U3A Stilbaai

TED Talks and YouTube videos
TED Conferences posts talks online for free distribution under the slogan "Ideas worth spreading". TED Talks are available on YouTube, thus are open to everyone, as are many interesting public lectures given by the scientific community. Hundreds of excellent talks on Neuroscience and Psychology are available to choose from.
Below are some of the video topics shown and discussed at recent meetings. Not all of the topics will be of interest to each member, but you are welcome to enjoy the video's or Zoom recordings in your own time. The latest topics are added to the top.
TED Praatjies en YouTube video's.
TED konferensies voorsien praatjies op die internet wat gratis beskikbaar is onder die slagspreuk “Ideas worth spreading”. TED praatjies is beskikbaar op YouTube en is dus oop vir almal, asook ander interessante openbare lesings deur wetenskaplikes. Daar is honderde uitstekende praatjies oor Neurowetenskap en Sielkunde om van te kies.
Hieronder is sommige van die video onderwerpe wat op onlangse vergaderings vertoon en bespreek is. Al die video onderwerpe mag nie vir elke lid van belang wees nie, maar julle is welkom om die videos of Zoom opnames in jul eie tyd te geniet. Die mees onlangste onderwerpe is bo.

Dopamine, obsession and boredom; plus happiness and wandering minds.
Join Jenni for a Zoom discussion on Friday 1 October at 14h00.
Dopamine: Driving Your Brain into the Future
Daniel Lieberman. TEDx Wilmington Women
Why are we obsessed with the things we want – and bored when we get them? Why do highly driven people so rarely enjoy the success they’ve earned? The answer is dopamine, a chemical in the brain that has been called “the pleasure molecule.” But is it? Find out why it holds the key to desire, motivation, and sometimes the most disastrous of consequences.
» Click here to view TED talk.
You can also read The Molecule of More by Daniel Z Lieberman - Click here.
A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind
Researcher Matt Killingsworth designs studies that gather data on happiness
Topics such as "The relationship between happiness and the content of everyday experiences; the percentage of everyday experiences that are intrinsically valuable; and the degree of congruence between the causes of momentary happiness and of one’s overall satisfaction with life") .
So when are humans most happy? Matt built an app, Track Your Happiness, that asks people to report their feelings in real time. Among the surprising results: We're often happiest when we're absorbed in the moment. And the flip side: The more our mind wanders, the less happy we become.
» Click here to view TED talk.

How we form memories, and some issues around aging brains.
Flex your cortex - 7 secrets to turbocharge your brain.
Sandra Bond Chapman. TEDX 2014
earn from Dr Sandra Bond Chapman, a cognitive neuroscientist at The University of Texas at Dallas, the seven scientifically-validated secrets, which anyone can implement to improve brain performance.
Dr. Chapman collaborates with scientists across the country and around the world to solve some of the most important issues concerning the brain and its health. On the frontier of brain research, her scientific study melds interdisciplinary expertise to better understand how to evaluate and achieve optimal brain performance through preserving frontal lobe function, the area of the brain responsible for reasoning, planning and decision-making.
» Click here to view YouTube video
Nuns Offer Clues to Alzheimer's and Aging
Pam Belluck. New York Times, May 7, 2001
» Click here to read article
Memory fit - How I learnt to exercise my memory
Anastasia Woolmer. TEDxDocklands
Anastasia Woolmer guides us on her journey from a physical to a mental athlete. After a career as a professional Ballet and Contemporary dancer, she completed a university degree with very little high school behind her. Like many of us, she studied without the benefit of memory techniques, just a lot of preparation and late nights. Anastasia discusses what a dramatic difference memory training has made to her life, since then. We can all benefit from directed memory skills, and a little practice pays big dividends. This talk reveals that combining the two types of fitness training – mental and physical – helps us to achieve the most out of life. Anastasia is a two times Australian Memory Champion, is the first female to hold this title and has set several Australian memory records along the way. She is both a physical and mental athlete, with an international career as a professional Ballet and Contemporary dancer. Her love of learning attracted her to memory sports as a path to absorb new information quickly and she now helps others to learn memory techniques. Anastasia is also uniquely able to demonstrate the mental imagery she uses during memorisation. Anastasia believes combining both physical and mental fitness gives us the best chance for a happy and full healthy life. She knows that anyone can train themselves to perform remarkable memory feats and bypass slower conventional learning methods.
» Click here to view YouTube video
Top 10 Tips to Keep Your Brain Young
Elizabeth Amini. TEDxSoCal Aug 16, 2011
Elizabeth Amini is a social entrepreneur with a background in science. She learned data analysis while working as a scientist at JPL/NASA. Elizabeth has a degree in Cognitive Science (the study of the brain) from Occidental College and an M.B.A. from University of Southern California. Her Anti-AgingGames.com business plan won the USC Business Plan contest as well as the YPO (Young Presidents' Organization) award for promising new companies. Anti-AgingGames.com features fun and easy brain stimulation games . The training system includes memory, concentration, focus, and relaxation games. Anti-AgingGames.com includes tips distilled from over 17,000 medical studies that teach how to potentially reduce the risk of early memory loss through lifestyle changes.
» Click here to view YouTube video

Illusions, Assumptions and Free Will
A beautiful mind -- deepening our understanding of perception, creativity...
Beau Lotto. April 2014
Beau Lotto is a globally renowned neuro-scientist who specialises in perception research, and has for years wowed the world of science with work that blurs the boundaries between neuro-science and the arts. As well as transforming the science of perception, he wants to transform the way people think - not just about themselves, but also about the world around them.
Adaptation is the life-blood of any individual, and it has two parts. The application of an adaptation - focusing on process and efficiency results in being able to adapt well, and is essential to survivaI in a static or predictable world.
Beau will focus principally on perception because it underpins everything we know, think, feel and believe, from our best inventions to our most basic psychoses. Understanding how the brain resolves uncertainty, offers direct insight to the 'destructive creation' that is the process of learning itself. But what about an uncertain world? In such an environment, the other side of adaptation (creativity) becomes essential. And our world, of course, is uncertain, and increasingly so. Given that, why is it that we so often rely on learned efficiency, at the expense of creativity?
Here, using perceptual neuroscience, Beau Lotto will address three key points about creativity: - What actually is Creativity? - Why fear and stress are the principle barriers to achieving creativity - How can one facilitate creativity?
» Click here to view YouTube video
IQ Tests Can’t Measure It, but ‘Cognitive Flexibility’ Is Key to Learning and Creativity
The Conversation. June 2021
Cognitive flexibility can also help protect against a number of biases, such as confirmation bias. That’s because people who are cognitively flexible are better at recognising potential faults in themselves, and using strategies to overcome these faults.
» Click here to view article.
How brains learn to see
Pawan Sinha. TEDIndia 2009.
Pawan Sinha details his groundbreaking MIT research into how the brain's visual system develops. His team provides free vision-restoring treatment to children born blind, and then study how their brains learn to interpret visual data. This work offers insights into neuroscience, engineering and even autism.
» Click here to view TED Talk.

The Neuroscience behind Personality
Dopamine genes are linked to Extraversion and Neuroticism personality traits, but only in demanding climates.
Ronald Fischer, Anna Lee & Machteld N. Verzijden. January 2018
Firstly I introduce the relationship of environment to personality, because it is a 60:40 nature:nurture interaction ...
» Click here to view article
» Click here to read about Big Five Factor personality model.
Understanding The Fisher Temperament Inventory & Its 4 Types
Helen Fischer, a biological anthropologist PhD and chief science advisor of Match.com
June 2020 
» Click here to read article.
To study the validity of the Fisher Temperament Inventory test, Fisher had people take the questionnaire and then took MRI scans of their brains. Sure enough, people who showed estrogen dominance in the questionnaire, for example, consistently had more activity in brain regions linked with empathy and social skills. People who scored high on the serotonin scale showed activity in the part of the brain linked with social norm conformity.
Dr. Helen Fisher on How Brain Chemistry Determines Personality and Politics
(YouTube 40min video). April 2018
» Click here to view video.
Sex beyond the genitalia: The human brain mosaic
Finally we look at gender chromosomes ... Professor Daphna Joel (Psychology and Neuroscience) explores the mistaken concept that brains can be either male or female, thus providing an explanation for why men and women are different. She disputes the theory, displays the neurological data, and proves that our brains are really a unique mosaic of both male and female characteristics, forming an 'intersex brain.'
 » Click here to read article - December 2015 
Even when considering highly stereotypical gender behaviors, there are very few individuals who are consistently at the “female-end” or at the “male-end”, but there are mainly individuals who have both “female-end” and “male-end” characteristics. Furthermore, although one’s sex is enough to predict whether this person would have more “female-end” or more “male-end” characteristics, it is not enough to predict this person’s specific combination of “female-end” and “male-end” characteristics. Our findings are in line with more recent thinking, that masculinization and feminization are two independent processes and that sexual differentiation progresses independently in different brain tissues, “enabling genetically and environmentally induced variation in sexual differentiation of different tissues within a single brain”.

Brain fatigue and experiencing "Languish vs Flourish" states
Beat the Burnout - How to fight pandemic fatigue with science
Amy Fleming, 2 February 2021.
»  Click to view article.
How the lonely elderly can teach you lessons for life
Edward Molkenboer·TEDxHaarlem
Edward Molkenboer calls himself ‘a professional bon vivant’. But that’s only since he started pouring coffee for the lonely elderly. Before that time he owned two companies, but at some point felt a personal bankruptcy. From the urge of doing good for others he set up the foundation Goed doen voor een Ander (= Doing good for someone Else).
» Click to view video
Brain fog: how trauma, uncertainty and isolation have affected our minds and memory
Moya Sarner, 14 April 2021
After a year of lockdown, many of us are finding it hard to think clearly, or remember what happened when. Neuroscientists and behavioural experts explain why.
» Click to view article

From Anger to Meditation
Richard Davidson, founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explains the four constituents of well-being. These constituents are rooted in specific brain circuits that exhibit neuroplasticity, which gives us the opportunity to enhance our well-being, with practice.
» Click to view video.
Humiliation: Why this little-understood emotion exists
BBC Ideas. 2019
Why does humiliation exist? And can we turn it to our advantage? Psychotherapist Philippa Perry explores this little-understood emotion. Made by BBC Scotland.
»  Click here to view video.
How to make peace? Get angry
Kailash Satyarth, 2019
How did a young man born into a high caste in India come to free 83,000 children from slavery? Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi offers a surprising piece of advice to anyone who wants to change the world for the better: Get angry at injustice. In this powerful talk, he shows how a lifetime of peace-making sprang from a lifetime of outrage.
»  Click here to view video.
Loving Kindness Meditations
Research continues to reveal that compassion is much more than just a concern for the suffering of others. It is a valuable skill that can be cultivated over time through such practices as Loving-Kindness and Compassion Meditation.
Instead of berating yourself (anger) and getting lost in your suffering (pain), Compassion Meditation offers a way to use your own suffering as a tool for true insight and understanding, into what people all over the world are going through.
»  Click here to view video.

Language of positive or negative Feelings
The language of positive feelings: Tim Lomas says “The feelings we have learned to recognise and label are the ones we notice – but there’s a lot more that we may not be aware of. And so I think if we are given some new words, they can help us articulate whole areas of experience we’ve only dimly noticed.”
» Read... "The ‘untranslatable’ emotions you never knew you had" by David Robson.
Expanding our experiential horizons through untranslatable words
Tim Lomas | TEDxZurich 2019
Untranslatable words – terms without an exact equivalent in our own language – can expand our horizons and transform our lives. They have the potential to help us better understand and articulate our experiences, and can even reveal new phenomena which had previously been veiled to us.
Collectively these words provide an illuminating and detailed map of wellbeing, one with the potential to open people up to new ways of seeing and being in the world. Dr. Tim Lomas has been a lecturer in positive psychology at the University of East London since 2013. His current main area of research involves creating a lexicography of untranslatable words relating to wellbeing.
... and take a look at the website: https://www.drtimlomas.com/lexicography/cm4mi
» Click to view TED Talk.
Your words may predict your future mental health
Mariano Sigman 2016
In this fascinating talk, neuroscientist Mariano Sigman reflects on ancient Greece and the origins of introspection to investigate how our words hint at our inner lives and details a word-mapping algorithm that could predict the development of schizophrenia. "We may in the future be seeing a very different form of mental health," Sigman says, "based on objective, quantitative and automated analysis of the words we write, of the words we say."
Can the way you speak and write today predict your future mental state, even the onset of psychosis?
Neurocience has also confirmed that the Wernicke's area in the Temporal Cortex is essential for using words in a meaningful way (Semantics). We also lose neurological pathways for accessing seldom used words (dementia).
Lastly, learning a foreign language by utilising brain science, now concentrates on the most frequently used words (or phrases).
» Click here to view TED Talk.

Focused Attention.
The science of Focused Attention, requires high Beta brainwave activity (Flow), and it is important that we find things we enjoy being interested in. But it also made me realise we need to be open to new ideas and the freedom to explore and discover creatively. Stimulating the brain (to avoid dementia) requires more than entertaining distractions, we really must put effort into learning and applying new knowledge and skills.
Flow, the secret to Happiness TED 2004
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asks, "What makes a life worth living?" Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of "flow." Especially pay attention to the video at 14 - 17 minutes.
» Click to view TED Talk
Connecting the Dots: Your Brain and Creativity
Dita Cavdarbasha and Jake Kurczek explore the scientific research of creativity. This summary is particularly informative: Good illustrations of what is happening in the brain and in our thoughts in order for us to pursue creative activities. They explore intelligence and some myths surrounding the brain and creativity, also the benefits that being creative has in your life.
» Click to view video
What can different cultures teach about boredom?
In Niger, young men counter the “weight of boredom” by drinking tea together. For them, it’s better to live in the here and now, and enjoy what is coming in the immediate future.
» Click to view video

Discussion of Denialism (Covid, Climate change) and Conspiracy Theories (Vaccinations, Trumpism).
Following on some points raised in the Robert Sapolsky and Renee Lertzman videos, I decided to open with creating understanding about why people can be denialists, or readily believe in various conspiracy theories.
I have attached a Google Drive download of a 4 minute video from a free online Future Learn course: Disinformation, misinformation... by Michigan University; and some interesting articles with a useful video explaining how to structure scientific information.
» Reasons people reject science.mp4
A practical guide to countering science denial.
by John Cook, The Conversation
Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial in Denial101x, a massive open online course (MOOC) from UQx and edX. Denial101x isn’t just a MOOC about climate change; it’s a MOOC about how people think about climate change.
» Click to view YouTube
Neuroscience explains how “fake news” works, and what publishers can learn from it.
by Rachel Anne Barr (Neuroscience PhD student), The Conversation
» Click to view video
How Identity—Not Ignorance—Leads to Science Denial.
Changing the minds of Covid-19 deniers may require a lot more than sound reasoning - Markham Heid, The Nuance 2020
» Click to view video

How to turn climate anxiety into action.
Renee Lertzman
It's normal to feel anxious or overwhelmed by climate change, says psychologist Renée Lertzman. Can we turn those feelings into something productive? In an affirming talk, Lertzman discusses the emotional effects of climate change and offers insights on how psychology can help us discover both the creativity and resilience needed to act on environmental issues.This talk was presented at an official TED conference.
» Click here to open TED talk.

How to motivate yourself to change your behavior.
Tali Sharot
What makes us change our actions? Tali Sharot reveals three ingredients to doing what's good for yourself. Dr. Tali Sharot is a neuroscientist at University College London and the director of the Affective Brain Lab. She is a faculty member of the department of Experimental Psychology, a Wellcome Trust Fellow, and currently a visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on how emotion, motivation, and social factors influence our expectations, decisions, and memories.
» Click here to open YouTube video.

The Biology of Humans at our Best and Worst.
Robert Zapolsky
Dr. Robert Sapolsky spoke at Stanford on October 24, 2017. He is the author of several works of nonfiction, including A Primate's Memoir, The Trouble with Testosterone, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, and his most recent book Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst.
» Click here to open video.

The Three Secrets of Resilient People.
Lucy Hone
Dr Lucy Hone is a resilience expert who thought she found her calling supporting people to recover following the Christchurch earthquake. She had no idea that her personal journey was about to take her to a far darker place. In this powerful and courageous talk, she shares the three strategies that got her through an unimaginable tragedy ⁠— and offers a profound insight on human suffering. Dr Lucy Hone is a director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience, a research associate at AUT University, a published academic researcher, best-selling author and contributor to Psychology Today, the Sunday Star Times and Next magazine. She trained at the University of Pennsylvania and got her PhD in public health at AUT University in Auckland. She has helped a range of organisations — from primary schools to leading law firms — to design and implement wellbeing initiatives creating sustained and meaningful change. Five years ago, the sudden death of Lucy’s 12-year-old daughter Abi forced Lucy to apply her academic training and professional practice to foster her own resilience in very personal circumstances. The blog she wrote in the aftermath of Abi’s death attracted international attention and resulted in the best-selling non-fiction title, What Abi Taught Us, Strategies for Resilient Grieving (Allen & Unwin, 2016), now available as Resilient Grieving in the US, UK and NZ.
» Click here to open TED Talk

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