05 July 2009


Can you see sounds or smell colours? Do you taste shapes? Is your mind like other minds? Do other people experience the world just as you do?

How is your brain today? Has it changed recently? How does your brain affect the way you behave?

As you will see from its title, this blog post is about changes. Have you ever changed your name? Do friends treat each other the same way once one of them experiences a major change? Have you ever met someone who changes the way you experience the world?

What have been the major changes in your life? What have been the major changes in the lives of your family members and friends?

I know I have been asking quite a lot of questions here today, but I think you will find them interesting. For example, have you ever heard of synesthesia? If not, don't worry. There is plenty of information about it online.

An introduction to synesthesia

There are also plenty of resources about brains and behaviour. Do you know someone who had a slight bang on the head then started to act strangely? Do you have a relative with dementia? Are you sometimes forgetful? Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go right?

Do you know people who always look on the bright side of life? Do you know of others who always look at the worst of a situation, constantly mourning losses rather than celebrating gains?

An introduction to the human brain and how it affects our behaviour

Changes of names are often not as drastic as changes in brains, but they often affect our perceptions, as some of my previous blog posts have stated. A recent study by the Australian National University has found that prejudice is alive and well in the selection of candidates for jobs.

How prejudiced are you when you choose to use particular services? For example, here is a hypothetical scenario to consider:

Your local community has asked you to choose an engineering consultant for its new water purification system. The candidates are all highly qualified international experts, and all completed their training in Australia.

You must choose only three of the following candidates to interview:

Mr Peter Smith, Mr Pietro Fabbro, P. Schmidt, Ms Peta Smith, Mr Peter Smythe, Mr Peter Fabbro, P. R. Smith, Dr Peter Smith, Mr Peter Smith-Lee, Mr Peter Lee, Professor Peter J. Fabbro, Ms Peta Fabbro, Ms P. Lee, Mr Pete Smith, Dr P. Smith, Dr P. Lee, Professor Peta Lee-Patel.

How would you choose a candidate from the seventeen above?

Read about the study

The world's most common surnames

Many of the posts in this blog are directly related to my quest (see my travel blog over the coming weeks to learn more).

Today, I especially hope that you have enjoyed reflecting on this blog post. You may be wondering why it contains several topics that you may believe to be unrelated. Has it changed your views about the world in any way?

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