The traffic jam in your head (now with Slashdot goodness)

By Carl Zimmer | November 20, 2010 9:50 am

My new brain column for Discover is online, and it’s about one of the weirder failings of our mind: the way our thoughts can get stuck in a traffic jam. When we are required to do two things in quick succession–like answer a cell phone and hit the brakes–our brains freeze up for an instant. Researchers have known about this so-called psychological refractory period for decades, but they’re still trying to figure out how, and why, it happens. As I explain in my column, this inner weakness may actually reveal an inner strength. Check it out. (And thanks to Slashdot for the tsunami of link love.)

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Brains, Writing Elsewhere

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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