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I’m a lecturer in psychology specialised in cognitive neuroscience. My research investigated brain development in young people who struggle in school.

I’m doing the one-paper-per-day challenge. Some papers will be hot off the press, others will be classics. Some will be relevant to what I’m working on at the moment, others will be from other areas. Each month I discuss my favourite paper here.

Vandewouw, M. M., Choi, E., Hammill, C., Arnold, P., Schachar, R., Lerch, J. P., … Taylor, M. J. (2020). Emotional face processing across neurodevelopmental disorders: a dynamic faces study in children with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Translational Psychiatry, 10(1), 375. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-01063-2

Background

Research on psychiatric disorder has undergone a paradigm shift in…


Have you ever felt like you are churning through task after task but did not feel like you were getting anywhere or accomplishing anything? According to this book, we need to consciously choose what we want to focus on rather than just ticking off item after item on our endless to-do lists. Since reading this book, I integrated a daily highlight in my workflow. This helped me to be both productive and find time for my passion projects.

The Book

Knapp, J & Zeratsky, J (2018): “Make time: How to focus on what matters every day” Sydney, Australia: Currency Press

Review

This book…


Listen, I’m sure that you are a decent human being, that your parents and friends love you, and that you are blessed with many talents. But, I’m also pretty sure that your essays suck. That’s because essay writing requires dedicated work and practice. Unless you are a seasoned pro who regularly flexed their writing muscles by writing on various topics in various styles, your writing is probably not as good as it could be. …


If you find yourself endlessly scrolling through Instagram, you probably have BJ Fogg to thank for it. His pioneering work on behaviour design has been hugely influential in Silicon Valley. I was intrigued to read an overview of his work in this book and use his insights for self-improvement.

The Book

Fogg, B.J. (2020). Tiny Habits: How starting small makes lasting change easy. London, UK: Virgin Books

Review

I’m in two minds about this book. On one hand, I found a lot of useful advice. The approach to habit building in this book is novel and not just a rehashing of ideas that…


Before reading this book, I was afraid that I bore people to death. As an academic, I have to talk to students and other researchers about topics that are often a bit dry. I also have to get my point across in writing before readers sink into a boredom-induced coma. This book provided me with some guidance on how to create engaging stories.

The Book

Dicks, M (2018): “Storyworthy — Engage, teach, persuade, and change your life through the power of storytelling”. San Francisco, CA: New World Library.

Review

I picked up this book because it was highly recommended and because I wanted…


I’m doing the one-paper-per-day challenge. Some papers will be hot off the press, others will be classics. Some will be relevant to what I’m working on at the moment, others will be from other areas. Each month I discuss my favourite paper here.

Webb, C. A., Israel, E. S., Belleau, E., Appleman, L., Forbes, E. E., and Pizzagalli, D. A. (2021). Mind-Wandering in Adolescents Predicts Worse Affect and Is Linked to Aberrant Default Mode Network–Salience Network Connectivity. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 60(3), 377–387. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2020.03.010

Background

We spend between 30 and 50% of our time mind-wandering…


From kindergarten to the nursing home, friends are some of the most important relationships in our lives. This becomes painfully apparent in our current times when many of us had either too little or too much contact with our friends. This book opened my eyes to the many dimensions of friendships and the fundamental role friends play in shaping who we are as individuals and as a species.

The Book

Dunbar, R (2021): Friends — Understanding the Power of Our Most Important Relationships. London, UK: Little, Brown Book Group

Review

In this book, eminent Professor Robin Dunbar discusses friendships. His treatise covers the…


Take your notes to the next level

The Book

Ahrens, S. (2017). How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking — for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers. Scotts Valley, CA: CreateSpace LLC.

Review

The book describes a personal knowledge management system based on the workflow of the prolific German sociologist Niklas Luhmann, called the Zettelkasten or slip-box. The systems consists of summary notes that are linked to each other. The book introduces this systems and elaborates how this system is not only a way to organise notes but also a tool to develop thoughts. I found this approach interesting and refreshingly different compared…


Reading one scientific article per day is a great way to increase your productivity and broaden your horizons. However, it can seem a bit daunting at first. That’s why I’m sharing my tricks and hacks that helped me to read more articles.

1. It’s not that hard

Reading a scientific article every day sounds like a tall order. However, I noticed that it’s surprisingly doable. First, I already had to read quite a few articles anyway to prepare lectures, write my own papers, or put together funding applications. By reading one article per day, I’m just spreading this work out more evenly. Second, I do…


This book transformed my understanding of cognitive control. It’s the most up-to-date and comprehensive introduction to the topic that I have seen. If you ever wondered how we can explain cognitive control without assuming a tiny controller pulling levers in the brain, then this book is for you.

The Book

Badre, D (2020): On task — How our brain gets things done. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Publisher Link

Review

How do we manage to make a cup of coffee without planning every single step? How can we deal with new situations that we never encountered before and come up with good solutions…

Dr. Joe Bathelt

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