Microphone feedback is 2nd most annoying sound

26 January 2007 International visitors to the BadVibes web site ( — a research project from the University of Salford — listened to sounds such as a dentist's drill, fingernails scraping down a blackboard and aircraft flying past, before rating them in terms of their unpleasantness. Although fingernails scraping down a blackboard is said to be the worst sound by many people, the actual recording of this sound only came 16th out of 34 sounds auditioned.

Electricity consumption of the brain

Our brain uses as much energy as a 20watt light bulb. With that, only 1% of our brain cells are active simultaneously. The other 99% is used too, only not at the same time. That would be impossible; our brain already uses 20% of the oxygen we breath in, and it would get overheated.


Our short term memory is at it’s best in the morning and decreases during the day. Before lunch we are most alert and after noon, our coordination is at it’s maximum. Around 16:00 / 4pm we have our fastest speed of reaction speed and around 17:00 / 5pm our muscle strength peaks and our heart and vascular system is most efficient.   

for meeting organisers:

bad day small ball

Sport professionals that play well will often say ‘the ball seemed larger than usual’. It sounds like nonsense, but psychologists of the university of Virginia discovered that indeed sportsmen perceive a ball to be bigger on a good day and smaller on a bad one. Researchers studied play results of softball players and made them estimate how large the ball was after the game. Players with a good score pointed to significantly bigger circles than players that did not hit the ball so well that day.

Anatomy of a meeting: The digital natives are restless

How can you ensure your meetings aren’t a turn off for tomorrow’s delegates? Katherine Simmons reports
Today’s students - and some young people already within the workplace - belong to a generation known as “digital natives”. This generation has mastered the concept of multi-tasking – talking and networking with peers via mobile phone, text, e-mail and social networking sites such as Bebo, Facebook and MySpace, downloading music from iTunes and sharing photos with friends on Flickr. All at once.

Why we forget

Neuroscientists can predict if a test person will remember a word, even before the test person has seen that word. Researchers from the University College in London, UK use an EEG scanner for their predictions: a cap with electrodes that measure brain activity.On a screen a word appears, followed by complex decision task. After a series of those an unexpected memory task is given; to name as many words from the experiment as possible. It showed that the brain activity measured just before a word appeared, is a good indicator for memorizing it.

Chemosignals of Fear Enhance Cognitive Performance in Humans

It is a somewhat strange thought, but a sample of fear sweat on your desk could improve your professional performance. The stimulating effect was recently discovered in research at the Rice University in Houston, USA. For this occasion, researchers made an army of volunteers watch a neutral documentary and a horror movie. During watching, the volunteers held a dot of cotton under their arm to collect some sweat. Next, other test persons got one of those dots of cotton fixed under their nose during a test with word games on a computer. The results?

Why thinking is tiring

Thinking makes tired, now it is scientifically established. Neuroscientist Maarten Boksem discovered which mechanism is responsible for mental fatigue: our dopamine system.What is Mental Fatigue?‘When doing a task we like dopamine is released in our brain. This is the fuel for the anterior singular cortex, a little brain area that is responsible for control processes. When at a certain moment the brain struggles to concentrate on one task, the dopamine level drops and so the activity of the anterior singular cortex.

Dr Neil Dagnall

Dr Neil  Dagnall

Specialist Areas  Attention & memory, retrieval processes, social & collaborative recall and heuristics and biases.

Research Interests   Part-set cuing and retrieval inhibition across a variety of socially analogous situations.

Position/Post:   Senior Lecturer

RIHSC Research Centre:   Health, Rehabilitation and Psychology


Subscribe to RSS - Neuroscience,