Sugar as Brain Food

This isn’t great news for dieters, but sometimes sugar can be a good thing. Roy Baumeister, a psychologist at Florida State University, had subjects perform a mentally taxing task – watching a video while being careful to ignore random words scrolling across the bottom of the screen. (Apparently, it takes quite a bit of concentration to NOT look at the scrolling words.) Then, the subjects were given a drink of lemonade and asked to perform another cognitively demanding task, choose an apartment based on descriptions of various options. The catch was that some subjects drank lemonade made with real sugar, and others had lemonade made with Splenda, a sugar substitute without nutritional value. The performance differences on the apartment task were surprising. […]

By | October 29th, 2009|

Neuroarchitecture Gets More Attention

My 2005 post, Neuroarchitecture Next Buzzword, was more premature than prescient. In the ensuing years, the idea that neuroscience had anything to offer architects received little public attention. Now, however, the field is again in the public eye. Emily Anthes of Scientific American Mind has written an excellent survey of recent research in the field, How Room Designs Affect Your Work and Mood. Among the findings detailed by Anthes: […]

By | May 12th, 2009|

The Emotional Computer – Part 2

Earlier this month in Mood-Sensing Advertisements, we described research being conducted by Cambridge prof Peter Robinson on an "emotionally aware" computer. While that phrase may imply a degree of emotional sensitivity that won't arrive for decades, Robinson's experimental PCs record [...]

By | July 17th, 2006|

Mood-Sensing Advertisements

In the last few years, web advertisers have begun to employ behavioral targeting to deliver advertisements to individual users. By keeping track of sites a user has visited, ads viewed, or other behavior, new ads can be delivered that more [...]

By | July 6th, 2006|