Ted Talk: How We Read Each Other’s Minds

Rebecca Saxe begins this “Ted Talk” with examples of how children, five and three, would react to a plastic figurine in a skit of how they might react leaving a sandwich on the ground. Both children saw that the pirate did not want to eat a dirty sandwich, but the five year old blamed it on the second pirate moving the food, while the three year old blamed it on a more natural cause such as the wind in this example. This proved that a part of the brain, the RTPJ effects how a human thinks of other’s behaviors. It’s not truly mind reading like the title might imply, but it is in fact a pretty good guess of how one might react. The situation was given similarly to an adult population and increased the risk factors. This situation included putting poison in a friend’s coffee, and how someone might be lead to believe it is the person making the coffee choosing to do this, unless it is stated that the friend didn’t know that the sugar was disguised as poison; then her actions were excusable. Saxe then briefly describes how scientists have the technology to magnetically shock the part of the brain controlling these thoughts into thinking differently on who their is to blame in this situation. Some people who thought it was the friend’s fault changed their initial answer after getting the magnetic shock to their brains. This was so interesting to see because this is based in someone’s morals, and the development of these ideas from a three year old all the way up to an adult changes drastically; but can also be manipulated in a way that one might blame things differently altogether.


Research Methods

The research question I would look into is if looking at a phone before attempting to sleep really interrupts the sleeping process as a whole. There is research done pertaining to how the blue light a tablet or phone gives off affects the quality of your sleep because it alters the levels of Melatonin controlling person’s sleep cycle. This research was done by Sleep.orgĀ which was very interesting to read on, as they go into how all electronics can make your sleep worsen over time. I paid close attention to cell phone use especially because it is more personal to me; I’m very attached to my phone! I believe that if more cell phone users put their phone down two hours before going to sleep each night, they would wake up less throughout the night, and feel more rested each morning. In order to test this hypothesis, I could take ten close friends, and ask them if they would be willing to put down their phones two hours early before going to bed, and then record how their sleep was every night. I would then take ten more teens and ask them to use their phones right before bed and record any symptoms they have waking up the next morning. I would then put both sets of recordings together and compare the results.