Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 11th Dec 2011

Monitoring Moods with Mobiles

Assorted smartphones (c) ALT1040 from Blogosfera

Can new technologies probe human thoughts and feelings without us even realising? This week we talk to a researcher who's using mobile phones to tap into peoples' emotions to provide new insights into human behaviour and even spot the triggers that might be encouraging someone to smoke. Plus, how data mining and computer simulations can identify the patterns of behaviour that predate disasters so they can be predicted - and prevented - in future. And with the surge in online social media of the last 5 years, is statistics capable of keeping up when it comes to doing research using these resources? Meanwhile, in the news, we hear what causes cancer to spread, how ancient stone age man used bug-repellent bedding and how a Taxi driver's brain changes as he learns "the knowledge" of London's streets...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:38 - Gleaning the mood of the nation

    Social scientists have been taking advantage of mobile phones and social networking sites to unobtrusively capture vast amounts of information in order to analyse our behaviour. We discuss how such tactics are deployed...

  • 10:18 - Finding the Hidden Rules of Society

    If we collect enough data about our behaviour, can we start to make models that can begin to reveal the hidden rules of how we behave?

  • 23:01 - Reducing Cancer Risk Factors

    The biggest study so far into cancer risk factors confirms our understanding of the lifestyle choices that may lead to cancer...

  • 25:15 - Navigating a Taxi Driver's Brain

    Qualified London taxi drivers know their way around over 25,000 streets in the capital. And, if you scan their brains, you find that the structure called the hippocampus is much bigger than it is in the average non-taxi driver. But was it bigger to begin with, or did learning ...

  • 42:43 - The Death of Biostatistics?

    Given that people are increasingly using crowd source data in their research, are old style stats still up to the job? Arnoldo Frigessi explores...

  • 51:10 - How does a computer see meaningful trends?

    Its just zeros and ones so how does a computer actually spot meaningful trends in this very complex social data that were not providing?

  • 53:23 - Can people with Autism benefit from emotion detection technology?

    Emotion detecting technology sounds like a good thing for those with autistic spectrum disorders who struggle to accurately read affect in others. How might their smartphones be able to help? Will it work in real time??

  • 54:37 - Do fish enjoy reproducing?

    The drive to procreate is one of the most powerful forces on earth. To assure procreation, nature offers as a "bribe" a certain amount of physical pleasure. This is easy to understand for those species who actually make physical contact during copulation, but fish remain a total ...



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