Can the way we think, write and speak predict the future state of our mental health?

Neuroscientist Mariano Sigman says that our language may reflect future emotional states, and he bases his conclusions on objective, quantitative and automated analysis of the words we say and write.

In the word of Shakespeare, nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.

Who is he:

“A physicist by training, Mariano Sigman is an international leading figure in the cognitive neuroscience of learning and decision making. Using fMRI and other imaging technologies, Sigman and his lab hope to lay bare the basis of cognition, consciousness and dreams, truly using science to read minds.” – Official Ted Site

Why should you watch:

“Sigman has made essential contributions to the theory of how neural systems operate as we make choices and has collected decisive experimental data on human decision-making (relying on a massive corpus of behavior). Lately, he has focused his research on understanding how neuroscience may help improve educational practice. Throughout his career he has developed numerous research interactions with representatives of different domains of human culture including musicians, chess players, mathematicians, magicians, visual artists and chefs.” – Official Ted Site

Discussion Questions:

  1. Fossils are permanent, but language changes. Comment on this in reaction to his ideas.
  2. Is metacognition a new idea? Reflect on what Descartes said.
  3. Has the study of introspection been a science, a history, an art or all of the above.
  4. William Wundt was the founder of introspective psychology. Does this new science of word analysis help non-psychotics with their own introspection?
  5. Does keeping a personal journal help with introspection?



Your Words May Reflect Your Future Mental Health with Mariano Sigman


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