Designing Web Sites for Ageing Cavemen

As usual, Jakob Nielsen's December Alertbox newsletter contains some thought proving stuff.

It is all about short-term memory and web usability. The central thesis is that the brain is not optimised for the abstract thinking and memorising data that web sites often demand.

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Is Facebook and Twitter Bad for Your Brain? Or It Actually Makes You a Better Person

Here is an old vision of a high-tech future. It is an old magazine illustration in a 1969 Japanese Sunday magazine, which shows life in the future, pervaded by computers. This illustration “The Rise of the Computerized School,” by Shigeru Komatsuzaki is an illustrated scenario of what schools will be like in the future. Sort of Webex type of online delivery and interactive learning via a tablet.

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Is Everyday Management a Social Threat to Employees?

There’s a neat article by Reuters discussing how workers’ brains and management practices often work at cross-purposes. They cite, among others, Charles Jacobs, author of the book “Management Rewired,” recently reviewed here. An excerpt of the Reuters piece:

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Considering the Mind: Mini-reviews of “Buy-ology,” “Free Market Madness,” “Management Rewired”

These three recently-published books take research on cognitive science and behavioral economics and apply it to business and public policy. A common theme – people aren’t particularly logical, and this has huge impacts on how they behave, yet our business practices and government regulations often ignore this.

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The Neuroscience of Temptation

If you are human, you are subject to temptation. In a religious context, temptation is an invitation to sin, i.e., to break the established rules of that particular faith. Even without the influence of religion, society has both formal constraints (laws) and less formal ones (socially acceptable behavior) that seek to rein in temptation.

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I Am Not a Number

Neuroscientists have found patterns in brain activity that correlate with single digit numbers. They can literally watch your mind count.

Research into the physiology of how our noggins work has advanced mightily in recent years, especially when it comes to witnessing perception and memory. Technologies like fMRI -- an imaging tool that notes differences in water pressure, sort of -- have been heralded as objective ways to measure what happens in brains when things that were once believed to be solely subjective occurred in minds.

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Managing by Mistakes

Management gurus have often suggested that failure should be rewarded (if the individual was trying something new), or at least not punished. We all know the problems that develop when employees become fearful and conservative – creativity is stifled, and performance suffers.

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Video Games Make You Smarter... Really!

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The Brain on 'Chilling' Music

by: Roger Dooley

In Audio Branding, I wrote about subtle uses of music to influence our behavior. Most of the uses of music for branding or sales enhancement are so subtle that listeners may not be consciously aware the music is even playing - it’s simply part of the environment. Indeed, it seems that subtlety is the goal of Muzak and others trying to create an auditory environment.

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Exercise, Weight Loss, & Your Brain

From both physicians and fitness gurus, the mantra for effective weight loss is the same: diet and exercise. And we’ve all had friends who gushed about starting a modest walking program, for example, and saw themselves drop unwanted pounds.

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