Quote of the Day | 0111

One of the most intriguing findings of this new science of reading is that the literate brain actually has two distinct pathways for reading. One pathway is direct and efficient, and accounts for the vast majority of reading comprehension — we see a group of letters, convert those letters into a word, and then directly grasp the word’s meaning. However, there’s also a second pathway, which we use whenever we encounter a rare and obscure word that isn’t in our mental dictionary. As a result, we’re forced to decipher the sound of the word before we can make a guess about its definition, which requires a second or two of conscious effort.

Jonah Lehrer reviews ‘Reading in the Brain

Quote of the Day | 0918

Though scientists have ransacked our matter and searched everywhere inside the skull, they still have no idea why we feel like a ghost. But it’s now abundantly clear that the mind is not separate from the body, hidden away in some ethereal province of thought. Rather, we emerge from the very same stuff that digests our lunch.

Jonah Lehrer, ‘The Yogurt Made Me Do It’

Quote of the Day | 0925

It turned out that when people felt comfortable – when they were put in a relaxed and pleasant environment – they were more willing to take irrational risks, to place losing bets on games of chance.

Jonah Lehrer, ‘Why being relaxed makes us spend too much money’

Quote of the Day | 0226


[…] like it or not, human creativity has increasingly become a group process.

Jonah Lehrer, ‘Groupthink’

Quote of the Day | 0311

What explains the creative benefits of relaxation and booze? The answer involves the surprising advantage of not paying attention. Although we live in an age that worships focus—we are always forcing ourselves to concentrate, chugging caffeine—this approach can inhibit the imagination. We might be focused, but we’re probably focused on the wrong answer.

Jonah Lehrer, ‘How to Be Creative’

Quote of the Day | 0412

I was not aware, before, what a creativity machine the brain is, and how each of us sees a different view of art because we have different brain responses to it, and how, even for simple perception, there is not only bottom-up processing, determined by Gestaltian rules of grouping things together, but there is a lot of top-down processing, which is based on comparing what we see now to what has been stored in memory.

Eric Kandel in: ‘The Age Of Insight’