Hermann’s Grid the real story as to why we see the phantom dots.

(via Grid Illusions: Hermann Grid)

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“Academics found that bike racks where the poster was present had 62% fewer thefts than the previous year, while those without the poster saw thefts rise by 63%.”

Eye Poster Puts Off Bike Thieves

It’s all in the eyes.

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Cognitive Overhead, Or Why Your Product Isn’t As Simple As You Think

Nice little piece.

Cognitive Overhead, Or Why Your Product Isn’t As Simple As You Think

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We read sentences as we read comics

charlie brown

A good interview from Discover Magazine. They interview a researcher, Neil Cohn on his work on the neuroscience of reading comics.

“evidence suggests that we use the same cognitive process to make sense of comics as we do to read a sentence”

Or more interestingly vice versa. We read sentences as we read images linked into stories. We ‘visualise’ the meaning.

“I started making connections between what was going on in language and what was going on in comics,” Cohn says. A comic strip is a string of panels, just as a sentence is a string of words.”

This is really important for us designers and it shows the importance of how we integrate imagery and text to explain meaning.

Read the full article:
The Brain: The Charlie Brown Effect

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The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens

Great in depth article on reading in the modern age.

There’s been a real lack of research over the last 10 years or so on the differences between reading on paper and reading online.

-We read like we perceive the world, in 3 dimensions. Paper offers more cues like position on a page within a book that aid recall and navigation of the text
-Screens cause reading fatigue due to the light they produce, eInk does not
-Comprehension of a written text is the same on paper and eInk but less on (LCD) screen (maybe due to fatigue)

Read the full article, it’s a good one.

The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens

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BRAIN GAMES ARE BOGUS

You can put down that DS, brain training doesn’t work. Pretty definitive.

“The answer, however, now appears to be a pretty firm no—at least, not through brain training. A pair of scientists in Europe recently gathered all of the best research—twenty-three investigations of memory training by teams around the world—and employed a standard statistical technique (called meta-analysis) to settle this controversial issue. The conclusion: the games may yield improvements in the narrow task being trained, but this does not transfer to broader skills like the ability to read or do arithmetic, or to other measures of intelligence.”

BRAIN GAMES ARE BOGUS

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Ambiverts

I wrote last week about the problems with Myers Briggs personality tests, specifically when it comes to Extroversion and Introversion.

This study couldn’t be timely.

Move Over Extroverts, Here Come the Ambiverts

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This gallery contains 1 photo.

Just some pretty brain pictures because I can. neuroimages:

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Neural Decoding of Visual Imagery During Sleep

You might have seen this on the news.

What does it mean for us designers? Well simply put we can associate brain activity with simply shapes. Previously this has only been done when someone is looking at shape or thinking about shape.

The key term in the abstract is ‘predict’. If you’ve read my book you’d know that being able to predict behaviour means we can design for behaviour.

Scientists can now look at a brain and predict what is being perceived. it’ll help us get valuable insights into our designs.

Neural Decoding of Visual Imagery During Sleep

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I talk in Psychology for Designers about the tension between art and science in design and how 99% of the time the science backs up the art.

The poet Goethe described the psychology of colour two hundred years ago only for science to come to eventually come to the same conclusions hundreds of years later.

He describes Green as:

The eye experiences a distinctly grateful impression from this colour. If the two elementary colours are mixed in perfect equality so that neither predominates, the eye and the mind repose on the result of this junction as upon a simple colour. The beholder has neither the wish nor the power to imagine a state beyond it. Hence for rooms to live in constantly, the green colour is most generally selected.

Read more of his musings at Goethe on the Psychology of Colour and Emotion on the wonderful Brain Pickings.

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