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Surprise! Neural Mechanism May Underlie an Enhanced Memory for the Unexpected

ScienceDaily (Feb. 25, 2010) — The human brain excels at using past experiences to make predictions about the future. However, the world around us is constantly changing, and new events often violate our logical expectations. "We know these unexpected events are more likely to be remembered than predictable events, but the underlying neural mechanisms for these effects remain unclear," says lead researcher, Dr. Nikolai Axmacher, from the University of Bonn in Germany.


Meeting Design THE POWER OF THE CROWD How do you use the wisdom of the crowds? Participants attend conferences to gain more knowledge, but as a group they also bring with them a wealth of experience and brainpower. Those who exploit the full potential of the interaction contribute immense added value to their conference. The time is ripe for this, argue four specialists in the field of conferences and crowdsourcing.

Tactile Sensations Influence Social Judgements and Decisions

ScienceDaily (June 25, 2010) — Psychologists report in the journal Science that interpersonal interactions can be shaped, profoundly yet unconsciously, by the physical attributes of incidental objects: Resumes reviewed on a heavy clipboard are judged to be more substantive, while a negotiator seated in a soft chair is less likely to drive a hard bargain.

Vision (UK)

Future Lab’s bi-annual magazine offers possible visions of the future of learning with digital technologies and other innovative resources. This magazine focuses on education, but most of the information can be used in meetings. You just have to replace the word student by delegate and teacher by meeting planner.

Spending Time in Nature Makes People Feel More Alive

ScienceDaily (June 4, 2010) — Feeling sluggish? The solution may require getting outside the box -- that big brick-and-mortar box called a building.

Being outside in nature makes people feel more alive, finds a series of studies published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology. And that sense of increased vitality exists above and beyond the energizing effects of physical activity and social interaction that are often associated with our forays into the natural world, the studies show.

bad day small ball

Sport professionals that play well will often say ‘the ball seemed larger than usual’. It sounds like nonsense, but psychologists of the university of Virginia discovered that indeed sportsmen perceive a ball to be bigger on a good day and smaller on a bad one. Researchers studied play results of softball players and made them estimate how large the ball was after the game. Players with a good score pointed to significantly bigger circles than players that did not hit the ball so well that day.


Our short term memory is at it’s best in the morning and decreases during the day. Before lunch we are most alert and after noon, our coordination is at it’s maximum. Around 16:00 / 4pm we have our fastest speed of reaction speed and around 17:00 / 5pm our muscle strength peaks and our heart and vascular system is most efficient.   

for meeting organisers:

Virtual characters have real impact

Research from the US psychologist Blascovich shows that humans in virtual environments behave exactly the same towards virtual people as they do towards real people in the real world. Even if those computer animations do not look very realistic. It seems that the human mind has a built in mechanism to react in a social way. Writes Blascovitch It is nearly impossible, not to be fooled.


Building teams takes conflict

To become a close group, there are inevitable phases any group has to go through: The Orientation phase,  the Conflict phase, the Integration phase and the Execution phase.

Comment:Do you want to build close groups, teams at your meetings or conferences? Be aware of these for phases. Make sure you prepare to manage at least a few conflicts. Do you want to avoid the conflict phase? Than don't put groups together for a long period of time like a few days. Be aware you will not build real integrated teams in that way.

Electricity consumption of the brain

Our brain uses as much energy as a 20watt light bulb. With that, only 1% of our brain cells are active simultaneously. The other 99% is used too, only not at the same time. That would be impossible; our brain already uses 20% of the oxygen we breath in, and it would get overheated.

Learn more on an empty stomach?

Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine discovered in 2006 that Gherline, a hormone secreted by an empty stomach not just triggers the hunger signal to the brain. In Mice (plural of mouse, nit as in MICE industry) that hormone also resulted in better learning and remembering.  This makes sense: when you are hungry, as an animal, you go look for food, and it is crucial that you are able to remember where there is food to e found. If you don’t, you die; natural selection.

Monitor on Psychology

Who We Are
Based in Washington, DC, the American Psychological Association (APA) is a scientific and professional organization that represents psychology in the United States. With 148,000 members, APA is the largest association of psychologists worldwide.

Psychologie magazine

This Dutch monthly magazine has, in every issue, 4 to 10 topics that are applicable in meeting architecture.

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