Author Archives: MacLean Fitzgerald

MacLean Fitzgerald

About MacLean Fitzgerald

Maclean Fitzgerald is Posit Science's webmaster. He has worked at the company for 8 years. Mac is an avid sports fan and the captain of an as-yet undefeated softball team. His favorite movie is "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy".

Have a Headache? You Probably Don’t Need a Brain Scan

March 28th, 2014 by MacLean Fitzgerald

s-BRAIN-SCAN-largeIt was recently reported that for every 8 American patients who see a doctor about a headache, 1 of those patients gets a brain scan done as part of the medical evaluation. The problem? Almost all of these scans are medically unnecessary, yet they cost a total of over $1 bilion per year. As well, brain scans expose patients to harmful radiation and can lead to further unnecessary tests.

Looking at … read more

In Honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Here Is a Very Green Brain Teaser

March 17th, 2014 by MacLean Fitzgerald

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In honor of March 17th, I wanted to share a cool optical illusion that’s all about being green.

Take a look at this image. You probably see a blue and yellow spiral with a lime green and turquoise spiral going through it. Right?

image 1

Not exactly. In fact, the lime green and turquoise spiral are both… wait for it… the exact same color of green. By making everything else black, … read more

Video: How to Make Your Stress Your Friend Instead of Your Enemy

March 5th, 2014 by MacLean Fitzgerald

stressed-out-girlI just watched a great video from about stress. In the video, researcher Kelly McGonigal reveals recent research findings that turn some of our preconceptions about stress upside-down. After years of researching the negative effects of stress, McGonigal, a Stanford University psychologist, has turned her critical eye to the positive side of stress.. Check out this excellent video and … read more

Winter Brain Games Wrap-Up: Which Nations Got the Gold?

February 26th, 2014 by MacLean Fitzgerald

We had a ton of fun with our Winter Brain Games, and are excited to share the results with you! Here is a graphic showing the final scores and standings:

winter brain games results

If you enjoyed the Brain Games, be sure to keep training on BrainHQ to keep your brain in tip-top shape.

We’d also love to hear your feedback on your experience with the Winter Brain Games, if you want to share it with us in the comments or on our social … read more

Talent, Training, and the “10,000 Hour” Myth: How Do You Really Become an Expert at Something?

February 10th, 2014 by MacLean Fitzgerald

serena willamsI recently watched another great video from ASAP Science about talent vs. training. The video asks the question, “which is more important: genetics or hard work?” They briefly discuss research that looked at athletic achievements. The research found that a person’s genetics can mark them as a highly responsive to training, possessing high endurance, or both, or neither. As you might expect, a person who is … read more

What Does “Brain-Dead” Actually Mean? And Is It the Same as Being in a Vegetative State or Coma?

January 29th, 2014 by MacLean Fitzgerald

The human brainRecent news reports have focused on some tragic stories involving people described as “brain-dead.” But what does “brain-dead” actually mean? Is there hope for a brain-dead person? Is there a difference between being brain-dead, in a vegetative state, or in a coma? Here are some facts about what it means when a person is brain-dead and how it is different from a vegetative state or … read more

It’s Not Just You: Even Cats Are Fooled by this “Moving” Optical Illusion

January 17th, 2014 by MacLean Fitzgerald

confused-catDo these “moving” illusions make your brain hurt? Even though you see they are two stationary drawings and not really moving, it’s still hard for the brain to reconcile because the animation is so convincing. If you watch the video, you’ll see that even cats are fooled by it! Simply amazing.

[youtube … read more