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Mental Breakthroughs
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Mental Breakthroughs

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Fiddler
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Mental Breakthroughs

I was going though my bookmarks and found one of my favorite articles on the mind and scientific process. The information correlates highly to trading. Basically, a writer spent four years on a case study of scientists and the scientific process.

Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up | Wired Magazine | Wired.com

I am including in the post some of the relevant information, but the whole article is worth a read to provide context. It is not as technical as the neuro-quote below makes it sound, but I thought that was highly relevant since that part shows that neuro-biology makes or breaks our perception of reality.

How To Learn From Failure
  1. Check Your Assumptions: Ask yourself why this result feels like a failure. What theory does it contradict? Maybe the hypothesis failed, not the experiment.
  2. Seek Out the Ignorant: Talk to people who are unfamiliar with your experiment. Explaining your work in simple terms may help you see it in a new light.
  3. Encourage Diversity: If everyone working on a problem speaks the same language, then everyone has the same set of assumptions.
  4. Beware of Failure-Blindness: It’s normal to filter out information that contradicts our preconceptions. The only way to avoid that bias is to be aware of it.


Quoting 
The footage was a reconstruction of the famous (and probably apocryphal) experiment performed by Galileo, in which he dropped cannonballs of different sizes from the Tower of Pisa. Galileo’s metal balls all landed at the exact same time — a refutation of Aristotle, who claimed that heavier objects fell faster.

...he found that showing non-physics majors the correct (gravity) video triggered a particular pattern of brain activation: There was a squirt of blood to the anterior cingulate cortex, a collar of tissue located in the center of the brain. The ACC is typically associated with the perception of errors and contradictions — neuroscientists often refer to it as part of the “Oh shit!” circuit — so it makes sense that it would be turned on when we watch a video of something that seems wrong.

When physics students saw the Aristotelian video with the aberrant (view of gravity), their DLPFCs kicked into gear and they quickly deleted the image from their consciousness. In most contexts, this act of editing is an essential cognitive skill. (When the DLPFC is damaged, people often struggle to pay attention, since they can’t filter out irrelevant stimuli.) However, when it comes to noticing anomalies, an efficient prefrontal cortex can actually be a serious liability. The DLPFC is constantly censoring the world, erasing facts from our experience. If the ACC is the “Oh shit!” circuit, the DLPFC is the Delete key. When the ACC and DLPFC “turn on together, people aren’t just noticing that something doesn’t look right,” Dunbar says. “They’re also inhibiting that information.”



Last edited by Luger; July 29th, 2012 at 03:19 PM.
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