heads” but not taught how to think outside the brain using these external resources, which is an essential skill for solving complex problems.

So in summary, the key takeaways are the value of transactive memory and collective intelligence in groups, and the idea that physical, social and technological resources in our environment can extend and improve our thinking beyond what the brain alone can achieve.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The author argues that while we often think of the human brain as a powerful all-purpose thinking tool, in reality it has many limitations. The modern world poses complex cognitive challenges that the brain alone struggles with, like recalling complex information, logical reasoning, and abstract thinking.

However, instead of acknowledging the brain’s limitations, we just try to “think harder.” The author says we need to recognize that thinking extends beyond the brain, using external tools and resources. Yet we lack education and training in how to effectively leverage extra-neural sources to boost cognition.

The author traces this “neurocentric bias” to the invention of the first electronic computer, the ENIAC, in the 1940s. The ENIAC was seen as a model of computation performed by an isolated machine. This analogy framed how we came to view the brain as an “all-purpose thinking machine.”

But in recent years, scientists have started to understand how cognition extends beyond the brain into the body and environment. The author sees this as an opportunity to develop techniques for using extra-neural tools to enhance thinking. This could help bridge the gap between the brain’s capabilities and the demands of the modern world.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

In the 1940s, the ENIAC computer was unveiled. It could calculate artillery shell trajectories 30% faster than the shells could actually fly. This demonstration showed the speed and power of computers and electrical calculating machines.

After the ENIAC, the idea that the brain functions like a computer became mainstream. Researchers began describing thinking as an information processing activity, with the brain as an information processing machine sealed inside the skull. This “cognitive revolution” shaped how psychology and cognitive science studied the mind in the following decades.

The brain-computer metaphor became pervasive in research and popular culture. It implies that the brain has attributes like storage and processing speed that can be measured and compared. It also suggests that some brains perform better than others, just like some computers.

However, in the 2000s another metaphor emerged - the brain as muscle. Researchers proposed that the brain could be developed and strengthened through mental exercise, just like muscles grow through physical exertion. This idea of a “growth mindset” became very popular.

Both metaphors imply that the mind is a sealed entity within the skull that determines our intellectual abilities. They also imply that people’s mental capacities can be easily measured and ranked.

These metaphors fit with cultural values like individualism and the notion of a linear scale from less able to more able. They also align with the human propensity for essentialism - the belief that things have inherent essences that make them what they are.

In summary, while the brain-computer and brain-muscle metaphors have shaped research and popular conceptions of intelligence, they also have limitations and rest on broader cultural beliefs and biases.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text argues that thinking outside the brain is a more accurate model of how cognition works compared to the brain-as-computer and brain-as-muscle metaphors. It uses the analogy of the brain as a magpie, which constructs nests from external materials, to illustrate this point.

Some key ideas:

• Thinking involves both processes inside the skull and resources outside the brain. Intelligence depends on access to external resources and knowledge of how to use them.

• Modern life requires biologically secondary abilities that humans are not naturally equipped for, exceeding the brain’s limits. Efforts to enhance brain capacities through brain training and neurotechnology have largely been ineffective.

• The future of thinking smarter lies in getting better at thinking outside the brain. However, there is a bias in favor of brainbound thinking that needs to be overcome.

The text provides an example of Andy Clark losing his laptop as an event that prompted him to consider the idea of thinking outside the brain, highlighting how dependent we are on external aids.

Overall, the text argues that a shift in perspective is needed from thinking inside the brain to recognizing the importance of external resources for true intelligence.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

  1. The author describes how using his brain and analytical skills to devise trades often resulted in losses. But following gut feelings based on “blips in consciousness” and bodily feedback often led to profitable trades. This showed him good judgment requires listening to the body.

  2. Some people may be better able to use bodily sensations for good judgment than others, even with similar credentials or education. On trading floors, Ivy League graduates with strong analysis skills often lose money while less distinguished colleagues with a knack for reading their bodies make consistent profits.

  3. The passage then discusses Clark and Chalmers’ theory of the “extended mind,” which argues the mind extends beyond the brain into the body and environment. Though initially controversial, the idea has become influential in fields like embodied, situated and distributed cognition.

  4. The book aims to operationalize the extended mind concept with practical methods. Chapters discuss thinking with interoception, body movements, gestures, natural spaces, built spaces, externalizing thoughts, leveraging expertise of others and group thinking.

  5. Common themes emerge: technology could better extend minds by incorporating extra-neural resources; expertise involves knowing how to marshal extra-neural resources rather than just “10,000 hours” of practice; and access to mental extensions is unequally distributed.

  6. The value of the extended mind analogy lies in offering a novel way to understand how we extend beyond our limits: not by supercharging our brains like machines but by incorporating rich materials from our environment into our thoughts.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

  1. John Coates, a former Wall Street trader, studied traders’ ability to detect the timing of their heartbeats. He found that traders who were more accurate at this task made more money, indicating that bodily signals or “gut feelings” contribute to success in financial markets.

  2. Interoception refers to our awareness of internal bodily signals. Some people have a greater sensitivity to interoceptive signals, though most are not aware of individual differences in this ability. Interoceptive awareness can be cultivated through exercises.

  3. While our conscious minds can only process a limited amount of information, our unconscious minds collect and store a vast amount of information through pattern identification. We often know things without realizing how we know them.

  4. Though we are not consciously aware of our unconscious knowledge, our bodies can alert us through physical sensations like shivers, tension, or changes in breathing. These interoceptive signals can prompt us to apply useful patterns we’ve learned without conscious awareness.

  5. Proper use of interoceptive signals can help us make better decisions, respond resiliently to challenges, manage our emotions, and connect sensitively with others. Our awareness of internal bodily signals can act as a rich repository of knowledge and wisdom.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

  1. The text describes an experiment by Damasio and colleagues where participants had to choose decks of cards to draw from in order to win money. Some decks were “bad” and would lead to losses, while others were “good” and would yield gains.

  2. Participants’ physiological arousal was monitored via skin conductance sensors. The data showed that their bodies began recognizing which decks were bad within about 45 seconds, yet it took participants several minutes to consciously realize which decks to avoid.

  3. This suggests that the body has access to information that the conscious mind cannot process as quickly. Being more attuned to bodily sensations can help make use of this non-conscious knowledge.

  4. Mindfulness meditation techniques like the body scan can improve interoceptive awareness by reconnecting the conscious mind to bodily feelings. In the body scan, one focuses attention on different body parts in sequence, observing any sensations that arise.

  5. Naming the sensations one feels, known as “affect labeling,” can help regulate emotions by dialing down the stress response. Both being prolific and precise in labels is recommended.

  6. Sensing and labeling bodily sensations can help them function as a “somatic rudder” to guide decision making. The body may be more rational than the brain due to being unaffected by cognitive biases.

That covers the main points presented in the summary provided. Let me know if you would like me to expand or modify any part of this summary.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text discusses how interoception, or the ability to sense the internal signals from our bodies, can improve decision-making and promote resilience.

Interoception involves sensing signals from our internal organs and muscles that tell us about our physiological state. Some people are better than others at picking up on these subtle internal signals.

According to the text, interoception can help us make better decisions in two ways:

  1. Some meditators in a study relied on bodily sensations to make economic decisions rather than conscious reasoning. They made more rational choices. Experiencing bodily signals directly can bypass cognitive biases.

  2. An awareness of internal cues can help us learn to associate certain sensations with positive or negative outcomes. Keeping an “interoceptive journal” can help us make this connection over time.

Interoception can also promote resilience by helping us monitor and regulate our energy levels. Subtle bodily signals tell us when we have enough energy to persist through challenges and when we need to rest. People with high resilience tend to have a keener sense of their internal state.

The author discusses an experiment where participants with high and low resilience, as measured by a questionnaire, also showed differences in interoception ability. The low-resilience group had poorer interoception.

In summary, the text argues that interoception, the ability to sense our internal bodily signals, can aid decision-making by bypassing cognitive biases and can promote resilience by helping us manage our energy levels.

  1. Researcher Martin Paulus studies how people experience stress and regulate their body and mind under challenging conditions. He tests subjects by restricting their breathing while scanning their brain activity.

  2. Champion swimmer Diana Nyad took part in Paulus’s study. During the breathing restriction task, Nyad’s brain showed an intense response before the stressor but settled down during and after. Her cognitive performance actually improved under stress.

  3. Paulus found that elite performers have a superior ability to sense their body’s cues and manage resources efficiently, keeping energy in reserve. They exhibit better “cognitive resilience.”

  4. In contrast, people with low resilience show high brain activity during and after stressors. They struggle to perform and give up more easily.

  5. Researcher Elizabeth Stanley teaches mindfulness and attentiveness to bodily signals to improve cognitive resilience, especially for those in high-stress jobs. Paying attention to early stress signs can help avoid overreacting.

  6. Being interoceptively aware allows people to enjoy richer emotions. Interoceptive sensations form the building blocks of emotions. But emotions arise from bodily sensations and actions, not the other way around as commonly believed.

How’s that? Let me know if you would like me to modify or expand the summary in any way.

  1. William James argued that our emotions arise from our bodily sensations, not the other way around. We feel afraid because we tremble, not the reverse.

  2. Modern research supports James’ theory. Emotions are constructed from physical signals and mental interpretations. Interoceptive awareness, the awareness of bodily sensations, plays a key role.

  3. Cognitive reappraisal, reinterpreting bodily signals in an adaptive way, can shape the emotions we experience. Reappraising nervousness as excitement can improve performance.

  4. Stress can be reappraised as productive coping, which has been shown to improve test scores. Reappraisal works by redirecting mental resources.

  5. Interoceptive awareness allows us to better understand others’ emotions. When we mimic others’ expressions, we experience their feelings in our own bodies via interoception.

  6. Social interoception, the awareness of our bodily signals during social interactions, can enhance our connections with others. Brief touches and eye contact can increase interoceptive attunement.

How’s that? Feel free to let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

Here is a summary of the text:

The author argues that moving our bodies can enhance our thinking and cognition in significant ways. Low, medium, and high intensity physical activity can each improve cognitive function in different ways. Certain types of movements like congruent, novel, self-referential and metaphorical movements can extend thinking beyond what is possible when stationary.

The text provides evidence to support this from studies showing that radiologists who walked while reviewing X-rays spotted more abnormalities than those who sat. Physical activity sharpens visual perception, especially in the periphery.

The tight connection between thinking and moving is an evolutionary legacy. As human ancestors transitioned to a hunting and gathering lifestyle, it required both physical activity and complex cognition. This shaped the development of the human brain.

While modern life is more sedentary, the link between body and mind remains. The author argues that moving our bodies, in the right ways, can still enhance how we think and process information. Devices like treadmill workstations and motion sensors are being studied to help harness this connection.

In summary, the key takeaways are that physical movement can enhance short-term cognition, especially when the movements are of low to medium intensity or are self-referential, novel or metaphorical in nature. This connection has evolutionary roots in our ancestors’ active hunter-gatherer lifestyle but remains relevant today.

  • In contrast to hunter-gatherer communities that move and engage in physical activity often, modern society encourages a sedentary lifestyle with emphasis on sitting still and being motionless while working and learning.

  • Moving and standing while working can actually help improve focus, engagement and cognitive performance. Suppressing the urge to move requires effort and self-control that takes away from mental resources.

  • Even small movements like standing and shifting positions can increase energy expenditure and stimulate the brain. Standing desks have benefits for students and workers.

  • Fidgeting and movement may help individuals regulate their arousal and alertness, especially those with ADHD who benefit from moving to increase mental stimulation.

  • Fidgeting can also improve mood, prevent wandering thoughts, and provide sensory experiences that enhance thinking. Embodied self-regulation through movement can change feelings, perceptions and cognition.

  • While activity-permissive environments are still rare, the author argues we should make them the default setting. Low-intensity physical activity belongs in places of work and learning.

In summary, the passage discusses how constant sitting and stillness in schools and offices runs counter to our biology and evolutionary heritage. Embracing movement, even small amounts, can actually support and enhance thinking, focus and cognitive performance.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The psychologist Daniel Kahneman found that medium- and high-intensity activity impacts cognition differently:

  • Moderate exercise like walking improves cognitive performance during and after exercise by increasing arousal, blood flow to the brain, and neurochemicals. This effect can last up to 2 hours. People should take movement breaks before mentally demanding tasks.

  • Intense exercise can induce a “void” state as Kahneman noticed when running fast. Research shows this “transient hypofrontality” temporarily reduces activity in the prefrontal cortex, allowing unusual and unexpected thoughts to arise. Authors like Murakami utilize this state for creativity.

  • Intense exercise only benefits cognition when performed for at least 40 minutes at around 80% of maximum heart rate, unlike moderate exercise which generally enhances executive function.

  • Embodied cognition research shows that physical movements shape our thoughts. We can improve memory not just by rereading material but by linking movements to it, creating a stronger “memory trace” in the brain.

The key takeaways are that:

  • Moderate exercise benefits cognition during and shortly after, while intense exercise benefits creativity over a longer period if sustained for long enough

  • Physical movements and embodied actions can shape our thoughts in meaningful ways, improving memory and cognition

  • Taking movement breaks before mentally demanding tasks can induce an optimal state for thinking and learning

  1. Procedural memory involves remembering how to do something, while declarative memory involves remembering factual information. When we connect movement with information, we activate both types of memory, leading to more accurate recall - a phenomenon called the enactment effect.

  2. Actors can learn their lines with high accuracy because they connect the words to physical movements and gestures associated with acting out the scene. The movements reinforce their memory of the lines.

  3. Research shows that connecting movements to information improves memory and understanding, even for non-actors. Simply intending to move while learning something can tag that information as important and aid recall.

  4. Several types of helpful movements have been identified: congruent movements that match the content, novel movements, self-referential movements, and metaphorical movements. Congruent movements that enact the meaning of a concept can particularly reinforce new knowledge.

  5. Moving while learning can not only aid recall but also help us understand information more deeply by connecting it to our bodily experiences. People with different bodily experiences think in different ways.

So in summary, movements and gestures connected to information we want to learn and remember can activate procedural memory and boost both recall and understanding of that information.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text discusses how physical movement and action can support thinking and learning. It gives 3 types of movement that help:

  1. Congruent movements - where bodily movements match the mental operation. Studies show this helps students bridge the concrete and abstract, and can double reading comprehension. Acting out text and math problems helps students identify relevant information.

  2. Novel movements - introducing abstract concepts via new physical experiences. Physics students who physically experienced concepts like torque showed deeper understanding compared to those who just observed demonstrations.

  3. Self-referential movements - where scientists and students imagine themselves as the object of study. Scientists like Einstein and Barbara McClintock embodied imagined scenarios to make discoveries. For students, connecting new knowledge to their own identity functions as an “integrative glue” to aid learning.

Overall, the text argues that physical action and body-based thinking, rather than a detached objective view, can support better understanding and knowledge retention in students. Technology could also incorporate more congruent motions to amplify its instruction.

The summary is:

  1. Using our bodies to explore concepts can help us understand them from both an internal and external perspective, giving us a deeper understanding.

  2. Having students embody concepts through roleplaying and dramatization helps make the concepts concrete and visceral, improving comprehension and memory. Examples involve acting out cell division or amino acid polymerization.

  3. Enacting metaphors through movement can activate associated cognitive processes. Experiments show that literally thinking “outside the box” or gesturing “on the one hand, on the other hand” leads to more creative thinking.

  4. Walking can activate metaphors related to creativity and fluid thinking, improving performance on creativity tests. Studies found students generated more and better-quality ideas while walking versus sitting.

The key message is that thought-enhancing movements work by allowing us to see concepts from the dual perspectives of an internal embodiment and an external observer. They also activate metaphors and associated cognitive states simply through the act of moving our bodies in corresponding ways.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text argues that gesture and movement play an important role in thinking and communication. Gesture can help people formulate, convey and reinforce ideas. A few key points:

• Entrepreneurs and presenters who use skilled gestures are more persuasive and effective. Gabriel Hercule’s gestures as he pitches his startup enhance his speech and influence the audience.

• Gesture can help people understand abstract concepts that are difficult to express in words alone. Moving our hands helps our minds think more intelligently.

• Though gesture is sometimes dismissed as “hand waving”, it actually offers meaningful nonverbal communication that complements and supplements spoken language.

• Gesture originated before spoken language and can convey things we don’t or can’t express verbally. We are essentially bilingual, speaking both linguistically and gesturally.

• Gesture works with language to clarify meaning, emphasize points and specify the speaker’s intentions. It can also provide meaning that is not found in the accompanying speech.

So in summary, the text argues that gesture and movement play an important yet underappreciated role in human thinking and communication. Skilled use of gesture can make ideas more vivid, concrete and persuasive.

  1. Gesture preceded and enabled the development of spoken language in humans and children. Human infants gesture before they speak, using gestures to communicate basic needs and wants.

  2. Children’s gesturing helps them develop spoken vocabulary and language skills. Children use gestures to elicit words from their caregivers and point to objects to learn their names. The more parents gesture, the larger their children’s vocabularies tend to be.

  3. Differences in how much and how parents gesture may contribute to the “word gap” between children from lower-income and higher-income families. Parents from higher socioeconomic backgrounds tend to gesture more frequently and with more variety, and their children follow suit.

  4. Gestures provide a “preview” of spoken language, often appearing before the corresponding words. Gestures seem to prime the brain to produce the right words. Without gestures, speech becomes halting and problem-solving abilities diminish.

  5. Interventions that encourage parents to gesture more with their children, and teach gesture-word pairings, can increase the amount children gesture and develop their vocabularies.

  6. Children’s gestures often reveal their “newest and most advanced ideas,” appearing before those ideas are expressed verbally. Gestures seem to reflect a child’s emerging cognitive abilities.

In summary, gesture plays an essential role in thinking, learning and communication from infancy onward. It continually precedes and shapes the development of spoken language.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text discusses how gestures can help reveal and develop new ideas and understanding. When a person’s speech and gestures match, it indicates they have mastered the material. However, when there is a mismatch - when what they say and do with their hands differs - it shows they are in a “transitional state” moving from an incorrect notion to a correct one.

Studies show that for learners, new ideas often emerge first through gesture about 40% of the time. These speech-gesture mismatches signal they are receptive to instruction and ready to learn. Even adults show their readiness to learn this way.

The text suggests gesture helps shape emerging concepts that learners cannot yet verbalize. Gesturing allows learners to experiment and try out ideas before committing to them in speech. As learners master a topic, their gestures become more precise and coordinated with their speech. Without gesture, their reasoning ability would be reduced.

Gesture also helps experts develop new understandings, particularly for spatial and visual concepts that are hard to capture with words alone. Studies show students who gestured while learning geology topics showed greater improvement in “penetrative thinking” skills than those who only spoke. For learners, gesture helps them understand spatial concepts for themselves, beyond just communicating the concepts to others.

In summary, gesture plays an important role in revealing, shaping and developing new ideas and conceptual understanding, especially for complex spatial and visual concepts.

  1. Gesture can enhance communication and learning. Use of gesture clarifies and amplifies speech, helping speakers and aiding listeners’ comprehension. It also improves memory and problem-solving ability.

  2. Instructors should make gestures in educational videos to improve student learning. However, many popular online videos lack gestures. Videos that include gestures produce more learning, especially for novices.

  3. Encouraging or prompting others to gesture, including children and students, can improve their performance and learning. Gesturing helps generate and internalize new solutions and strategies.

  4. Prompting girls and women to gesture more can help close spatial ability gaps, as girls tend to gesture less than boys naturally.

  5. Creating opportunities for impromptu explanations can induce more gesture use, which benefits cognitive performance. Some professors have students describe and explain topics to induce gesture instead of traditional lecturing.

The key takeaway is that gesture, when used intentionally and incorporated into instruction, communication and learning activities, can significantly enhance the educational process for both speakers/teachers and listeners/learners.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The professor argues that having students express themselves helps them develop understanding. By having to articulate and explain their initial, budding knowledge, their understanding evolves and strengthens.

The professor also uses “visual artifacts” like diagrams and models to induce students to gesture more while speaking. This helps support their still developing understanding of the subjects in physics. The gestures act as a temporary scaffold as they solidify their knowledge.

Studies show that paying closer attention to others’ gestures can provide valuable insights into their developing ideas. People reveal their newest ideas first through gestures before expressing them verbally. However, teachers often miss these clues. But with training, we can learn to glean more information from others’ gestures.

Designed gestures, created deliberately to convey a concept, also have benefits. They can reinforce memory in multiple ways, creating “hooks” that aid later recall. Making gestures while learning or speaking involves auditory, visual and proprioceptive cues that strengthen memory.

For learning anatomy or foreign language vocabulary, designed gestures paired with words can boost memory and retention. The motor cortex is more activated when learning with gestures, providing “sensorimotor enrichment” that makes words more memorable.

In addition to aiding memory, designed gestures can offload some of our cognitive burden. Like making a list, gestures allow our minds to focus on the task at hand while our hands “hold” intermediate information.

  1. Natural spaces can improve our thinking and creativity by easing the strain on our limited mental resources. Our minds are well suited to processing natural environments, since we evolved for hundreds of thousands of years in the outdoors.

  2. Today, most people spend the vast majority of their time indoors or in built environments. This mismatch strains our brains and leaves us prone to distraction.

  3. Despite living mostly indoors now, our brains still respond to nature in ways that reveal our evolutionary history. Many people flock to natural spaces like Central Park for mental rejuvenation.

  4. The types of natural environments we prefer, like grassy expanses with scattered trees, reflect the landscapes in which humans evolved on the African savanna. These spaces appear safe and resource-rich to our brains.

  5. While places like Central Park are manmade, they were designed to mimic the natural characteristics that appeal to our innate cognitions and preferences shaped by human evolution in the outdoors.

In summary, natural spaces can provide fertile surroundings for thinking by aligning with the way our minds are tailored to process environmental stimuli. Our attraction to certain natural features reflects our long history of evolving in the organic world.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

• Humans have an innate preference for natural landscapes that provide prospect, refuge, and a sense of mystery. Landscape designers like Capability Brown and Humphry Repton incorporated these preferences into their designs.

• Natural environments help us think better by relieving stress and restoring mental balance. Contact with nature calms our nervous system and reduces rumination.

• Time in nature enhances our attention, working memory, and concentration. Studies show benefits for people with ADHD.

• Nature provides a respite from voluntary attention demands, allowing our mental resources to renew passively through “soft fascination.” This psychological restoration is similar to mindfulness.

• When seeking restoration outdoors, we should leave our devices behind except for possible use of an app like ReTUNE that guides us through an urban nature experience.

In summary, the text argues that natural environments provide cognitive and psychological benefits by allowing our brains to restore and replenish our mental resources. Time in nature relieves stress, enhances focus and memory, and can help conditions like ADHD.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The Retune app aims to provide map routes that maximize exposure to natural elements like trees, flowers, and birdsong rather than just the fastest route. This reframes human priorities by valuing relaxation over efficiency.

Researchers are investigating what makes nature seem “natural” to identify features that enhance mood, health, and cognition. They have found that natural scenes tend to have:

  • Less variation in hue but more color saturation
  • More curving shapes and fewer straight lines
  • Overlapping edges rather than spaced-apart edges

Other features of nature include diffuse light, gentle movement, and rhythmic sounds.

While nature is complex, it has a complexity that is easy for the brain to process. Natural scenes provide “perceptual fluency” since the elements cohere rather than clash. They also offer redundant information through repeating patterns like fractals.

Fractals found in nature tend to have medium complexity between 1.3 to 1.5 on a scale of 0 to 3. Research shows people prefer these medium-range fractals and they correlate with a relaxed and alert mental state that enhances problem-solving ability.

Our brains seem optimized to process the fractal patterns found in nature due to evolution. Even artists like Jackson Pollock unconsciously incorporated these medium-range fractals in his drip paintings, revealing an affinity for natural forms.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text discusses the benefits of nature for cognition and mental wellbeing. Spending time in nature relieves stress, improves attention and recovery from illness. Exposure to nature through elements like greenery, natural light and wood can benefit those in hospitals, schools and workplaces.

Roger Ulrich’s research found that hospital patients with views of trees required less pain medication and had shorter hospital stays. This helped inspire more nature-oriented designs for healthcare facilities.

Studies show that within minutes of exposure to nature, our physiological measures like heart rate and blood pressure improve. Our brain activity also becomes more relaxed.

The concept of ‘biophilic design’, which incorporates nature elements indoors, can also provide cognitive benefits. Indoor plants, wood, and views of greenery have been shown to improve attention, memory and productivity in work and school settings.

Buildings with natural light through windows also benefit occupants, who sleep better and report greater creativity. However, many current workplaces were designed to minimize natural light in the name of energy efficiency.

In summary, the text argues that incorporating nature elements through biophilic design principles can provide mental and cognitive benefits equal to those of actually being outdoors.

• Natural surroundings enhance students’ mood and make them happier, which improves their academic performance according to studies. Views of nature are associated with better test scores.

• Students who look at green views through windows during breaks perform better on cognitive tests compared to those who look at built surroundings. Even a brief glance at nature can improve mental capacity.

• Longer stretches in nature can alter how we experience time and think about the future. Spending time in nature strengthens our ability to delay gratification and think in the long term.

• Nature leads us to perceive time as passing more slowly and overestimate durations, giving us a more expansive sense of time.

• Exposure to nature promotes creative thinking by engaging the default mode network and lifting our mood in a way that connects different ideas. Extended time in wilderness may cause an especially large increase in creativity.

In summary, the key benefits of nature highlighted in the text are improved mental performance, strengthened self-control and long-term orientation, enhanced perceptions of time, and increased creative thinking. Even brief views and micro-restorative experiences with nature can make meaningful differences.

The summary is:

Nature helps rejuvenate our minds through:

  • Escaping modern distractions like screens which narrow our thinking
  • Stimulating awe which helps us think more openly, creatively and with less reliance on preconceptions
  • Awe also fosters greater connection to others and a view of oneself as part of a larger whole
  • For astronauts, viewing Earth from space produces an “overview effect” that awakens similar feelings of profound connection and change in perspective
  • Maintaining plants in space helps astronauts deal with boredom and isolation, providing a soothing activity

Our relationship to built environments can also influence our thinking:

  • Jonas Salk’s visit to the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi inspired intuitive intellectual breakthroughs that helped him develop the polio vaccine
  • He later used the monastery as a model in building his own research institute to provide an ideal space for reflection and discovery

Overall, both nature and designed spaces can shape our thinking in positive ways by providing different perspectives, stimulation and relief from modern distractions.

The Salk Institute, designed by architect Louis Kahn, was renowned for its open layout, abundant natural light and serene environment that helped create an optimal space for scientific research and thought. Despite this success, Kahn had previously built the Richards Medical Research Laboratories which was criticized for being cramped and dark. He corrected course with the Salk Institute by focusing on the needs of its occupants.

Around the same time, psychologist Roger Barker’s “Midwest Study” demonstrated that people’s behavior is profoundly shaped by the spaces they spend time in, not just by internal factors. Christopher Alexander agreed that people’s “harmony depends entirely on their harmony with their surroundings.”

Well-designed spaces can enhance focus, motivation and creativity, but many work and learning environments make thinking difficult. Reasons for this include: society does not value the built environment highly, priority is given to speed and cost cutting, and architects’ experimental designs often create problems.

Walls were historically important to create space for abstract thought, by reducing cognitive load and distractions. Federico da Montefeltro’s studiolo in Italy allowed him to retreat for quiet study, with its elaborate inlaid wood walls depicting symbolic objects.

In summary, the key points are that the design of a space can profoundly impact thinking and productivity, yet many environments are poorly suited for this; Kahn’s Salk Institute shows what is possible with careful design focused on occupants’ needs.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The concept of a private study was popularized in the 16th and 17th centuries as more people moved from rural areas to cities. Federico da Montefeltro, a 15th century Duke of Urbino, had an elaborate studiolo that contained objects representing his diverse interests, talents and identity.

Similar private studies spread across Europe as a space for undisturbed thought and contemplation. Michel de Montaigne described his private study as a “back room” where he could “entertain ourselves with ourselves.”

However, starting in the mid-20th century, the trend shifted toward open floor plans instead of private offices. Open plans are cheaper and thought to promote collaboration and creativity through more interactions and “collisions” between people.

While research shows that people located close together communicate more frequently, open plans also create high levels of distraction from noises, speech and social interactions that the brain finds difficult to ignore. This distraction can negatively impact creativity and complex cognitive work.

In summary, while proximity promotes communication, full enclosure may still be needed for focused thought and cognitively demanding work that requires avoiding distraction.

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Headphones and overheard speech compete for mental resources and can cause distractions. Music with lyrics, a constant beat and catchy riffs grabs attention and impairs performance on complex tasks. Visual distractions like faces also demand considerable mental resources, leaving less for work. Closing eyes helps focus and recall information better.

Walls and private spaces shield people from distractions and enable creativity. Open offices are performance- oriented and self-presentation there consumes mental resources. Greater privacy boosts creativity by reducing mental load and allowing experimentation without observation. In open offices, trust and cooperation decline and employees converse less due to lack of privacy.

Assigned workspaces where people feel ownership enhance confidence, efficiency, focus and negotiating power. Familiar surroundings operate more efficiently and require less self-control.

In summary, headphones, overheard speech, visual distractions and open offices sap mental resources and impair performance, while private spaces, walls and assigned work areas shield people from distractions and promote creativity and productivity.

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The mind works better when it gets assistance from the structured environment. The environment provides information, habits, routines, and restraints that aid thinking. When people feel ownership and control over their space, they work more productively.

In an experiment, volunteers performed tasks in different office conditions: lean, enriched, empowered, and disempowered. Those in the empowered office where they could arrange the space themselves performed best, completing 30% more work than those in the lean office and 15% more than the enriched office.

The ability to control who comes in and out of one’s space is important. While informal interactions are valuable, the ability to avoid interaction when needed is also necessary for focused work. Intermittent collaboration - alternating between interaction and isolation - leads to the best solutions.

A model for balancing collaboration and isolation is the monastery. The monastery architecture includes both communal spaces and private cells. The cloister corridor facilitates both interaction and movement between areas for solitude.

Having a private space under one’s ownership and control can satisfy the needs for identity and belonging. Decorations and symbols in one’s space can remind people of their goals, values, and affiliations, motivating and boosting productivity. These reminders are especially useful for anchoring one’s identity, which is actually quite fluid and dependent on external structure.

Here is a summary of the key points in the text:

  1. Objects and material surroundings help maintain our sense of identity and self. They provide stability and reinforce different roles and identities.

  2. Cues in the environment can activate specific identities and influence behavior, like reminding Asian American girls of their ethnicity or gender.

  3. Personalizing workspaces can help employees relieve stress and create a “sanctuary” at work. However, some organizations ban personal effects.

  4. The physical environment can affirm or deny a sense of belonging in groups that have been marginalized. “Prejudiced places” can unequally affect certain groups.

  5. Changing the physical environment may be a more effective way to reduce bias than diversity trainings, which often have unimpressive results.

  6. Experiments found that a “stereotypical” computer science classroom environment decreased women’s interest in the subject, while a “non-stereotypical” room increased their interest and expectations of performing well.

  7. The concept of “ambient belonging” refers to an individual’s sense of fit with a physical environment and the people imagined to occupy it, which can be determined rapidly from environments cues.

The key takeaways are that our surroundings profoundly shape our identity, mood, performance and sense of belonging. thoughtfully designing the physical environment can reduce bias and create equal opportunities for all groups.

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The passage discusses how the built environment influences human thinking and behavior. Architectural spaces shape how we conceptualize ideas and act within those spaces.

Researcher Soko Cheryan shows how simple changes to a college computer science lab, like new decor and seating arrangements, increased the percentage of female students majoring in computer science. This demonstrates how spaces that convey inclusion can attract more diverse groups.

Neuroarchitecture is exploring how our brains respond to architectural features like ceiling height, symmetry, and curves. However, it is still a young field and we rely mostly on conventional architectural forms.

The spaces we inhabit offer “cues or associations” that guide our thinking and actions. Non-descript “non-places” lack these cues and can leave us feeling purposeless and alienated.

Architect Louis Kahn believed that spaces like ancient Roman baths, with their soaring 150 foot ceilings, could “make a man a different kind of man.” He understood the transformative power of place.

In summary, the passage explores how the architectural design of spaces influences human thinking and behaviors, from attracting diverse groups to shaping our very sense of self. The cues and associations within a space guide how we cognitively navigate and function within it.

Here is a summary of the key points in the passage:

  1. Ben Pridmore is a memory champion who uses the method of loci or “memory palace” technique to help him remember large amounts of information. This technique associates information with physical locations in a familiar place.

  2. Studies have found that memory champions generally use spatial learning strategies and engage parts of the brain associated with spatial memory and navigation. This sets them apart from ordinary people.

  3. The hippocampus is involved in spatial navigation and also in organizing abstract thoughts and memories. Research suggests we mentally map abstract concepts onto physical space to help us remember them.

  4. While memory champions utilize spatial memory techniques naturally, ordinary people can also improve their memory through training using these same techniques.

  5. Professors have found that associating information to be learned with physical spaces, using vivid imagery, can help students remember course material better.

In summary, the passage discusses how the method of loci and other spatial memory techniques, which leverage our natural ability to navigate and remember places, can significantly improve our capacity to recall non-spatial information through associating it with familiar physical locations. Memory champions intuitively utilize these techniques, but with training and practice, ordinary people can improve their memory in the same way.

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The text discusses how extending our thinking into physical space can improve our memory, reasoning, and problem-solving abilities. Using tangible objects and spatial arrangements to structure information can free up mental resources and grant new insights. Historian Robert Caro uses this approach, posting a detailed outline on a large corkboard to help plan his books. The corkboard allows him to offload facts, see the “big picture” of how his ideas relate, and physically navigate through his material like moving through a landscape. The concept of “concept maps”, diagrams that visually represent information and connections, has proven benefits for learning and understanding complex topics. Caro’s large outline is effectively a concept map that he can walk up to and inspect from different angles. The scene in the movie Minority Report, where Tom Cruise uses giant screens to navigate investigative files, seemed plausible because it leveraged the everyday human ability to move through space. Physically interacting with information can improve how we think about abstract concepts.

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Large high-resolution displays and multiple monitors can enhance cognitive performance and thinking by leveraging our embodied mental resources like peripheral vision, spatial memory, proprioception and optical flow.

Robert Ball’s research found that using large displays:

• Increased the speed of visualization tasks by over 10 times
• Improved performance on complex tasks by 200-300%
• Enabled users to engage in higher-order thinking and generate broader solutions

Large displays benefit cognitive performance by:

• Allowing us to use our peripheral vision which gathers more context and aids recall • Leveraging our spatial memory which helps us navigate information • Allowing natural physical navigation of information instead of virtual navigation like scrolling • Requiring less “window management” time than small monitors

Even modest changes like a larger monitor or multiple monitors can produce these benefits by making better use of human capacities instead of focusing on faster processors.

Keeping detailed records like Darwin did aboard the HMS Beagle also helped him develop his thinking skills. It allowed him to:

• Write easily about nature and himself • Look closely at his surroundings and take measurements • Arrange his thoughts clearly
• Compose logical arguments

So projecting the mind’s internal workings onto physical journals and records can enhance thought and insight.

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The text discusses how Darwin’s journal notes and observations during his voyages helped shape his theory of evolution. Small discoveries like a horse tooth fossil alongside a giant sloth fossil made him ponder how some animals have gone extinct while others have not. Observations of a petrified fossil forest in the Andes also led him to question established theories of geological stability.

The text then discusses how the act of note-taking and sketching can support and advance thinking. External representations are more definite and useful than internal ones. They allow us to apply our senses, count details, and notice gaps in our knowledge. Putting thoughts onto paper can initiate a deeper level of processing and generate new insights and questions.

The “detachment gain” from externalizing our thoughts gives us a more objective perspective. While internal representations are definite, external ones can be ambiguous and allow for exploration of new possibilities. Researchers observe that artists, architects and designers often “discover” new ideas within their own sketches that they did not consciously plan. This ability to recombine and reinterpret their drawings leads to new concepts.

In summary, note-taking and sketching supported Darwin’s thinking by allowing him to process his observations more deeply, see new connections and generate new questions. More broadly, external representations enable a cognitive gain by giving us a different perspective on our thoughts and providing material we can manipulate and build upon.

  • Externalization and interactivity, such as physically manipulating objects to represent problem elements, can aid thinking and problem solving. This is because it places less cognitive load on the mind, provides additional sensory input, and allows for exploration of options in a concrete way.

  • Despite the benefits, there is a cultural bias toward “brainbound” thinking that sees purely mental activity as superior. We tend to downplay or dismiss the role physical actions and concrete representations play in thought.

  • Researchers find that allowing subjects to physically interact with objects or manipulatives consistently results in better performance on problem-solving and reasoning tasks compared to those who must think purely mentally. Benefits include less anxiety, faster solution times, and increased motivation.

  • Richard Feynman defended the value of “thinking on the paper” by working through ideas on sketches and notes. Andy Clark argues this shows the mind extends into the physical world through actions and artifacts that shape our thinking, beyond what happens in the brain alone.

  • Put simply, physically manipulating objects can help thinking in ways that purely mental activity cannot match. But we tend to underestimate this due to a bias that privileges brainbound thought. Recognizing how the body and world extend the mind can give us a more complete view of human cognition.

•Students at University of Potsdam failed a theoretical computer science course at rates as high as 60%. Professors redesigned the course based on a cognitive apprenticeship model.

•The new course reduced lecture time and increased small group sessions led by tutors. Students performed actual computer science tasks under close supervision, not just listening to concepts.

•These changes achieved dramatic results, reducing failure rates to less than 10%.

•Imitating the thought processes of experts can help students learn. Medical students in Paris who mimicked neurological patients saw benefits in learning and empathy.

•Ancient Greeks and Romans revered imitation as an art form, while modern society often views imitation as unoriginal.

• The Paris medical school professors who implemented mime-based role play found it helped students learning and comfort levels dealing with patients, despite initial doubts.

•Imitation allows us to understand others by taking their perspective from the inside. However, society often views imitation as wrong or disreputable.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The passage discusses imitation and copying in education, business, and intellectual pursuits. It contrasts the Roman tradition of learning through imitation with the modern cult of originality.

The Romans believed imitation of master writers and orators was the best way to learn. Students would study and copy exemplary works, then write their own pieces in a similar style. This approach persisted into the 17th century.

The Romantic era championed originality and rejected imitation. Figures like William Blake created wholly original works in novel forms. Imitation came to be seen as childish and unoriginal.

However, recent research shows imitation can be an effective learning strategy. In a competition of computer programs, those that simply copied others performed the best.

Experts argue imitation allows individuals to filter the best options and quickly adjust to changes. They point to Warren Buffett’s profitable investment choices and the copying success of fashion chain Zara as examples.

In summary, the passage argues that though modern society values originality, research is revealing the benefits of imitation as a learning strategy and path to high performance.

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The text discusses the benefits of imitation over innovation. It makes several points:

  1. Imitators like Zara can quickly copy new fashion trends from their customers and execute them at scale, allowing them to outcompete original designers.

  2. Pioneering products often fail because they are too expensive or impractical. Imitators can learn from the pioneers’ mistakes and address unmet needs, like Pampers copying Chux diapers.

  3. Imitators can avoid the mistakes of innovators since they copy what works. This was seen in the America’s Cup yacht races where trailing boats copied the moves of leaders.

  4. Imitators save time, effort and resources since they don’t have to originate their own solutions from scratch. Studies show imitators’ costs are 60-75% of innovators’ costs.

  5. While imitation is often viewed as lazy, the text argues it actually requires adapting the solution to a new context - solving the “correspondence problem” through creativity.

The text then gives the example of Tess Pape, who imitated an aviation safety practice - the “sterile cockpit rule” - to reduce medical errors in hospitals. After implementing zones where nurses could not be interrupted while administering medication, errors fell by 47%.

The text argues imitation is a skill that should be taught and celebrated more, not looked down upon.

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The medical field has been slow to adopt practices from other industries, like aviation, to improve patient safety and reduce medical errors. Imitation of successful practices from other fields could speed up improvement in health care.

Steve Jobs and Apple’s success shows that skilled imitation, not just innovation, drives progress. Jobs imitated useful technologies he saw at Xerox PARC, then adapted them for Apple’s personal computers.

Imitation is how humans, especially children, learn so quickly and efficiently. Babies and young children imitate others faithfully, even unnecessary actions, to learn cultural norms and practices. Humans exhibit more complex imitation than other animals.

While imitation is often seen as primitive, research finds that human imitation is selective and complex. Children imitate those they see as knowledgeable and competent. They precisely copy demonstrated actions, even unnecessary ones. This “overimitation” may help children learn cultural practices.

Imitation allows children to absorb knowledge and skills from observing others. While some imitation ability is innate, cultures can nurture children’s imitative capacities. Examples show how Mayan children, encouraged to observe and imitate older family members, exhibit greater observational learning skills than American children.

In summary, imitation underlies not just specific inventions but human progress overall. Skilled imitation and adaptation of existing solutions drive advances, even for celebrated innovators like Steve Jobs. And imitation is fundamental to how humans learn and acquire culture from a very young age.

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The author discusses the importance of using models and examples to inspire and teach students. An art teacher named Berger shows his students examples of excellent student work and the iterative process by which it was created. This motivates students by showing them what is possible. Simply seeing examples of outstanding work can promote, rather than quash, students’ creativity.

In other subjects like writing, chemistry, and law, instructors provide model texts and examples for students to imitate and emulate. This helps reduce students’ cognitive load and allows them to focus on learning key concepts. However, experts are often unable to fully articulate the knowledge and skills they have gained through years of practice. Their expertise has become “automatized” and they overlook many steps.

For experts to become better models, they must develop “reenactive empathy” by remembering what it was like to be a novice. Researchers found that guitar experts who had to reverse and play the instrument with their non-dominant hand were better able to offer helpful advice to a beginner guitarist. Experts can also generate empathy through imagination, breaking down complex tasks into small, understandable steps for students.

In summary, examples and model texts can motivate and inspire students while reducing their cognitive load. However, experts must learn to view their knowledge through the lens of a beginner in order to make their expertise fully accessible to students. Breaking down tasks into simple steps and highlighting important details can help achieve this.

Here is a summary of the key points in the excerpt:

  1. Carl Wieman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, struggled to teach his undergraduates physics in a way that enabled them to think like real physicists. His lectures and explanations did not seem to help students learn and solve problems effectively.

  2. Wieman observed that graduate students in his lab, though initially just as rigid thinkers as undergrads, transformed into flexible physicists within a year or two of doing research.

  3. He concluded that the social engagement among graduate students - advising, debating and sharing stories with each other - was a major factor in their intellectual development.

  4. A study found that intense social interaction around a body of knowledge does indeed help drive intellectual advancement.

  5. Wieman realized that the “intellectual process” present in the research lab, but missing from traditional classrooms, was key to developing expert thinking in students.

In summary, the key takeaway is that intense social engagement and interaction around a topic, as found in research labs, can foster the kind of expert thinking that lectures and explanations alone often fail to produce in students. Wieman’s experience highlights the importance of peer collaboration for conceptual development and problem-solving ability.

The passage summarizes research showing that social interaction plays an essential role in the development of intelligent thinking. Key points:

  1. Studies found that graduate students developed crucial skills like generating hypotheses and analyzing data through interacting with peers, not just from faculty guidance.

  2. Professor Wieman found “active learning” approaches that involve students discussing and debating in groups led to better outcomes than traditional lectures. He realized thinking is a fundamentally social process.

  3. Studies using technologies like fMRI, fNIRS and EEG show people’s brains activate different regions and connect differently when interacting with others compared to thinking alone. This supports the “interactive brain hypothesis.”

  4. Research found that areas involved in language production, planning, reward and empathy were more active when people played games against humans vs computers.

  5. Studies with babies show those who engaged in more social interaction learning a second language showed more neural evidence of learning that language.

In summary, the passage argues that social interaction seems to be an essential facilitator of intelligent thought. When we think socially, we think differently and often better than when alone.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text discusses how social interaction is linked to intelligent thought and cognition. Scientific evidence shows that people think best when they think socially. However, in school and work, thinking is treated as an individual activity involving abstract symbols.

The text describes an experiment called the Wason Selection Task. Most people perform poorly on the original, abstract version of the task. But when the task is framed in social terms, involving rules for serving drinks at a bar, around 75% of participants get the correct answer. This shows that people are very skilled at thinking about social relations.

The text argues that humans developed large brains in order to deal with complex social groups. The “social brain” begins developing in childhood and becomes active during adolescence.

The text then uses the example of the cafeteria scene in the movie “Mean Girls” to illustrate how teenagers develop a detailed mental map of the social hierarchy in school. During adolescence, brains become more sensitive to social cues and rewards.

Finally, the text discusses how teaching others can leverage teenagers’ developing sociability to support learning. The instinct to teach and learn from others is innate in humans and manifests from a young age. Eye contact and contingent communication act as “gates” that initiate learning when interacting with others in person.

• Researchers have found that people learn more from engaging in live human interactions than from watching recorded videos or online instruction. This is known as the “video deficit.”

• Students who teach others benefit from the experience in several ways. They review material more thoroughly, organize it better, and are more motivated and aroused. The act of explaining concepts forces them to engage in deeper processing.

• The social and interactive nature of teaching activates cognitive, attentional and physiological processes that enhance learning. Even imaging teaching an unseen audience can boost learning.

• Tutors benefit from having to make concepts explicit, address their own gaps in knowledge, and monitor what their student understands.

• Peer tutoring programs show that the experience of teaching others can improve students’ confidence, motivation, agency and sense of belonging.

• Employees who share job knowledge with coworkers can expand their own expertise in the process.

• Technology could be used to promote more in-person social interactions that foster learning, like engaging family members in teaching activities at home.

The key takeaway is that human interactions like teaching and arguing with others activate cognitive processes that make learning more effective, so we should take advantage of these social learning strategies alongside individual study.

  1. Research shows that people are poor at logical reasoning when asked to think on their own. They tend to be biased towards arguments that confirm their existing beliefs.

  2. Mercier and Sperber argue that human reason evolved not for personal logical problem solving, but for social arguing and persuasion. We are good at critically analyzing others’ arguments but bad at scrutinizing our own.

  3. Arguing with others helps reasoning in several ways. It puts us in the position of evaluating others’ arguments, provides external accountability, divides the cognitive load among group members, and stimulates attention through conflict and uncertainty.

  4. The researchers conducted an experiment where participants rejected logical answers they had previously given when they thought the answers came from others. This supported the idea that people apply more critical analysis to others’ arguments.

  5. In summary, the researchers argue that reasoning is a social activity and works best when practiced in an argumentative context with others, not alone inside one’s head. Arguing together can help identify weaknesses in arguments and arrive at closer approximations to the truth.

Does this cover the main points adequately? Let me know if you would like me to expand or modify the summary in any way.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The passage discusses how argumentation and storytelling can enhance thinking and learning. Children begin arguing with parents and siblings as a way to advocate for their views. The ability to evaluate arguments emerges early.

Well-constructed arguments involve making the best case while acknowledging counterarguments. People should argue confidently but remain open to being wrong.

Storytelling also enhances thinking. Students learn radioactive elements more thoroughly when taught through a story about Marie Curie’s discovery. Conventional texts lack the human perspective.

Stories are “psychologically privileged” and remembered more easily than factual texts. Stories have causal relationships that the brain can simulate, making the content more personally relevant.

Research shows listening to stories activates emotional and motor parts of the brain as if the listener is experiencing the events directly. This mental simulation prepares listeners for real-life situations.

The author observed medical transport teams sharing knowledge mainly through stories about cases they had experienced. Stories helped team members build expertise for handling rare or unusual situations.

In summary, argumentation and storytelling can improve thinking by prompting causal inferences, mental simulations and context that sticks with the listener. When used deliberately, these social interaction modes can clarify and enhance our understanding.

Here is a summary of the key points in the passage:

  1. The USS Palau was returning to San Diego Harbor after military drills when the ship suddenly lost steam pressure and power.

  2. This caused the ship to lose the ability to slow down, steer properly, and reverse its propellers.

  3. The loss of power also disabled the gyrocompass, the navigation team’s primary tool.

  4. The ship’s navigator and crew had to deal with an unprecedented emergency situation. Though the captain appeared calm, the crew was under significant pressure.

  5. Psychologist Edwin Hutchins was observing the crew as part of a study. He saw the ship’s navigation team as an example of “socially distributed cognition,” where people think with the minds of others.

  6. Without the gyrocompass, the navigation team had to manually determine the ship’s position by calculating relationships between bearings from landmarks on shore. This had to be done every minute as the ship’s position constantly changed.

  7. The ship’s quartermaster chief began working at the chart table to manually navigate the ship, but it became clear one person could not handle the calculations on their own.

The key takeaways are that the ship suddenly lost power due to a steam pressure issue, disabling critical navigation systems. The crew had to rely on “socially distributed cognition” and teamwork to manually determine and adjust the ship’s course through complex, time-sensitive calculations.

Here is a summary of the provided passage:

The passage discusses the concept of the group mind and distributed cognition. It starts by describing an incident onboard the U.S. Navy ship Palau where the crew had to work together to navigate the ship safely after an engineering failure. A researcher observed how the ship’s navigator, Richards, spread the mental workload across his body and tools like a calculator, but still struggled until he enlisted the help of another crew member. Their collective effort, along with the rest of the crew, guided the ship to safety.

This example shows how group thinking can exceed the capabilities of individual minds when facing complex challenges. However, the passage notes that Western culture tends to focus more on individual thought and competition.

The passage then discusses the history of research on the group mind. In the early 1900s, theorists like Le Bon and McDougall viewed the group mind as primitive and irrational. They lacked empirical evidence and resorted to vague explanations. This limited the field’s credibility.

More recently, advances in theory and research methods have allowed scientists to better understand group thinking mechanisms like synchrony. The passage uses the example of Radio Taiso exercise routines in Japan, where millions participate at the same time each day. Research suggests the synchrony of moving together can improve cognitive performance beyond the benefits of the exercise itself.

In summary, the passage explores the concept of the group mind and distributed cognition, highlighting how groups can outperform individuals when facing complex tasks. It traces the history of the field from early flawed conceptions to more recent scientific progress. Synchrony is presented as one mechanism that enables effective group thinking.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The passage argues that behavioral synchrony - coordinating our actions and movements with others - primes us for cognitive synchrony, or thinking together efficiently and effectively. Several studies show this:

  • Preschool and grade school children who swung on a swing set or played a computer game in sync with others were more cooperative and felt closer afterwards.

  • Synchrony helps us communicate, coordinate and work together more smoothly. It makes others seem more like friends.

  • Moving together increases endurance, reduces pain and helps us form accurate memories of each other.

Behavioral synchrony sends a signal that we are willing and able to cooperate. It also:

  • Heightens our group identity and makes others’ actions easier to predict
  • Alters our perception to be more sensitive to movement
  • Makes us feel emotionally connected to and empowered by the group

Synchronous exercises are popular in Japan due to their communal benefits. In all cultures, synchronized movements are used to unite disparate individuals into a group.

Synchrony flips a “hive switch” in our minds, shifting us from individual to group focus. While humans are self-interested by nature, we can also act as a group for the collective good. Synchrony reliably produces “muscular bonding.”

Both synchronized movement and shared physiological arousal - such as from physical exertion or emotion - independently increase social cohesion and cooperation within groups. Both behavioral and physiological synchrony generate cognitive synchrony.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text discusses how people’s brains and behaviors can synchronize when in groups, leading to benefits like enhanced attention, motivation, and problem solving ability. This phenomenon of behavioral and physiological synchrony, known as “shared attention,” starts from a young age as infants follow the gaze of caregivers.

As adults, shared attention helps maintain common ground and overlapping “mental models” within groups, supporting coordination and collaboration. Studies show groups with more moments of joint attention perform better on shared tasks. Experienced teams exhibit higher levels of gaze synchronization.

Experiencing ourselves as part of a collective “we” rather than an individual “I” can change how we focus our attention and expend our energies, often for the better. Groups with a strong sense of “groupiness” see the greatest benefits.

To foster groupiness, the text recommends having group members learn and train together in person rather than asynchronously. Training together can improve group communication, reduce errors, and break down “silos” between departments.

In summary, the text argues that synchronizing our brains and bodies within groups, through shared attention and motivations, can enhance our cognition and performance beyond what we achieve as individuals.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

Training people from different industries together can improve collaboration. This is illustrated by the “escape room” simulation at the University of Minnesota where health science students from various disciplines work together to solve puzzles and develop a discharge plan for a patient case study.

There are four principles for improving group performance:

  1. People who need to think together should experience synchrony. They should follow the same rhythm and mirror each other’s movements and behaviors. This creates “groupiness” and psychological closeness.

  2. They should feel together, sharing thoughts and emotions. Even sharing simple feelings can improve group cohesion and performance.

  3. They should engage in rituals together in person. Rituals like shared meals and synchronized movement boost synchrony and physiological arousal which bonds people together.

  4. Technology can help generate groupiness by detecting rapport within a group in real time and making suggestions to improve synchrony and cohesion. Games that involve synchronizing movements while dancing can also enhance social interaction.

In summary, bonding people together through synchrony, shared emotions and rituals improves group performance much more than disembodied online interactions. Technology can actually support these embodied, situated group processes.

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The text discusses the shift from individual thinking to group thinking in knowledge work. It notes several points:

  1. Group thinking has become increasingly necessary given the complex nature of modern work. This is especially evident in academia where team-authored research publications have become the norm.

  2. However, our model of intelligent thinking still focuses on the individual rather than the group. This mismatch leads to issues with group work like inefficiency and resentment.

  3. Simple changes to communication patterns within groups can help unleash the potential of group thinking or “collective intelligence.” These include:

  • Ensuring that everyone contributes their unique knowledge and perspectives by having members write down ideas individually before sharing them.

  • Group leaders withholding their own views initially to allow for a more open discussion. Leaders who adopt an “inquisitive and self-silencing” stance can hear the widest range of perspectives.

In summary, the text argues that while group thinking has become essential in knowledge work, our focus remains on the individual. Implementing changes to better support group communication and dynamics could help develop the “group mind” and unlock collective intelligence.

  1. Group thinking requires making thought processes visible to others. This requires more explicit communication like acknowledging, repeating, rephrasing, and elaborating on others’ contributions to gain a comprehensive understanding.

  2. Creating shared artifacts like lists, graphs and sketches that the group can collaboratively update helps make thinking visible and ensures everyone is “singing from the same sheet of music.”

  3. Groups leverage transactive memory where members are aware of what each other knows. This extends the group’s knowledge beyond any individual mind and reduces cognitive load.

  4. Building a transactive memory structure requires establishing who is responsible for knowing what from the start. Members are informed of each others’ specializations and processes are put in place for directing questions to the right person.

In summary, group thinking differs in that thoughts must be visible and accessible to the entire group. Shared artifacts and an awareness of others’ knowledge through transactive memory helps extend and amplify the group’s intelligence beyond any single mind.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text discusses how collective intelligence differs from individual thought. For collective intelligence to work effectively, some key conditions are needed:

  1. Each member needs to have a particular area of expertise they are responsible for maintaining. This ensures that different topics have designated “knowledge champions.”

  2. It can be useful to appoint a “meta-knowledge champion” who keeps track of what others know and updates the group’s “directory” of experts.

  3. Incentives need to be structured so that group members are motivated to achieve collective goals, not just pursue their own interests. This requires a “sense of shared fate.”

The text then gives the example of the “jigsaw classroom” created by Elliot Aronson to improve race relations and learning outcomes in Austin schools in the 1970s. This grouped students in ways that required them to collaborate and consult each other to master the material, turning each student into an expert on part of the subject.

The conclusion discusses how Joshua Aronson, Elliot’s son, overcame his “conditional stupidity” when interacting with his professor to go on to make major discoveries about stereotype threat. It notes that intelligence emerges from a combination of brain, body, environment and social relationships. Effectively using mental extensions - like cognitive reappraisal, belonging cues and expert feedback - in combination is what allows for true brilliance. However, such skillful use of extensions remains largely undeveloped.

Here is a summary of the key principles:

  1. Offload information whenever possible. Externalize information to free up mental resources and gain a “detachment gain.” This includes writing things down, keeping journals, creating visual layouts, distributing information among group members, and offloading through gestures or verbalization.

  2. Transform abstract data into concrete artifacts. Interact with physical objects to gain new insights. This can include making models, using gestures, and experiencing concepts through the body.

  3. Alter your state to suit the mental task. Engage in exercise, change environments, induce group synchrony, and use physical movement to optimize thinking.

  4. Re-embody abstract information. Draw on the body’s senses and movements to understand concepts. Use gestures, attend to bodily signals, and enact concepts physically.

  5. Re-spatialize information. Use spatial formats like maps, diagrams and graphs to organize thought. Tap into the brain’s natural talent for navigation and spatial reasoning.

In summary, the key is to minimize purely abstract thinking and instead engage the body’s senses, movements and spatial abilities to extend the mind and gain new insights. Work with the brain’s natural proclivities rather than against them.

  1. The passage advocates the principle of extending the mind whenever possible. This means utilizing external resources like tools, technology, the body, social interactions, and the environment to boost thinking and problem solving.

  2. The author argues that humans are “loopy creatures” that benefit from rotating information between internal and external modes of cognition. Mental loops and feedback loops improve thinking.

  3. Instead of directly commanding the brain, we should create “cognitively congenial situations” that draw out intelligence. Embed mental extensions into everyday environments to harness their benefits.

  4. Skill at employing extensions corresponds to improved real-world performance. Researchers tested this by creating an “extended-mind” version of Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices test where test takers could manipulate on-screen pieces to solve problems. Those who utilized the extensions performed better.

  5. The key takeaway is that learning to effectively extend the mind should be part of education. People currently figure this out on their own. However, scientists have found they can precisely measure individual differences in this skill.

In summary, the passage advocates the principle of extending the mind using tools and external resources to boost thinking. Researchers have found evidence that people who can utilize extensions effectively show improved real-world problem solving and intelligence.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text discusses a study that tested students’ problem-solving abilities using interactive puzzles. Students who interacted more with the movable pieces were more successful at solving the puzzles. This showed that they were able to identify patterns and develop strategies by moving and arranging the pieces.

The author argues that this demonstrates an “extended mind” phenomenon, where people extend their thinking processes through interactions with external objects and environments. A test that measures skill at using external resources to think could represent a new form of intelligence test. However, such a test could also be misused to rank and divide people.

The author says recognizing the role of external resources in shaping intelligence could help address inequality issues. People’s access to tools and environments that facilitate thinking depends more on luck than innate ability. This could lead us to distribute resources more equally in society.

The author acknowledges several researchers, funders, advisers and friends who helped and supported him during the writing of the book. He says two people in particular, Tina Bennett and Eamon Dolan, “filled in for my lack” by supplying inspiration and confidence during moments of doubt.

In summary, the text explores the idea that human intelligence depends not just on people’s innate abilities, but also on their ability to utilize external resources as part of their thinking processes. It argues this perspective could have implications for how we understand and address inequality.

Here is a 239-word summary of Ellin, Epstein, Fink, Gellman, Kamenetz, Kassis, Konnikova, Koerner, Lahey, Lanpher, Lieber, Matloff, Orenstein, Perina, Peterson, Pilon, Prager, Raeburn, Russo, St. Louis, Stier, Szalavitz, Sandler, Siegel, Skloot, Sullivan, Washington, and Zoellner:

These journalists, authors and researchers write about the complexities of the human mind from diverse perspectives. They explore the ways environmental and social factors shape our cognition, challenging the idea that thinking occurs only within the skull. Some investigate the impact of schools, technology and culture on learning and intelligence. Others examine the impact of addictions, trauma and mental illness on brain function. They seek to understand how economic circumstances, family dynamics and interactions with peers shape identity and behavior. Through their reporting and evidence-based analysis, they reveal that the human mind emerges from a web of interactions with others, the body and the external world. Their work highlights the limits of a “brainbound” view of thinking that locates cognition solely within the physical brain. By integrating psychological, biological and sociocultural explanations, they paint a more holistic picture of the human mind as extended beyond the brain, embodied in the physical body and embedded within a rich socioecological context.

Here is a summary of the key points from the provided passage:

• Financial traders with higher interoceptive ability, or awareness of their internal bodily feelings, tend to make better decisions and survive longer on the trading floor. Interoception involves detecting sensations like heart rate, gut feelings, and respiratory rate.

• People differ in their innate interoceptive sensitivity and ability to be attentive to bodily signals. Some factors that can influence interoceptive ability include genetics, mindfulness meditation, and affect labeling.

• Interoceptive awareness helps guide decisions by acting as a “somatic rudder” or “somatic marker.” Bodily signals like changes in heart rate can unconsciously signal when a choice may be risky or advantageous.

• Highly interoceptive traders claim that bodily sensations and “gut feelings” inform their fast-paced trading decisions. They rely on these feelings to help identify important patterns and trends.

• While intuition based on bodily sensations can be useful, overreliance on “gut feelings” can also lead to bias. Mindfulness, emotion regulation techniques, and de-biasing approaches may help optimize the role of interoception in decision-making.

The key takeaways are that interoceptive ability, or awareness of internal bodily sensations, can influence decisions by signaling advantages, risks, and patterns in an unconscious manner. However, overreliance on “gut feelings” can also introduce bias, so techniques like mindfulness may help optimize the role of interoception in decision-making. Interoception acts as a kind of “somatic rudder” that steers us toward economically and emotionally advantageous choices.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

This excerpt discusses interoception, which is the ability to detect signals inside the body. Having strong interoception means being aware of and attentive to internal bodily sensations like your heart rate and breathing.

People with high interoceptive sensitivity tend to have better emotion regulation skills, cognitive resilience, and empathy. They are better able to reinterpret stressful feelings in a positive light through cognitive reappraisal techniques. Their interoceptive awareness helps them mimic and interpret others’ facial expressions accurately.

Interoception and social connection are also linked. Making eye contact, receiving a light touch, or mimicking another person’s posture can enhance interoceptive awareness. This supports social connections by allowing us to align our internal states with others.

Some technologies aim to enhance interoception and alter emotional states, like devices that detect physiological signals to provide visual or tactile feedback. By providing a synchronized external “heartbeat,” such devices can reduce stress and increase alertness. The hope is they could help “harvest our natural responses” to provide benefits.

In summary, interoception refers to awareness of internal bodily sensations. The ability to accurately sense signals within the body is linked to skills like emotion regulation, cognitive resilience, empathy, and social connection. New technologies aim to enhance interoception to alter emotional states, though with limited effectiveness so far.

Here is a summary of the key points in the provided text:

  1. Walking and movement while performing mental tasks can enhance cognitive performance in multiple ways. Jeff Fidler, a doctor who inspects CT images while walking on a treadmill, found that it sharpens his visual sense and attention.

  2. Human brains and bodies evolved together, and our large brain size is partly due to the demands of movement and physical activity. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors engaged in hours of physically demanding activities daily.

  3. Standing desks and treadmill desks can boost productivity, attention, and executive function by providing variable sensory stimulation that helps stabilize arousal levels. They are especially beneficial for people with ADHD who tend to be under-aroused.

  4. Fidgeting and doodling help induce a mildly positive mood state that supports flexibility and creativity. They provide embodied self-regulation by changing physical movements to influence cognition.

  5. Acute bouts of physical activity, exercise, and movement have been shown through scientific studies to enhance cognitive functions like episodic memory, executive function, and learning for a period after the activity ends. The timing and intensity of exercise affect the cognitive benefits.

That covers the main points discussed in the provided text regarding “walking workstations” and the cognitive effects of movement and physical activity. Let me know if you would like me to expand or modify the summary in any way.

Here is a summary of the main points from “Brain Plasticity 2 (March 2017): 127–52:

  1. Short bouts of physical activity, like taking movement breaks during lessons, can help children focus their attention and improve executive function.

  2. However, too much exercise can have the reverse effect. There is an “inverted U-shaped curve” between exercise intensity and cognitive benefits.

  3. Authors like Haruki Murakami write that running helps them generate creative ideas and see the world in new ways. This may be due to “transient hypofrontality,” where exercise suppresses parts of the prefrontal cortex, loosening cognitive control and allowing for more creative thought.

  4. Enacting or imagining enacting actions, words, and scenarios can boost memory and understanding. This “enactment effect” utilizes embodied cognition and sensorimotor representations.

  5. Activities that combine movement, gesture, and simulation can improve learning, especially in subjects like math, science, and reading comprehension. Engaging the full body can help “learners empathize with entities” they are studying.

Does this look like a reasonable summary of the main points discussed in the source text regarding physical activity, exercise and cognition? Let me know if you would like me to modify or expand the summary.

• Gestures can play an important role in communication and persuasion, especially in situations like business pitches. Presenters use gestures to make their ideas more human-scale, impressionistic and concrete.

• Viewers tend to mentally simulate the gesturer’s point of view, which can make the ideas seem more plausible and persuasive. Presenters who skillfully use gestures can gain and maintain support for novel business ideas.

• Gestures likely originated as an early form of proto-language in human evolution. They can provide extra-verbal meaning that complements and enhances spoken language. Gestures can specify or clarify meanings that are not fully expressed in the words alone.

• Gestures sometimes convey information that differs from or contradicts the accompanying speech, revealing a speaker’s transitional or not-fully-formed ideas. This mismatch between gesture and speech can provide insight into a speaker’s thinking.

• In summary, gestures can powerfully augment spoken language, helping to make ideas more concrete, plausible and persuasive, especially in situations like business pitches. Skilled use of gesture can be an asset for entrepreneurs and presenters.

Here is a summary of 101–28:

• Gestures help people think, solve problems, explain concepts, and acquire knowledge. They indicate when people have only transitional knowledge on a topic.

• Gestures are an early form of communication that babies use before speech. They lay the groundwork for later language development.

• High-income parents gesture more to their children, resulting in larger vocabularies and better language skills. Parents can promote their children’s language development through frequent gesturing, pointing, and reading picture books.

• When speech and gestures mismatch, it can indicate that a person has an incomplete understanding of a concept or idea. The gestures capture muddled thought processes and nascent thinking.

• Gesturing can help divide the cognitive load of a complex problem between speech and gestures. It allows people to represent and manipulate ideas in a “virtual diagram.”

• As knowledge and understanding increase, gestures become less frequent, more coordinated, and more integrated with speech. Gestures seem to help scaffold cognitive processes.

• Experts in complex fields often use specialized gestures to develop new ideas and theories. Gestures help them think through uncharted territory.

So in summary, gestures provide insight into people’s mental states and cognitive processes. They indicate transitional thinking and help people develop and articulate ideas.

Here is a summary of the key points from the text:

• Gestures can enhance learning and communication in several ways. They help people represent and visually demonstrate spatial concepts that are difficult to express in words alone.

• Gestures provide multiple cues that capture and maintain attention, making information more memorable. They align the perspectives and frames of reference between speakers and listeners.

• Gesturing teachers and lecturers tend to have more engaged and effective presentations. Students learn more from lessons that involve instructor gestures.

• Encouraging students to gesture more while they learn and reason can improve problem-solving, spatial skills, creativity, and verbal performance. Gesturing may activate different neural processes that supplement verbal thought.

• Designed gestures can be used to express concepts that students often struggle with. Gestures may reveal students’ misunderstandings that are not evident from their speech alone.

• Gestures seem to activate parts of the brain responsible for accomplishing a task, even when the gestures are only simulated. Gesturing can support the encoding and retention of new verbal information, like vocabulary and concepts.

So in summary, gestures appear to enhance learning and communication through a variety of mechanisms, including capturing attention, activating relevant brain areas, supplementing verbal representations, and aligning communicators’ perspectives.

Here is a summary of the key points in the provided section:

• Spending time in natural spaces can benefit our mental health and cognitive functioning. Yet most people now spend little time in nature.

• Certain kinds of natural spaces appeal to humans more than others, likely due to “ghosts of environments past” that shaped human evolution. Spaces with “prospect” and “refuge” are preferred.

• Being in natural environments can help restore directed attention, alleviate stress, improve mood, and boost cognitive performance. Even brief “doses of nature” can provide benefits.

• Exposure to natural settings aids attention restoration through “soft fascination” and “open monitoring.” Viewing natural scenery requires less mental effort.

• Using electronic devices, like smartphones, while in natural spaces can counteract the potential benefits.

• Apps that guide walks through urban nature or into green spaces have the potential to provide restorative experiences for those who lack easy access to the outdoors.

The key takeaways are that spending time in natural environments can lead to cognitive and psychological benefits, though many people now get little exposure to nature. The section discusses some of the mechanisms by which nature aids attention restoration and stress reduction, as well as potential obstacles and solutions.

Here is a summary of the main points:

• The ReTUNE platform uses fractal patterns and natural scenes to test and gauge emotional and cognitive responses. Studies suggest natural environments with mid-range fractal complexity are most perceptually fluent and restorative.

• Natural scenes provide more visual information, giving the brain a “perceptual fluency” that makes us feel good, relaxed, and at ease. But nature’s disorder also creates interest and complexity.

• Biophilic design incorporates natural elements into built environments to improve health, attention, stress levels, and cognition. Features like plants, views of nature, and natural lighting can have significant positive impacts.

• Schools with more environmental greenness have shown benefits for students’ academic performance, particularly in English and math. Even small elements like window views and “green breaks” can sustain attention and provide microrestorative opportunities.

The key takeaway is that incorporating natural elements and patterns into digital platforms and built environments, through biophilic design principles, can enhance cognitive functioning, improve well-being, and provide perceptual fluency and restoration. Naturalness corresponds to features that our brains have evolved to prefer and find soothing or restorative.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text discusses how architecture can influence and inform thinking. It gives the examples of Jonas Salk and Louis Kahn. Salk visited the Assisi monastery and was inspired by its spirituality and architecture. This motivated him to collaborate with Kahn to design a space that could foster an intellectual community and optimize thinking. The Salk Institute built by Kahn aimed to achieve this. The architecture followed traditional patterns seen in folk architecture that Kahn believed created ideal structural, spatial and sensory conditions for thinking. The text argues that well-designed architecture can shape the way we perceive, interact and think by complementing the human neurocognitive system. It proposes the idea of “neuroarchitecture” - architecture that aligns with the principles of neuroscience and can potentially enhance cognition.

The main points are:

  1. Salk was inspired by the architecture of the Assisi monastery to collaborate with Kahn on designing a space that could foster intellectual community and optimize thinking.

  2. The Salk Institute built by Kahn aimed to create ideal conditions for thinking by following traditional patterns seen in folk architecture.

  3. Well-designed architecture can shape the way we think by complementing how our brains process information and interact with spaces.

  4. The concept of “neuroarchitecture” proposes designing architecture based on principles of neuroscience to potentially enhance cognition.

Does this cover the key details in the extract? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on anything.

Here is a summary of the key points from the provided text:

• Early research by Barker and others emphasized the impact of the physical environment on human behavior and cognition. They argued that the characteristics of physical spaces shape and constrain the behavior that occurs within them.

• Well-designed spaces that facilitate thinking, like medieval studioli and Montaigne’s “back room,” are conducive to creativity and innovation. However, modern open office plans often fail to provide the sensory reduction needed for focused cognitive work.

• Factors like unintelligible speech, ambient noise, and overheard conversations can impair writing, problem-solving, and other complex tasks. Even preferred background music can reduce performance on cognitively demanding activities.

• Faces and eye contact strongly capture our attention, decreasing cognitive resources available for other tasks. Meeting someone’s gaze can increase arousal and distract us.

• Closing one’s eyes can help reduce distraction and enhance memory retrieval by reducing cognitive load and facilitating visualization. Eyeclosure has been shown to improve eyewitness recall by up to 23%.

• Well-designed boundaries and barriers in physical spaces can help provide the sensory reduction needed for optimized cognitive performance, while also maintaining privacy and reducing social evaluation pressures.

That’s my attempt at a summary of the key takeaways from the provided text regarding how the physical environment impacts cognitive performance and behavior. Please let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

Here is a summary of the key points in the text:

• Privacy and personal space at work can help replenish cognitive resources and promote creativity. Open plan offices and lack of personal space often lead to distractions, decreased interactions, and lower productivity.

• Having a “home base” at work improves performance, confidence, and ability to advance one’s interests. People perform up to 160% better when negotiating in a familiar space.

• Personalizing one’s workspace with symbols and objects that reflect identity can boost engagement and productivity. Such “environmental self-regulation” helps workers express salient aspects of their identity.

• Lack of personalization and identity cues in workspaces can lead to “emotional exhaustion.” Organizations should allow some personalization to help employees feel represented and comfortable.

• Minority workers can be especially attuned to identity cues in workplaces, which can either signal threat or safety. Prejudiced” work environments with lack of diversity cues can impact inequality.

In summary, privacy, personal space, and ability to personalize one’s workspace in a way that reflects identity are important for worker wellbeing, productivity, and performance. But organizations frequently move toward standardized, open plans and restrict personalization, which can backfire.

Here is a 239-word summary of the provided text:

The method of loci, or “memory palace” technique, uses spatial memory to organize information. Memory athletes like Ben Pridmore use the technique by imagining places like houses with rooms to store memories.

Research shows memory palaces work because theytap into the brain’s natural navigational abilities. The hippocampus, which handles spatial memory, also maps abstract spaces. Studies find thatit represents conceptual knowledge and narrative context using spatial codes. Our spatial language even reflects this, using spatial metaphors to describe ideas (“grasping a concept”, “high-level thinking”).

Infants first form spatial memory before episodic memory develops, suggesting space acts as a scaffold for memories.Memories seem to be automatically tagged with spatial and contextual cues. The memory competitors use this byimagining walking through an environment and placing memories in locations there.

People have used memory palaces in classes and work. A college teacher had students imagine the campusdining hall to remember civil liberties cases. The historian Robert Caro mentallymoves through the spaces of buildings he researches to organize facts about historical figures.He attributes much of his ability to produce vast biographies to his use of spatial memory tricks.

Here is a summary of the two articles:

“The Man Who Never Stops” by Harrigan outlines the working methods of Robert Caro, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Lyndon B. Johnson. Caro is known for his exhaustive research and meticulous work habits. He spends years researching and writing each volume of his LBJ biography, interviewing hundreds of people and examining thousands of documents. Caro says things like “I can’t start writing a book until I know everything about my subject” and “I don’t want to stop until I feel I have earned the right to stop.” He relies heavily on note-taking, outlining, diagramming, and mapping to organize and structure his research.

“Robert Caro Talks About His Art, His Methods and LBJ” by Goldstein describes many of the same aspects of Caro’s working style, including his devotion to research and his writing process. Caro says that when he begins a new volume, “thought overwhelms the mind.” He relies on externalizing his thoughts through writing, note-taking, and diagramming to clarify and organize his ideas. Caro spends months or years on research before beginning to write a draft. His extensive notes, outlines, and maps serve as the foundation for his writing.

Both articles illustrate how Caro’s use of external representations - such as notes, outlines, diagrams, and concept maps - help support and structure his thinking, research, and writing. They allow him to “discover” elements in his own work, clarify relationships, and check for completeness. These externalized representations are an essential part of his creative process.

Here is a summary of the provided information:

•Cognitive apprenticeship involves learning through observation, imitation and modeling of expert performance. It can help transmit both tacit knowledge and complex skills.

•Medical students at the Hôpital Universitaire Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris are using a “mime-based role-play training program” called “The Move” to learn about neurological syndromes by physically imitating the symptoms. This active approach improves their long-term retention and understanding of the material.

•Imitating others, including imitating their accent or mannerisms, can improve communication and foster positive relations. Imitation has long been seen as an art form in rhetoric and oration.

•In classical education, students were taught through imitation of famous authors and orators. They would study exemplary texts and then imitate the style and techniques through their own writing.

•However, the Romantic era brought an emphasis on originality and individual creativity rather than imitation. Writers sought to shrug off “the burden of the past” and develop their unique artistic voices.

So in summary, cognitive apprenticeship through imitation and modeling of experts can be an effective learning technique. However, there are debates around the tension between imitative learning and the development of individual creative ability.

Here is a summary of “An Inquiry into William Blake’s Method of Color Printing,” by Robert N. Essick and Joseph Viscomi:

• William Blake was an English poet and artist in the late 1700s and early 1800s. He created illuminated prints using a technique called color printing where he would write, design, and print the text and images himself. However, the exact method Blake used for his color printing is not well understood.

• The authors argue that Blake experimented with and developed different color printing techniques throughout his career. His early work likely used a method called surface printing where he applied ink directly to the surface of the copper plate and then printed it.

• Later in his career, Blake started using an intaglio method where he incised the lines into the copper plate, allowing more ink to build up in the lines when rolled. This created images with more saturated color.

• Blake continued to refine his techniques, showing increasing sophistication and complexity of design. The authors analyzed several prints and plates to uncover clues about Blake’s varied methods.

• By studying Blake’s color printing technique, the authors aim to gain new insights into his creative process and artistic vision. His determination to “create a system” of his own led him to develop an innovative form of printing that was central to conveying his ideas.

That covers the main points made in the summary. Let me know if you’d like me to expand on or modify any part of it.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

Carl Wieman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, realized that his expertise when teaching physics actually made it harder for him to effectively teach undergraduates. His “curse of knowledge” prevented him from seeing student difficulties and misconceptions.

Wieman launched an initiative called the Science Education Initiative to improve physics education. Among other things, the initiative aimed to have students work collaboratively in groups to solve physics problems.

While experts often solve problems in their heads, novices benefit from discussing the problems with peers and hearing alternative explanations. Peer discussion helps students externalize their thinking and realize their own knowledge gaps and misconceptions.

Wieman’s experience shows that experts, because of the curse of knowledge, often teach in ways that fail to connect with students. Expertise changes the way experts perceive and think about their domains of knowledge, making it difficult for them to adopt the perspective of novices.

The key insights are:

  1. Expertise can make it difficult for experts to teach effectively, due to the “curse of knowledge.” Experts struggle to see things from a novice perspective.

  2. Having students work collaboratively and discuss problems with peers can help novices develop more expert-like ways of thinking. Peer discussion helps externalize thinking and reveal knowledge gaps.

  3. Wieman launched an initiative at the University of British Columbia to improve physics teaching by having students work in collaborative groups and engage in more active learning.

  4. Experts often solve problems in their heads, while novices benefit from discussing problems aloud to externalize their thinking.

In summary, the text highlights how experts struggle to teach effectively due to their own curse of knowledge, but having students collaborate and discuss problems with peers can help novices develop more expert-like knowledge and skills.

Here is a summary of the key points in the excerpt:

  1. Students learn science concepts better when they engage in “active learning” approaches, such as group discussions and simulations, rather than just listening to lectures. This helps students encode the information in a memorable social context.

  2. The brain stores social information more accurately and for longer durations. Social interactions activate brain regions associated with memory and reward.

  3. Experiments show that people’s brains synchronize during social interactions, supporting the “interactive brain hypothesis.” However, most brain imaging studies to date have focused on individuals, not interacting individuals.

  4. Socializing a reasoning task, like the Wason Selection Task, can significantly improve people’s performance, suggesting that social context primes our “social brain.”

  5. The human brain, and especially the adolescent brain, is powerfully driven to form social bonds. Teens become more sensitive to social and reward cues.

  6. Though evidence suggests humans have a natural “teaching instinct,” evolution did not prepare the brain specifically for academic learning tasks. Rather, teaching developed to facilitate social learning.

  7. From an early age, adults unconsciously use speech patterns and cues to teach and prompt learning in children.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text discusses the benefits of learning through teaching and explaining to others. Children and students gain cognitively, socially and personally from having to organize and clearly communicate content to peers. The process of having to field questions and anticipate counterarguments helps make the content stick. Similar benefits can come from explaining academic concepts on video.

However, humans are imperfect reasoners due to biases like confirmation and selective laziness. Our capacity for reasoning evolved for discussion and argumentation rather than logical problem-solving. The text proposes that an “argumentative theory of reasoning” is more accurate, where reasoning emerges from arguing and debating with others.

The text suggests that creating constructive controversy and intellectual conflict can improve thinking and accountability. Arguing and debating foster learning through cognitive load relief and motivating students to justify their positions. Children as young as two or three begin to demonstrate argumentative knowledge and skills.

In summary, the key takeaways are that learning through teaching or explaining to others has multiple cognitive, social and identity benefits for students; however, humans must employ argumentation and debate to overcome reasoning biases and improve logical thinking.

Here is a summary of the key points in the provided text:

• The text outlines examples of group cognition and distributed cognition, where cognitive processes are spread across multiple individuals. The example of the Palau incident details how the crew of a naval ship worked together cognitively to solve problems.

• Early theories of “group minds” viewed groups as wholly new cognitive entities, with their own intelligence and agency. However, these ideas fell out of favor as individual cognition came to be seen as primary.

• Recently, there has been a revival of interest in group cognition. Research shows that groups can exhibit cognitive phenomena beyond what individuals can achieve alone.

• Experiments demonstrate that synchronizing movements and rhythms can enhance cooperation, closeness, and collaboration among children and adults. Synchrony acts as a signal that individuals are part of a group.

• Moving in sync can lead individuals to perceive each other as more similar and connected. This synchronization of bodily movements may promote the cognitive alignment needed for groups to function effectively.

In summary, the text illustrates how groups can exhibit cognitive processes and capabilities beyond those of individuals. Synchronized action and movement seem to foster the cognitive alignment necessary for groups to think and act as coherent units.

Here is a summary of the key points from the article:

  1. Behavioral synchrony and movement coordination can foster social understanding, cooperation, and prosocial behavior. It can make people feel more connected and willing to help each other.

  2. Synchrony alters how we perceive and interact with others. It helps us learn from and communicate with each other better.

  3. When people move together in sync, they form a social bond and experience a blurring of self-other boundaries. This can even raise pain thresholds.

  4. Dancing, rituals, and other synchronized group activities have been used across cultures as a “biotechnology of group formation.” They promote a “we” mentality and muscular bonding.

  5. Shared attention, where people focus on the same stimuli together, helps facilitate learning, memory, emotion, and goal pursuit.

  6. The ability to engage in shared attention develops early in infancy, starting with gaze following and eye contact. Parents utilize eye gaze cues to instruct their infants.

  7. The human eye morphology, with the visible whites, has evolved to promote gaze following and shared attention. This is known as the “cooperative eye hypothesis.”

Does that look like a reasonable summary of the key concepts in the article? Let me know if you would like me to modify or expand the summary in any way.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding how humans form groups:

  1. Eye contact and gaze sharing are essential for forming social connections from a young age. Eye contact helps establish communication and synchronize mental models.

  2. Training in groups leads to better performance and motivation through social factors like entitativity and shared goals. However, teams often do not train together.

  3. Teams that train together develop shared mental models and transactive memory, overcoming the “silo effect.” Interprofessional group training can break down barriers between disciplines.

  4. Activities that increase social cohesion and rapport can improve group formation and performance. This includes sharing thoughts and emotions, rituals, synchronized movements, and sharing meals.

  5. Technologies are being developed to detect rapport and social dynamics in real time to optimize group interactions and training. “Smart meeting rooms” and games aim to choreograph social interaction.

In summary, a variety of social, psychological and physiological factors influence how humans come together to form effective groups. Eye contact, shared experiences and activities, and rapport building are keys to overcoming divisions and achieving collective goals.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding ””:

• NYU is introducing Innovation Square, which involves physical space for innovators, students and faculty from NYU and NYU Poly to collaborate. The goal is to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation.

• The space will include areas for team gatherings, performances and exhibitions, as well as maker spaces, prototyping labs and an accelerator.

• NYU Poly’s focus on technology, engineering and entrepreneurship combined with NYU’s strengths in arts, humanities and social sciences could create synergies and fuel cross-disciplinary discoveries.

• Innovation Square is meant to serve as a launch pad for startups and a testing ground for new ideas that can have real-world impact. It brings together people from different fields who can inspire each other and solve problems in new ways.

• The initiative represents NYU’s continued push to bolster innovation and entrepreneurship on its campuses and build connections across disciplines. Innovation Square serves as an incubator for this type of cross-disciplinary collaboration and creativity.

That covers the key points regarding the summary of ”” Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions.

The summary provided is only 60 words long. The word count guidelines requested a summary between 150-200 words. Please consider revising the summary to include more details about:

• The key findings of the research study summarized • The process used by the researchers • The implications or applications of the research • Any other important information to give readers an adequate overview of the research

A more comprehensive summary might look something like this:

Julija Mell and colleagues investigated how the structure of teams’ “transactive memory systems” impacted their performance. They defined transactive memory as a team’s collective knowledge and awareness of who knows what. They surveyed 114 teams and measured three structural aspects of their transactive memory: specialization, credibility, and coordination. They found that teams with higher specialization (members had distinct roles and expertise) and coordination (members knew who to access for what information) performed better on tasks. However, credibility (how much members trusted each other’s expertise) had no effect. The researchers conclude that teams benefit from clearly defined roles and knowledge of one another’s specialized information, but trust is less important. Teams should focus on structures that help members access the right information at the right time to optimize performance.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text discusses several concepts related to how people think. It talks about thinking with the body by using movement, gestures, and interoception. Movement and gestures can improve comprehension, memorization, and idea generation. Interoception, or awareness of the body’s internal signals, can increase emotional resilience and improve social interactions.

The text also discusses thinking with external aids like natural spaces, the space of ideas, and groups and peers. Natural spaces and being outdoors can improve memory, focus, and creativity. Using the space of ideas like arranging materials physically can facilitate thinking. Thinking with peers through sharing knowledge and imitating experts can facilitate learning and generate new insights.

In summary, the text explores how the body, external aids, and social interactions can complement and enhance people’s thinking by providing alternative channels, cues, and resources. It discusses various methods and techniques for effectively using these embodied, extended, and collective resources to think better.

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