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The Science of Pondering


Related eBooks

How the brain works, how we study, and why we occasionally make stupid blunders.
Post thoughts:
Utilize to work with me:

Many thanks to Patreon supporters:
Nathan Hansen, Donal Botkin, Tony Fadell, Zach Mueller, Ron Neal

Aid Veritasium on Patreon:

This movie was inspired by the e book Pondering Quickly and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Harpist: Lara Somogyi
Animator: Jesse Agar
Filmed by Raquel Nuno

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Sneaky Experience” “Harlequin”



  1. I teach kids and use aps to teach mental math. When the students play they don't just dilate their pupils. Little wrinkles appear around their eyes, and their faces grow paler. They are also subject to attacks of frustration leading to various forms displacement activity. However, when they play normal computer games though they are much more relaxed and seem to be in a state of constant mild concentration.
    On the math apps they can only last a short time and complain that their head hurts. On computer games they can play for hours. I explain that learning hurts and that is the same as when you train a muscle, it tries to persuade you to stop, and often exaggerates its distress – the brain is the same. One common thing about all the mammals is this tendency to exaggerate their emotions. Kids (and adults mostly as well) are the same and complain bitterly if you push them to their limits as if you were really hurting them. If you can get them over that though, they have get a buzz after accomplishing a difficult task and that can become an addiction> This is the foundation of many a great brain.
    BTW the idea that muscle memory is all in the 'brain' is questionable and many researchers now believe that the muscles and various other organs do have their own memory without which many very complicated and rapid movements would be impossible.

  2. So, Gun is the reason, why I always read a spoiler, even though there's a spoiler alert? Because Gun is automaticly reading and only after reading the spoiler, Drew wakes up and realizes what Gun has done?

  3. I do believe some of "muscle memory" IS actually in the reflex loops and nerve clusters that are in and around the muscles. There are tactile and proprioceptive feedbacks in many learned muscular skills that occur too fast for the sensorimotor signals to be traveling all the way to brain and back. And, for instance, complete spinal injury patients can produce walking motions from spinal nerves alone, below their injury (not well-enough coordinated to balance or bear their weight, though). So it's more complicated than 'it's all happening in the brain'. The processing seems to be distributed throughout the network, with the brain handling what the lower nerves can't. And of course this makes sense when considering the gradual evolution from decentralized neural nets to nerve clusters to encephalization to true brains. All those systems are still there in us, doing the same work they've been doing for hundreds of millions of years.

  4. This has been an ongoing discussion between my mind's drew and gun for the last 4 months, and how we perceive choices and decisions.

    Thanks for enlightening and letting drew work a bit.

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