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The power of a well-chosen image; EEG measures of brain activity and exercise

There’s an incredibly important principle in here about the “use” of neuroscience that has been worrying me for some time.

If we are not discerning… if we don’t ask the right questions… if we don’t talk to the right people… if we don’t understand the research… then we are in danger of misinformed and unethical practice.

It’s already happening… let’s just make sure we don’t fall into that trap and that we highlight weak representations of apparent neuroscience. Neuroscientists deserve that from us don’t they?


This picture:

…occasionally does the rounds on Twitter, often spurred by tweets from the kind of evidence-phobic accounts that publish whole lists of mind-blowing ‘facts’, at least 50% of which are made up. This picture has also spurred about a billion blog posts (like here, here and here), somewhat unsurprisingly, written by the kind of people who like to get their scientific evidence from a single image on Twitter.

So what’s the problem here? What the image appears to suggest at face value is that brain activity is increased after a short bout of exercise (a 20-minute walk). Sounds reasonable, right? We know that exercise has various effects on brain function, and exercise in general is definitely a good thing, now that the Western world is suffering from massive rates of obesity, diabetes, etc. I really don’t have a problem with the message here, more in the…

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2 thoughts on “The power of a well-chosen image; EEG measures of brain activity and exercise

  1. We’ll said David – I agree. Reminds me abit if the MOOC debate. Slot if tweets and supporters (mainly vendors) but little evidence and substantiation. L&D need not jump onto fads or research just because one or two manage to RT over and over to try and gain exposure or advantage.


    Posted by LearnKotch | June 21, 2014, 1:05 PM
    • Yes, it’s a danger isn’t Con – zeitgeist, popularism and dominant narratives don’t always mean they represent good practices. Isn’t this level of understanding and challenge most important of all in the world of Learning & Development? I think so!


      Posted by David Goddin | June 23, 2014, 11:47 AM


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