Alicia Choina

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For many of us, Thanksgiving means spending time with our families, carrying out traditions that we’ve practiced for years.

While it can be very stressful, messy, and challenging to spend time with family members you don’t see very often, it can also be a beautiful time of re-centering. 

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Internet memes are a dime a dozen, but users young and old have undoubtedly seen, and quite possibly enjoyed, a good cat video or two.

Even if we have better things to do, it seems almost inhuman to resist clicking the "play" button above a cute kitten's face.

But why are those prolific time-wasters so irresistible? On this week’s edition of "Two Guys on Your Head," Dr. Art Markman, Dr. Bob Duke and host Rebecca McInroy discuss the animal magnetism of cat videos.

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You can go to the gym and work out your quads, or your biceps, or your balance and isolate those muscle groups to focus improvement of those areas of function with work. 

So it's not too far of a stretch to assume if we exercise specific areas of our brains might we see improvement in functions as well, right?  Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple.

But have so many brain-training systems like Lumosity become so popular?

On this week’s show, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke will demystify the process of brain function improvement and illustrate the effectiveness of brain training programs.

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Procrastination is the all-too-familiar foe of productivity, but why do some wait until the last minute to even get a project started?

In this episode of "Two Guys on Your Head" Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke explore the psychology behind procrastination, and how we can overcome factors that might be keeping us from getting started.

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Can you remember what it was like for you to learn your native language?  Probably not, but why is that?

As humans, we begin learning to speak our native language during the earliest stages of our lives, in infancy.  Most people don’t have many accessible memories from this period of development. How do we do that?

If we can learn a language in our infant stages of life, why is it so difficult to learn a second language later in life?

On this week’s episode of Two Guys on Your Head, Art Markman and Bob Duke explore how we learn language.

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Failure is a word that carries a lot of baggage, arousing emotional responses that we’d usually rather avoid. 

What about success? Why does the thought of success conjure images and feelings of comfort and satisfaction. This week, "Two Guys on Your Head" examine how the heights of success and the "training wheels" of failure impact our everyday lives.

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Is greed good?  Is greed a human instinct?  Why are some people inclined to hoard?

For some individuals, greed and selfishness are much more commonly displayed than generosity. So, it might be fair to say greed feels more natural for some. On the other hand, most might say they favor unselfishness.

In this installment of "Two Guys on Your Head" Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss whether greed is instinctual or not.

onewithnow.com

I am absolutely certain that I’m right and you’re wrong, so because of this certainty, I will argue my belief, which I believe to be correct, however long it takes to convince you to submit to my superior correctness. 

Have you ever encountered such a fixed and inflexible perspective of a belief in a person who disagrees with you on something?  Of course you have.  We’re only human, and it’s part of the nature of our cognitive patterns to want to hold onto certain beliefs with a very firm intellectual grip.

On this week’s episode of Two Guys On Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke analyze the differing approaches to holding a belief and how those different approaches affect interaction in society. Essentially, this comes down to two fundamental ways of holding a belief: You can have a firm grip, or a loose one.

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Don’t we all hate having to deal with jerks? Everyone has some unpleasant person that they encounter frequently in life and would rather not. 

Fact is, we constantly encounter an endless variety of people with an endless variety of attitudes, perspectives and beliefs that – in all realistic possibility – will differ from the attitudes that we carry for the moment. 

This week, the Two Guys On Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, will toss around the topic of jerks – and provide some insightful, doctor prescribed strategies for handling difficult people in our lives.  

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Do you take pride in your ability to divide your focus and energy into more than one task at a time? Do you think you’re a good multitasker?

Chances are, you’re probably not.

We sat down with two experts – the Two Guys, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Robert Duke – to take a closer look at the topic of multitasking. Their take offers a perspective into some of the unique issues associated with multitasking.

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Being the incredibly social species that we are, we humans simply cannot avoid influencing one another when we interact. Influence is inevitable. 

The question then becomes, since influence is inevitable in human interaction, can we achieve the kind of influence that we intend to have, or that we might think we have in the world? 

On this week’s show, the Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, influence our understanding of the different functions and effects of influence in our lives.

flickr.com/pinksherbet

Swiss psychiatrist Jean Piaget was born in 1896, and died in 1980. His background was in biology, but he became fascinated with studying the psychological development of children.

Piaget was a transformational researcher in the field of child developmental psychology. In fact, he is still, to this day, the most cited psychologist in the field.

So what exactly did Piaget do?  How did he change our understanding of human brain development from infancy to adulthood?  In this edition of  Two Guys on Your Head Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about Jean Piaget and his impact on the field of cognitive psychology.

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Have you ever taken a moment to consider the incredible orchestra of sensory integration that happens constantly in conscious life?  Without this integration of our senses, the world would be a barrage of overstimulation – and reality would be very disorienting. 

In this episode of Two Guys on Your HeadDr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke explore the intricacies of the incredible sensory-processing systems that create cohesion for the world around us.

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Who knows what? Essentially, this question is the basis of the complex concept called Theory of Mind – which is very misleadingly labeled. No, it’s not a theory that explains how mind works, as you might assume. It’s a process within our minds that allows us to separate and distinguish between what we know ourselves and what we know that other people know – or don’t know.  It’s a skill that is critical for accomplishing effective social interaction in the world. A better term might be Theory of Other People's Minds.

Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke do a wonderful job of explaining and dissecting this important skill in this week’s episode of Two Guys on Your Head. Have a listen and get smarter.  

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Everybody knows somebody who's familiar with the online dating service experience. It's a fairly common way for people to meet and become romantically involved these days. But how is it different from more traditional dating and courtship?

Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke take a crack at online dating in this week’s episode of Two Guys on Your Head.

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Our world these days is laden with a constant flow of information. It’s unavoidable. 

But how do we determine what information to believe? Once we’ve made that choice, what if we later find out that the information was false? How do we shed false beliefs?

On this week’s show, good doctors Art Markman and Bob Duke analyze the process of belief formation – and why our false beliefs are so insistent that we reconsider them.

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Horrible music, incredible wait times and an inscrutable labyrinth of phone prompts: We've all experienced the frustrations of being on hold. Even when we're on hold for a minute or so, blood pressure can spike when an automated voice answers the phone.

Why is being on hold so annoying? Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke will be with you shortly to explain it. 

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Austin is now ranked as the fourth worst city in the nation for traffic. According to an annual traffic scorecard, Austinites waste an average of 41 hours in traffic annually. 

It’s no wonder then that we're encountering more vehicular aggression on overcrowded Austin roads. So what’s happening in our brains when we encounter that familiar feeling of intense frustration we call road rage? The Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, break it down in this week’s episode.

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Ever have those moments when you just can’t find the right words to express your thoughts? They happen. Articulation isn’t always easy.

Sometimes, words or language alone can't accurately express the complexity of thought. At those times, it can be very helpful to use an analogy or a metaphor to illustrate the fullness of the concept being expressed. Analogies and metaphors allow us to communicate complex concepts or ideas that transcend simple words. 

If you have a desire to develop good analogies or metaphors, the Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, have some tips that will blow your mind – metaphorically speaking. 

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Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Time flies when you're having fun, the old saying goes. But how can time – maybe the most fundamental concept of the universe – feel different under different conditions?

Our brains perceive time differently in different circumstances. When we pay close attention to something, tedium can set in and it can feel like time slows to a crawl.

Conversely, if our lives demand we juggle several different things at once, we tend to pay less attention to some activities – and time races by in a flash.

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