The mind and brain in 2010

The latest issue of Wired UK has a cover feature on breaking ideas for 2010. Mind and brain innovations feature strongly and several are freely available online.

I might immodestly recommend the piece on ‘neurosecurity‘ and how researchers are having harden neural implants against hackers, as it was written by me. Regular readers will know we broke the story back in June, although it was great to have it selected as one of the ‘ideas of the future’ by Wired UK.

There’s also a fascinating piece on ‘hyperopia‘ – a cognitive bias where people falsely assume they’ll be happier in the future by forgoing an indulgent pleasure and doing something ‘sensible’ that will benefit the long-term.

It was described by psychologists Anat Keinan and Ran Kivetz and their original paper is available online as a pdf. It’s a lovely flip-side to the self-control research, that has shown the ability to delay gratification predicts success in a number of areas of life. Hyperopia demonstrates that this ability can make people worse off if used in excess.

There’s also a couple of great pieces on the interface between psychology and technology.

The article on ‘bionic noticing‘ discusses how portable networked devices both allow us to be passively alerted to things in our environment through location specific information sources but also how simply having the technology can change of awareness: for example, the ability to instantly post pictures online from mobile devices can change how we look at the environment.

There’s also a piece on ‘digital forgetting‘, arguing that the ability to permanently store photos, conversations and social network interactions is a bug, not a feature, and we need to build in forgetting processes to facilitate to the traditional social practice of ‘putting things behind us’.

The print version has lots of other breaking ideas for 2010 which are not available online, including a piece by me on ‘networked drugs’.

Link to Wired UK neurosecurity article.
Link to Wired UK hyperopia article.
Link to Wired UK bionic noticing article.
Link to Wired UK digital forgetting article.

Full disclosure: I’m contributing editor at Wired UK and my neural implant has no password.

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