Science

Two Guys on Your Head
4:28 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

Virtual Or No, Therapy Can Be Beneficial

Credit Nejron Photo/Shutterstock

Therapy can be life-changing. However, anyone who’s ever seen a bad therapist likely agrees, on at least some level, that virtual therapy may be a step in the right direction. But is it actually effective?

Virtual therapy offers a true judgment-free zone. It also removes much of the shame and fear associated with telling even (or perhaps especially) the kindest of therapist one’s deepest and darkest secrets. It’s also much more convenient and, likely, inexpensive.

However, a good therapist can sense what’s going on beneath the surface. Due to the way the brain is structured, we can rationalize our emotional problems in a way that fits into the context of our current environment and feels safe, which can have little to do with accuracy. A good therapist also provides advice on how to face these issues, as we become ready to hear it.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss the purposes of therapy and provide some perspective on the roles virtual therapy can and can’t fill.

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Texas Standard
1:52 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

Kepler Space Telescope Discovers Most Earth-like Planet to Date

'This is probably one of the most interesting planet detections that came out of what we’re involved in,' a McDonald Observatory researcher says. (pictured: Kepler and K2)
NASA

From Texas Standard:

Big news this morning from NASA’s planet-hunting mission: The Kepler Space Telescope at the University of Texas' McDonald Observatory has revealed the most Earthlike planet found to date, researchers say. The planet, called Kepler-452b, lies in the constellation Cygnus, about 1,400 light years from Earth. It qualifies as super-Earth-sized, as it's about 1.6 times larger than Earth, and its orbital period is quite similar to ours, at 385 days.

The Kepler scope was launched in 2009 to detect Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zones of distant stars — planets that have the potential to sustain life like that on Earth.

“We are pushing toward Earth 2.0,” McDonald Observatory astronomer Michael Endl said in a press release. “This planet is probably the most similar to Earth yet found.”

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Science
8:56 am
Tue July 14, 2015

NASA Zooms In On Pluto, For Closest Views Yet

An image of Pluto that was taken by New Horizons shortly before its flyby Tuesday shows a heart-shaped pattern on the planet's surface. NASA says Pluto "sent a love note back to Earth."
NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Originally published on Tue July 14, 2015 8:50 pm

New images of Pluto have arrived from a NASA space probe, and they're already allowing scientists to update what we know about the dwarf planet — such as its size. NASA's New Horizons probe has traveled more than 3 billion miles to send photos and data about Pluto back to Earth.

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Two Guys on Your Head
3:19 pm
Fri July 10, 2015

Painkillers: What Are They Really Killing?

It can sometimes be difficult for doctors and patients alike to know when painkillers are truly needed.
Eric Norris/flickr

Painkillers: Our societal views on pain are right there in the name of its cure — or, rather, primary form of treatment.

The high reliance on painkillers by the medical community has become an increasingly controversial topic. And for patients, that reliance can easily transform a treatment to an addiction or recreational drug use.

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Two Guys on Your Head
10:13 am
Mon July 6, 2015

Why Emotional Pain Feels Different from Physical Pain

With all types of pain, addressing it from both the physiological and affective ends may be the best solution until the actual root of the problem is uncovered.
Credit flickr/creative commons

Pain can range from barely noticeable to excruciating. Yet pain, in all its forms, is important. It is how the body communicates there is a problem.

Physical pain in the ankle may ask us to stop walking so fast or demand a pair of crutches immediately. Likewise, emotional pain may indicate that we need to talk about a problem with our partner or severe the relationship entirely.

In this episode of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, add to the series on pain and the brain, with a discussion on emotional pain and memory.

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Two Guys on Your Head
12:04 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Demystifying Phantom Pain

Credit hortonsoandp.com

Understanding how our brains interpret pain is an ongoing investigation. Some think pain can be as much a physical phenomenon as it is a cultural one. While in the West pain management seems to be just part of life. We wanted to investigate what psychology can tell us about pain and the brain.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, kick off our three-part series on "Pain and The Brain" with a discussion of "Phantom Pain." What it is, and how psychologists are finding new ways of helping patients who suffer with it.

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Two Guys on Your Head
12:37 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

Summertime and The Living is...Scheduled?

Credit mitchelljwachtelpodiatryblog.blogspot.com

Even though is seems like a neverending April day in Austin, it's technically summertime. For some of us that means we take a break, with the intention of tackling all those projects we never had time to get to during the harsh Austin winter.

So why, when the summer comes to an end, do we feel disappointed when we haven't written that novel or cleaned out the closets?

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the many elements of summer that can make it difficult to let go, and how re-thinking our intentions and being present can allow us to make the most of time off.

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Texas Standard
11:46 am
Fri June 5, 2015

Is Texas the Center of the Universe? Neil deGrasse Tyson Says Yes, In a Way

nasahqphoto/flickr

Neil deGrasse Tyson may be the biggest celebrity astrophysicist working today. In addition to hosting the reboot of the TV series “Cosmos,” he is also active on Twitter, where he makes science jokes, ruminates on the universe, and offers up physics-related facts. Now, Tyson is taking his ideas on the road. He'll be appearing across Texas this month, and today, he spoke with Nathan Bernier about the upcoming tour.

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Two Guys on Your Head
10:23 am
Fri June 5, 2015

Process, Not Product: A Better Method For Teaching Science

Credit galleryhip.com

Nuclear energy. Penicillin. Lasers.

Science produces some pretty groundbreaking discoveries, but when we focus on the products, as opposed to the process, we miss a huge part of what makes science one of the most valuable resources we have as humans.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about some of the aspects of science education that could be improved upon, in order to ensure we have a public that's well-informed. 

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Two Guys on Your Head
3:41 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Why Scientists Don't Give Yes or No Answers

Credit www.newyorker.com

When you think of science, what comes to mind? Maybe you think about launching rockets into space, or antibiotics, or the electric car?

Maybe not. But let's say you do. If that is the case, it's more accurate to say you love what scientific developments have brought us, but not necessarily science itself.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about what science is, why the scientific process is important to understand and why it's so difficult to communicate science to the general public.

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Two Guys on Your Head
11:24 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Why Seeing Isn't Believing

Credit catalog.flatworldknowledge.com

Philosophers have long proposed that there is no objective reality. And now science agrees — at least as far as our personal experiences are concerned.

Perception is the process of interpreting our present environment through the lens of our past experiences. Everything we sense, think, feel, and even remember, actually arises in response to a combination of what is currently happening and our stored long-term memories. 

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Bob Duke and Dr. Art Markman discuss the evolutionary advantages of flexible perception, and how this process can influence both our behavior and modern day society.

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Two Guys on Your Head
12:51 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

'I'm as Mad as Hell, and I'm Not Going to Take This Anymore!"

Credit vnnforum.com

Do ever get that burning feeling in your stomach that a situation just isn't fair and you must react? That feeling is an important part of our motivational system, and something we as humans evolved to protect.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss how defiance may be best viewed, and responded to, as a reassertion of autonomy in situations where people feel a loss of control and self-identity. 

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Two Guys on Your Head
12:53 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Egocentric Bias: Why You Think You Invented the Internet, and Why You're Kinda Right

Credit crobranch.co.za

Have you ever worked with a group of people on a project and really felt like you carried the lion's share of the weight? And then you think back on it and realize you always do more, you always have the great idea, and you never get the recognition you rightfully deserve?

It might be that you are both the problem and the solution.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the psychology of egocentric bias. It can be pretty destructive, but not necessarily in ways we predict.

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Science
4:48 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

How GPS Technology Could Help Scientists Build a Holodeck

It's still a ways off, but UT researchers say that their improved GPS technology coupled with a virtual reality headset could create a holodeck-like experience.
intel.com

If you use your smartphone for directions, you know how annoying it can be when the tracking device gets your locations wrong. Now a team of researchers at the University of Texas’ Cockrell School of Engineering say they may have fixed that problem.

But there’s more: They also think they’ve brought a science fiction dream closer to reality.

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Two Guys on Your Head
10:31 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Debunking the Myths About Different Learning Styles

Credit crunchadeal.com

Are you an auditory learner or a visual learner?  If you answered, "yes," you'd be right. That's because we use all our senses to learn and process information.

In this edition of Two Guys On Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke dispel the myths behind learning styles preferences: In fact, they don’t really exist. 

Our reliance on the theories of learning styles to explain our success or failure of understanding certain information is actually more about serving our human need to put things into categories – combined with our need to explain things when they don’t work. 

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Two Guys on Your Head
12:55 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Why 'Reading' Audiobooks Isn't a Shortcut: Listening vs. Reading, and Your Brain

Credit audiobooks rock/flickr

Have you ever told someone, "Hey, I read that book!" then continued with a guilty, "...well, I listened to the audio version." 

It's time to wash that guilt right out of your soul, because in this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, talk about how our brains process information differently based on how we consume it.

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Two Guys on Your Head
7:14 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Does Money Really Make You Happy?

Credit flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/

The idea that money doesn't make you happy is easy to get behind if you have it, but if you don't it can be a hard concept to buy into (pun intended). Yet the correlation between money and happiness is more complicated then one might think.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke explain the relationship between money, security, opportunity, memory and happiness.

Texas Standard
3:06 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Group Gathers in Austin to Talk Private Space Business

The cancellation of government-backed space missions is sparking a private industry push into skies over Texas.
gsfc/flickr

From Texas Standard:

When you think of space, what do you see? Planets, stars, maybe a satellite or a shuttle? Well, some business people are seeing green. A group of space entrepreneurs is meeting in Austin this week to lay the framework for how Texas could be the launch pad for the private space industry.

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Two Guys on Your Head
4:16 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Walking Together v. Tug-of-War: The Psychology of Negotiation

Credit walemicaiah.blog.com

Negotiations are everywhere, in almost every element of our daily lives, but how do we understand negotiations? It turns out that the way we frame the idea of negotiation has a lot to do with how we understand value and happiness.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss the various elements of negotiation.

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Two Guys on Your Head
4:27 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

The Economics of Our Relationships

Credit investwithvalues.com

What is the value of our relationships? As it turns out, the way we answer that question defines the relationship itself.

In this episode of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the various ways we understand the economics of the relationships in our lives, and why the value of community should never be underestimated.

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