Richard Kunert

38 posts · 20,061 views

I am a psychologist by training. I am a blogger in my spare time. | I am young, my CV is short: 09/2010 – present The University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Master of Brain and Cognitive Sciences | 09/2006 – 06/2010 The University of Glasgow, United Kingdom Master of Arts (Honours) in Psychology, First class

Brain's Idea
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  • September 5, 2015
  • 06:21 AM

Are internal replications the solution to the replication crisis in Psychology? No.

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Most Psychology findings are not replicable. What can be done? Stanford psychologist Michael Frank has an idea : Cumulative study sets with internal replication. ‘If I had to advocate for a single change to practice, this would be it.’ I took a look whether this makes any difference. A recent paper in the journal Science […]... Read more »

  • September 3, 2015
  • 06:23 AM

Why are Psychological findings mostly unreplicable?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Take 97 psychological effects from top journals which are claimed to be robust. How many will replicate? Brian Nosek and his huge team tried it out and the results were sobering, to say the least. How did we get here? The data give some clues. Sometimes the title of a paper just sounds incredible. Estimating […]... Read more »

  • June 3, 2015
  • 04:31 AM

Do music and language share brain resources?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

When you listen to some music and when you read a book, does your brain use the same resources? This question goes to the heart of how the brain is organised – does it make a difference between cognitive domains like music and language? In a new commentary I highlight a successfull approach which helps […]... Read more »

Kunert, R., & Slevc, L.R. (2015) A commentary on “Neural overlap in processing music and speech” (Peretz et al., 2015) . Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. info:/doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00330

Peretz I, Vuvan D, Lagrois MÉ, & Armony JL. (2015) Neural overlap in processing music and speech. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 370(1664), 20140090. PMID: 25646513  

  • May 28, 2015
  • 05:01 PM

Why does humanity get smarter and smarter?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Intelligence tests have to be adjusted all the time because people score higher and higher. If the average human of today went 105 years back in time, s/he would score 130, be considered as gifted, and join clubs for highly intelligent people. How can that be? The IQ growth The picture above shows the development […]... Read more »

Pietschnig J, & Voracek M. (2015) One Century of Global IQ Gains: A Formal Meta-Analysis of the Flynn Effect (1909-2013). Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, 10(3), 282-306. PMID: 25987509  

  • December 16, 2014
  • 07:14 AM

The scientific community’s Galileo affair (you’re the Pope)

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Science is in crisis. Everyone in the scientific community knows about it but few want to talk about it. The crisis is one of honesty. A junior scientist (like me) asks himself a similar question to Galileo in 1633: how much honesty is desirable in science? Science Wonderland According to nearly all empirical scientific publications […]... Read more »

  • November 19, 2014
  • 03:10 PM

The real reason why new pop music is so incredibly bad

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

You have probably heard that Pink Floyd recently published their new album Endless River. Will this bring back the wonderful world of good music after the endless awfulness of the popular music scene in the last 20 years or so? Is good music, as we know it from the 60s and 70s, back for good? […]... Read more »

  • November 6, 2014
  • 04:25 AM

Memory training boosts IQ

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Is the IQ set in stone once we hit adulthood? ‘Yes it is’ used to be the received wisdom. A new meta-analysis challenges this view and gives hope to all of us who feel that mother nature should have endowed us with more IQ points. But is the training worth it? Intelligence increases in adults […]... Read more »

  • October 9, 2014
  • 09:43 AM

Dyslexia: trouble reading ‘four’

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Dyslexia affects about every tenth reader. It shows up when trying to read, especially when reading fast. But it is still not fully clear what words dyslexic readers find particularly hard. So, I did some research to find out, and I published the article today. Imagine seeing a new word ‘bour’. How would you pronounce […]... Read more »

  • October 6, 2014
  • 03:33 AM

Old people are immune against the cocktail party effect

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Imagine standing at a cocktail party and somewhere your name gets mentioned. Your attention is immediately grabbed by the sound of your name. It is a classic psychological effect with a new twist: old people are immune. The so-called cocktail party effect has fascinated researchers for a long time. Even though you do not consciously […]... Read more »

Naveh-Benjamin M, Kilb A, Maddox GB, Thomas J, Fine HC, Chen T, & Cowan N. (2014) Older adults do not notice their names: A new twist to a classic attention task. Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition. PMID: 24820668  

  • September 17, 2014
  • 05:56 PM

Why are ethical standards higher in science than in business and media?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Facebook manipulates user content in the name of science? Scandalous! It manipulates user content in the name of profit? No worries! Want to run a Milgram study these days? Get bashed by your local ethics committee! Want to show it on TV? No worries. Why do projects which seek knowledge have higher ethical standards than […]... Read more »

Kramer AD, Guillory JE, & Hancock JT. (2014) Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(24), 8788-90. PMID: 24889601  

Milgram, S. (1963) Behavioral Study of obedience. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67(4), 371-378. info:/doi: 10.1037/h0040525

  • September 15, 2014
  • 04:57 AM

How to increase children’s patience in 5 seconds

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

A single act increases adults’ compliance with researchers. The same act makes students more likely to volunteer to solve math problems in front of others. Moreover, it makes four-year-olds more patient. What sounds like a miracle cure to everyday problems is actually the oldest trick in the book: human touch. How do researchers know this? […]... Read more »

  • August 18, 2014
  • 05:14 PM

The 10,000-Hour rule is nonsense

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Have you heard of Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule? The key to success in any field is practice, and not just a little. A new publication in the journal Psychological Science had a good look at all the evidence and concludes that this rule is nonsense. No Einstein in you, I am afraid. The authors of […]... Read more »

  • August 5, 2014
  • 05:29 AM

Play music and you’ll see more

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

  Check out the video. It is a short demonstration of the so-called attentional blink. Whenever you try to spot the two letters in the rapid sequence you’ll miss the second one. This effect is so robust that generations of Psychology undergraduates learned about it. And then came music and changed everything. Test your own […]... Read more »

  • July 16, 2014
  • 06:15 AM

Everything you always wanted to know about language but were too afraid to ask

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

The Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen has started a great initiative which tries nothing less than answer all your questions about language. How does it work? 1) Go to this website: 2) See whether your question has already been answered 3) If not, scroll to the bottom and ask a question yourself. The answers […]... Read more »

  • July 29, 2013
  • 04:31 PM

How blind people see

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Blind people have revolutionised our view on vision. Biology text books still teach us that vision functions roughly as light hitting the eyes where special cells – rods and cones – turn it into neural signals. These travel to the back of the head, the visual cortex, for brain processing leading to something we experience […]... Read more »

Czeisler CA, Shanahan TL, Klerman EB, Martens H, Brotman DJ, Emens JS, Klein T, & Rizzo JF 3rd. (1995) Suppression of melatonin secretion in some blind patients by exposure to bright light. The New England journal of medicine, 332(1), 6-11. PMID: 7990870  

Trevethan CT, Sahraie A, & Weiskrantz L. (2007) Can blindsight be superior to 'sighted-sight'?. Cognition, 103(3), 491-501. PMID: 16764848  

Vandewalle G, Collignon O, Hull JT, Daneault V, Albouy G, Lepore F, Phillips C, Doyon J, Czeisler CA, Dumont M.... (2013) Blue Light Stimulates Cognitive Brain Activity in Visually Blind Individuals. Journal of cognitive neuroscience. PMID: 23859643  

Weiskrantz L, Warrington EK, Sanders MD, & Marshall J. (1974) Visual capacity in the hemianopic field following a restricted occipital ablation. Brain : a journal of neurology, 97(4), 709-28. PMID: 4434190  

  • July 1, 2013
  • 04:22 AM

Music training boosts IQ

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

There are more and more brain training companies popping up which promise the same deal: improved intelligence. While there are doubts about their results, another sort of brain training has existed since the beginning of humanity: music. The evidence for its effectiveness is surprisingly strong. . . Over the years, researchers have noticed that people […]... Read more »

Bialystok E, & Depape AM. (2009) Musical expertise, bilingualism, and executive functioning. Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance, 35(2), 565-74. PMID: 19331508  

Corrigall KA, Schellenberg EG, & Misura NM. (2013) Music training, cognition, and personality. Frontiers in psychology, 222. PMID: 23641225  

Schellenberg EG. (2004) Music lessons enhance IQ. Psychological science, 15(8), 511-4. PMID: 15270994  

  • June 6, 2013
  • 07:16 AM

Did genes shape my mother tongue?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Intuitively, one is inclined to answer with a resounding ‘no’. Of course not, had I been adopted by Thai parents, I would speak Thai. But I was not. My parents and my mother tongue are German. Still, there is a growing opinion that genes do nonetheless play a role. Before looking at this opinion, it […]... Read more »

  • May 28, 2013
  • 02:53 AM

Feeling someone else’s sensation of touch – the neural background, the examples, and you

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Touch is the only sensation which we cannot share with another person. The immediacy of touch differentiates it from the distant impressions which sight and audition can give us. However, modern neuroscience is currently revising this picture: you can touch at a distance. One just doesn’t notice it. Can we find people who do? A […]... Read more »

  • April 24, 2013
  • 12:39 PM

Are some languages easier than others?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

‘Long time no see’ is something I heard repeatedly in Britain even though it totally violates all the English grammar I learned at school. Clearly, Brits should correct this expression originating from Chinese Pidgin English rather than adopt it. The reason it entered common usage anyway is at the heart of why you might find [...]... Read more »

Bentz C, & Winter B. (2013) Languages with more second language learners tend to lose case. Language Dynamics and Change. info:/

  • March 28, 2013
  • 05:36 PM

The biological basis of orchestra seating

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Many cultural conventions appear like the result of historical accidents. The QUERTY – keyboard is a typical example: the technical requirements of early typewriters still determine the computer keyboard that I write this text on, even though by now technical advances would allow for a far more efficient design. Some culturally accepted oddities, however, appear [...]... Read more »

Deutsch, D. (1999) Grouping Mechanisms in Music. The Psychology of Music, Second Edition, 299-348. DOI: 10.1016/B978-012213564-4/50010-X  

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