The Wada Test for Philosophers: What is it like to be a proper part of your own brain losing and regaining other proper parts of your brain?

Evidently, good answers to this question are not confined to the wilds of science fiction and thought experiment. In fact, I think there are actually people with a pretty good idea: patients of the Wada test. These are people who have had their brain hemispheres anesthetized one at a time so that the rest of the brain—the complementary other hemisphere and the subcortical regions—remains functioning in some ways, and by all accounts conscious. Some of these patients report on their conscious experiences afterward, for example, describing what it is like to have one’s language dominant hemisphere temporarily shut down, finding oneself at a complete—albeit only temporary—loss of words. Continue reading “The Wada Test for Philosophers: What is it like to be a proper part of your own brain losing and regaining other proper parts of your brain?”

The (Emerging, Sometimes Tenuous) Science of Enhancing Student Performance

How can we perform better as students? Here is a short compilation of what recent scientific research seems to be telling us. I have excluded popular advice and lore not backed by any data.

This is list is still under construction. Please contact me with any additions, comments, or corrections. (Major credit to Jen Waller who gathered and vetted the majority of these sources.)

Continue reading “The (Emerging, Sometimes Tenuous) Science of Enhancing Student Performance”