Jeffrey M Zacks

Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences and Radiology, Washington University

Jeffrey M Zacks is Professor and Associate Chair of Psychological & Brain Sciences, and Professor of Radiology, at Washington University in Saint Louis. He received his bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science from Yale University and his PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Stanford University in 1999. His research has been funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the James S. McDonnell Foundation. He has served as Associate Editor of the journals Cognition, Cognitive Research: Principles & Implications, and Collabra, and as Chair of the governing board of the Psychonomic Society, the leading association of experimental psychologists. He is the recipient of scientific awards from the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Foundation, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Psychological Science, the Midwest Psychological Association, and the Society of Experimental Psychologists. Zacks is the author of two books, Flicker: Your Brain on Movies and Event Cognition (with G.A. Radvansky), and co-editor of Understanding Events (with Thomas F. Shipley). He has published more than 70 journal articles and also has written for Salon, Aeon, and The New York Times.

Written by Jeffrey M Zacks

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Getting smarter

Jeffrey M Zacks

Thanks everyone for your interest in this piece. Let me add a couple quick thoughts on Phil’s query about vocabulary and B A’s query about vocabulary. Regarding meditation, I’m glad you mentioned it! It’s one of the things I would have liked to go into but had to omit due to space. Meditation or mindfulness does have promise for improving cognition and other psychological functions, and has been receiving sustained scientific attention. A number of my colleagues are doing behavioral and physiological studies on mindfulness. Unlike several of the techniques I describe, mindfulness practices have not been associated with major down sides, so I encourage people to explore them. (I have done ...

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