Category Archives: Videos

R. D. Laing on Psychophobia and the Politics of Psychology

Below is a tremendous clip from a longer video called Did You Used To Be R. D. Laing?  in which the ever provocative psychologist discusses a condition he describes as “Psychophobia”– a fear of our own psyches–and reservations he had about modern psychological thinking. The full video was released a year after his death in 1989.  The clip is about 3.5 minutes long. 



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Author Ray Kurzweil on the Web Within Us

Futurist Ray Kurzweil, author of The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity is Near, visits Google’s Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss his book “The Web Within Us: When Minds and Machines Become One.” This event took place on July 1, 2009, as part of the Authors@Google series.

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Never Underestimate the Power of Conformity

Apologies for the radio silence – I’m traveling this week and net time has been limited.  For now, take a look at the video below made by a social psychology student at Mississippi State University for an experiment on conformity to gender roles.  What’s amazing isn’t just that person after person does exactly what the signs tell them, but some of them actually stop and go through the other door when they see that they’re about to violate the rule.  Below that is a video updating the famous Asch conformity test. 



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Warning: Self Delusion Can be Painful

Punch in the Face ImpactSelf delusion is a remarkably powerful thing.  It’s capable, for instance, of enabling total blindness to basic tenets of physical reality.  At the same time, it’s capable of causing others to believe something so deeply that they’ll think and act in ways precisely in line with what the delusion demands, as if following a script. 

The video below is a terrific illustration of self delusion’s power, both internal and external.  The older gentleman is a self reputed Kiai Master — Kiai being a martial art that requires no physical contact with one’s opponent. The wielder harnesses his or her Kiai (or Chi/Ki) energy to fight instead of using hands and feet.  You’ll see at the beginning of the video that the Kiai Master appears to effortlessly throw his students around the dojo without ever physically touching them. 

Clearly this guy has a big following and plenty of students who believe exactly what he says — and evidently, so does he. So sure is he that his power is real that he offered a $5000 challenge to anyone willing to fight him.  Unfortunately for him, someone took him up on it. 



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On an entirely different topic — I was recently interviewed by, posted here.  It’s a great website for anyone interested in water conservation and other water-related issues.


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One Year Anniversary and a Little Sex

I’m pleased to report that Neuronarrative is a year old today.  Many thanks to everyone who has been reading.

Coinciding with this anniversary, I’m going to do something I haven’t done in the last 12 months — take a vacation.  I’ll be returning with regular programming in a few days.  Meanwhile, I leave you with a video featuring Yale psychology professor, and excellent science writer, Paul Bloom.  In this talk he discusses…sex.  Enough said.


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Delving into the Psychology of Belief and Superstition

A great deal of recent research is focused on identifying the psychological and neurological underpinnings of belief and superstition.  In the first video below, Bruce Hood, experimental psychologist at Bristol University and author of SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable, answers questions concerning how people become superstitious and what motivates their ongoing beliefs.  In the second video, Ken Livingston, professor of psychology at Vassar College, discusses recent research on the neurological infrastructure of spiritual experiences.



Link to an interview with professor Bruce Hood.

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Painting with Your Brain While Not Moving a Muscle

I’m excited by the new wave of brain-computer interface systems that enable ‘locked-in’ patients, such as those with ALS and paralyzing injuries, to communicate, create art, compose music and other things never before possible. The videos below demonstrate two of these systems, BrainGate and a ‘brain-painting’ interface being developed at the University of Virginia. 


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