Learning Lab

Growing a Social Brain

Growing a Social Brain

Are you born with social skills? Human beings are naturally social. To survive from a newborn, we have to rely on others. To have children, we have to form a relationship with a partner. To be successful at work, it usually pays to work as a team. And loneliness is...

How to Design Organisational Culture

How to Design Organisational Culture

Shaping organisational culture is a popular topic. And for good reason, the culture that we exist within influences how we perform and, therefore, the results an organisation can achieve. While most companies and leaders collectively explore what they think their...

What Makes a Leadership Development Programme Great?

What Makes a Leadership Development Programme Great?

We’ve all been there. Sitting in a room listening to someone who, at first glance seemed to be just what the company needed. Someone who could talk your people through the ins and outs of how to become a great leader, guiding them through the skills they need and...

The Trend of Raising Mental Health Awareness

The Trend of Raising Mental Health Awareness

If we choose to look for some positives to take from the global pandemic, one contender is the trend of raising mental health awareness. A considerable number of people have found the last year tough. Children have been separated from their friends. They've had to...

Virtual Learning: Where Students can Virtually do Anything

Virtual Learning: Where Students can Virtually do Anything

Around the world, teaching professionals have to turn to virtual platforms to teach their students. While some virtual learning is seen as a poor substitute for in-person teaching, it doesn't have to be. Because when it comes to virtual learning, then a shift in...

Curiosity. It’s the Gaps that Count.

Curiosity. It’s the Gaps that Count.

In our busy world, we are continually bombarded with sights, sounds, and even smells that overwhelm our senses and stretch our brains. But while we are busy making sense of what’s there, have you ever stopped to think of the opposite? Of what isn’t there. Of what’s...

Understanding and Preventing Workplace Bullying

Understanding and Preventing Workplace Bullying

Workplace Bullying and Aggression In an age when organizations are striving to be transparent, open, and promote a culture of psychological safety, occurrences of workplace bullying and aggression are usually quickly dealt with so that the involved parties can find a...

What Does it Mean to be Mentally Fatigued?

What Does it Mean to be Mentally Fatigued?

Mental Fatigue and Engagement There is no denying that life is hard work for many of us at the moment. Excessive job demands, the need to juggle work, education and home life, and mental worries about what the future holds all...

Working from Home – According to your Brain

Working from Home – According to your Brain

In current times, when many of us are working from home, our brains are having to adapt to a whole new way of working, often not in ideal conditions. The norms of going to the office 5 days a week are on hold, and a new normal has to be established. One thing that is...

Are You Lying to Me?

Are You Lying to Me?

In the workplace, where everyone is working towards the collective goals of the organization, you would hope that it would be a place based on truth and honesty. Where people could express their opinions openly, provide accurate assessments and feedback of a situation...

How Good is Your Vagal Tone? 

How Good is Your Vagal Tone? 

Emotional regulation is often defined as your ability to modulate your experience and expression of positive and negative emotions in accordance with the ongoing situation. It’s key to healthy psychological functioning, as well as your ability to adapt to your...

New Year, New You: Can You Change Your Personality?

New Year, New You: Can You Change Your Personality?

There is quite a lot of debate around whether it’s possible to change your personality, or whether it is something that is pretty fixed across your lifetime. For a while now, science has been providing evidence to support the former - that your personality can change...

How can I stop thinking and behaving so predictably?

How can I stop thinking and behaving so predictably?

Illusions and realities of predicting the future. Deja vu - the feeling of having experienced something before despite knowing otherwise –  is one of those strange phenomena that we all experience from time to time. But what is going on in the brain when you...

Decision Making is Not a Rational Activity

Decision Making is Not a Rational Activity

You probably think that you are a rational human being, or at least most of the time. That you make decisions based on a sensible weighing up of the pros and cons of the situation. That is what you’ve been practicing and improving all your working life isn’t it? But...

Five Ways to Enhance Your Problem Detection Skills

Five Ways to Enhance Your Problem Detection Skills

How good are you at noticing problems, risks and hazards in your life and work? Are you able to spot when you need to engage in some evasive action to prevent a possible catastrophe at work? Are you able to see when events might pan out in a bad way rather than a good...

Stress Awareness and Resiliency

Stress Awareness and Resiliency

Do you know when you’re stressed out? Stress is your body’s way of dealing with challenges. It is built upon an evolutionary system which is tasked with sending biological messages between your body and brain. In the case of stress, these are both electrical and...

What is the Point of Feeling Guilty?

What is the Point of Feeling Guilty?

The human psyche can experience a multitude of emotions. Some of these are those considered to be more basic, but others are more complex. Your basic emotions, such as fear or anger, carry messages, either for yourself or for other people. For example, fear tells you,...

How Do You Become Better at Seeing the Future?

How Do You Become Better at Seeing the Future?

There is much discussion these days about whether it is best to live in the moment, whether reminiscing is a good thing, or whether we should always have an eye to the future. However, in reality, we spend much of the day flicking between these different temporal...

The 7 Illusions of Knowing

The 7 Illusions of Knowing

Can you trust what you know? It might seem like a strange question, but what I mean is, do you think you have a clear insight into what you know and what you don’t know? Alternatively, are you being tricked by your brain into thinking that you know something well when...

How to (Do) Priority Mapping

How to (Do) Priority Mapping

Priority Mapping: Noticing what’s important to you. The modern world is filled to the brim with information, perhaps too much information for your brain to deal with. So what can you do about this? Well, one thing you can do is prioritize.  The priority mapping...

The FIVE Hallmarks of Humility

The FIVE Hallmarks of Humility

Humility, or being humble, is a characteristic which is sometimes perceived to be a barrier to success, a weakness even. It can suggest that you sell yourself short. That you put yourself down when comparing against others. That you don’t think as highly of yourself...

How to Build Executive Presence

How to Build Executive Presence

The impression of yourself that you display to others is composed of a multitude of micro-behaviours. These are tiny fleeting verbal and nonverbal signals which wield significant power in your social world. And it is these micro-behaviours which can help you build...

Harnessing Interest is Key to Building a Better Brain

Harnessing Interest is Key to Building a Better Brain

Interest is a curious word.  Interest - the idea of being “interested” in something - plays a fundamental role in human nature. In fact, to some, it signals a cornerstone of human development - an inner drive that motivates us to seek out novelty, to learn something...

How Does Our Attention System Work?

How Does Our Attention System Work?

Strobe thinking: the ins and outs of attention  Attention is an all-encompassing brain process. It hums along constantly in the background of your brain influencing just about everything you are up to. This broad functioning means our attention can be directed...

Boosting Creativity in the Brain

Boosting Creativity in the Brain

Tracking and boosting creativity in the brain Thinking creatively isn’t just about generating novel thoughts, it is about suppressing obvious ones too. This isn’t anything new. It is obvious in fact. We already know from previous creativity research relating to what’s...

How to Find Motivation

How to Find Motivation

Motivation is both a thought and a feeling. It is the desire to do something — an inner drive that keeps you going until you reach your goal. But the key to motivation is to not just keep these thoughts and feelings inside your head but actually to translate them into...

The Human Body and the Human Brain – United Not Divided

The Human Body and the Human Brain – United Not Divided

The human brain is the main organ of the body tasked with controlling and regulating our thoughts, feelings and actions throughout the day. But it doesn’t operate in isolation. Its connections throughout the body mean that it makes more sense to think of your body and...

Courage: Conquering Your Fear

Courage: Conquering Your Fear

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear,” wrote Mark Twain in this novel Pudd’nhead Wilson. In other words, having courage isn’t about being fearless. It is about being able to overcome, control and manage your fear. What is fear?  Fear is...

The Liking Gap

The Liking Gap

The Liking Gap  Striking up a conversation with someone you don’t know is an occurrence that most of us regularly do, perhaps even every day. A new colleague you’ve just met at work for the first time. A neighbour who has just...

5 Tips for Effective Learning

5 Tips for Effective Learning

Learning information, so that is sticks in your brain can be a real challenge. So often the facts, figures and names that we hear or read seem to go in one ear and out the other without leaving any lasting impression on our memory. And although everyone has their own...

Boosting Awareness of Your Emotion-Driven Habits

Boosting Awareness of Your Emotion-Driven Habits

Emotion-driven habits Human beings are creatures of habit. Often working on an automatic pilot in response to various triggers that we come across throughout the day.  And whilst these triggers could include walking past a cafe selling tasty treats, or the sound alert...

Tiny Chemicals for Big Brain Power

Tiny Chemicals for Big Brain Power

The food we eat provides our brain with the nutrients and energy that it requires to stay healthy, be emotionally resilient and have clear mental focus. Often when we talk about a “healthy” diet, we focus on the levels of fat or carbohydrates (i.e. sugar) in the foods...

Getting into the Nitty-Gritty of Sleep

Getting into the Nitty-Gritty of Sleep

Thinking Whilst Sleeping It’s that familiar feeling. You have been working on finding a solution all day. Trying to get to the root of the problem to no avail. Still stuck on one last elusive piece of the puzzle. So you give up, go to sleep and hope for better luck in...

10 Free Time Activities Which Help You Perform Better at Work

10 Free Time Activities Which Help You Perform Better at Work

In an era of increasing work pressure, high expectations and performance-related evaluations, the ability to build in an adequate work-life balance isn’t always easy. Impending deadlines, regular meetings and an endless stream of requests in your inbox means that you...

Being an Optimist or a Pessimist.  Are the Labels Really Relevant?

Being an Optimist or a Pessimist. Are the Labels Really Relevant?

Being an optimist or a pessimist - are the labels really relevant?  When talking about optimism, the stereotypical question someone might ask you is: “Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty kind of person?” And although some people may be able to categorize...

Surprises! They are Useful to Your Brain

Surprises! They are Useful to Your Brain

Whether or not you like surprises, they are useful to your brain. Do you like surprises? Some people do. Others most definitely do not. But despite these differences at an individual level, there are some constants with surprise - like the fact they are usually very...

Is Being an Expert in Something Always a Good Thing?

Is Being an Expert in Something Always a Good Thing?

Is being an expert in something always a good thing?  In his seminal publication “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money” (1936), the English economist John Maynard Keynes stated the following: ‘‘The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping...

Should I Believe My Memory?

Should I Believe My Memory?

Every moment of our life, we are forming new memories. Good ones. Bad ones. Detailed ones. Hazy ones. And although people often describe the way we remember these memories as being like a movie reel (re)playing out in our mind’s eye, this is in fact incorrect. Memory...

Glial Cells – are these the real powerhouses of your thinking?

Glial Cells – are these the real powerhouses of your thinking?

If you looked at your brain under the microscope you would see that it is made up from two main types of cells. These are your neurons and your glia. The neurons are the cells which carry the electrical messages around your brain to orchestrate your thoughts and...

The Brain Benefits of Exercise

The Brain Benefits of Exercise

If there is one thing that we are all certain of in 2018 it is that exercise is good for us. Time and time again we are told that it is beneficial for our health. That it helps to protect against an ever-growing list of life-threatening diseases. And reminded that if...

Stress and Memory

Stress and Memory

There you are, standing in front of the audience and you suddenly feel a wave of stress rise up inside you. An array of physiological sensations like a racing heart, sweaty palms and a churning in your stomach start to uncontrollably manifest themselves. And all...

Contagious Confidence

Contagious Confidence

We all know that illness is contagious - the coughs and colds that many of us have at this time of year is an easy reminder of this fact. But we don’t just catch illnesses from the people we live and work with. We can also catch their feelings and emotions. Perhaps...

Nudging.  Being a Choice Architect.

Nudging. Being a Choice Architect.

Nudging: Being a choice architect.  Last month, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences (in Memory of Alfred Nobel and therefore sometimes called the Nobel Prize for Economics) went to Richard Thaler, a Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the...

Social Plasticity

Social Plasticity

Social Plasticity Your social skills are sometimes called your “soft skills”. A way to differentiate them from the “harder”, more measurable side of your intelligence and ability. But just because you can’t easily measure them, doesn’t mean that they aren’t important....

Respect Your Circadian Rhythms

Respect Your Circadian Rhythms

Our circadian rhythm controls our cycle of sleeping and waking.  This month the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was announced. The winners were a trio of scientists who first discovered the molecular mechanisms underlying our circadian rhythms. These...

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How Relevant is Neuroscience?

How Relevant is Neuroscience?

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