The Promise of a Guaranteed Income, Restoring Movement in Paralyzed Patients, plus more weekly links

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A selection of recent behavioral science news, articles, and resources of note:

  • After a swimming accident five years ago, Ian Burkhart was left paralyzed from the neck down. But new work in neural engineering has allowed him to regain the use of his right wrist and hand. Neuroscientists linked the portion of his brain that controls movement directly to his the muscles in his arm in order to restore movement to his paralyzed limb, allowing him to play a Guitar Hero-like video game and perform other everyday tasks like swiping a credit card. (Nature, New York Times)
  • Would guaranteeing a basic level of income to all people in a population increase economic productivity and improve well-being? In a radical experiment, the charity GiveDirectly intends to investigate this question by providing a basic income to 6,000 people in Kenya for the next decade. (Vox)
  • Susie Mckinnon has a loving husband and stable job but wouldn’t be able to tell you how she felt on her wedding day or about her most exciting day at work. In fact, McKinnon is unable to relive any of her personal memories due to a rare condition known as severely deficient autobiographical memory. With several people like McKinnon living happily forever in the moment, researchers can’t help but question why we even have episodic memories in the first place. (Wired)
  • Rice University Professor, Utpal Dholakia, warns marketers that “nudging” people to eat more vegetables or pay their taxes on time may not be enough in the long run—you need to motivate them, too. (Harvard Business Review)
  • In July, Chicago lawyer David Hoffman published a critical report detailing the American Psychological Association’s (APA) connection to government interrogation programs. However, several members of the APA have called into question Hoffman’s findings. The APA is now asking Hoffman to reexamine some of his conclusions. (New York Times)

 

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