Psychology

Clay Shirky looks at "cognitive surplus" -- the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy editing Wikipedia, posting to Ushahidi (and yes, making LOLcats), we're building a better, more cooperative world.

Developmental disorders in children are typically diagnosed by observing behavior, but Aditi Shankardass knew that we should be looking directly at their brains. She explains how a remarkable EEG device has revealed mistaken diagnoses and transformed children's lives.

What happens when we infront the darkest fears? Trevor tries to beat his fear of heights, Jackie is petrified of feathers, Ryan cant fly. Will the latest treatments help like dropping them in at the deep end?

Bored in school, failing classes, at odds with peers: This child might be an entrepreneur, says Cameron Herold. At TEDxEdmonton, he makes the case for parenting and education that helps would-be entrepreneurs flourish -- as kids and as adults. Filmed in Edmonton, Canada.

In early times evil spirits were thought to possess people and make them act in strange and frightening ways. By the 1800’s the study of this hysteria lead some doctors to believe that one person could have separately functioning personalities.

What is the experience of schizophrenia-- from the inside, as one with the disease, but also from the perspective of one who is close to the sufferer? Identical twins Pamela Spiro Wagner and Carolyn Spiro reflect on their experiences with schizophrenia, and a bond between them stronger even than their twinship, vividly and insightfully captured in their dual memoir, Divided Minds.'

This is the breathtaking story of Daniel Tammet. A twenty-something with extraordinary mental abilities, Daniel is one of the world’s few savants. He can do calculations to 100 decimal places in his head, and learn a language in a week. This documentary follows Daniel as he travels to America to meet the scientists who are convinced he may hold the key to unlocking similar abilities in everyone. He also meets the world’s most famous savant, the man who inspired Dustin Hoffman’s character in the Oscar winning film ‘Rain Man’. (2005)

Marc Yu, a seven-year-old concert pianist. At two he heard "Mary Had A Little Lamb", and immediately played it back, flawlessly. A year later he was playing Beethoven from memory. Now with a repertoire of more than 40 classical pieces, the young maestro's astounding brain has intrigued experts, such as development psychologist Professor Ellen Winner and neuroscientist Gottfired Schlaug. Winner and Schlaug focus on Marc Yu's achievements, and ask whether hard work is behind his success, or was he simply born with a brilliant brain?

According to popular wisdom, psychopaths are crazed and bloodthirsty serial killers. The reality is not so simple. While many psychopaths do commit violent crimes, not all psychopaths are criminals and not all criminals are psychopathic.

Neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran outlines the functions of mirror neurons. Only recently discovered, these neurons allow us to learn complex social behaviors, some of which formed the foundations of human civilization.

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