Museum of Science and Industry

Next time you put on your favorite outfit to go to school or to work, you might want to consider more than how great those clothes make you look, but also how they may make you think! If you've ever worn a costume for a play and actually felt like a different person, have you wondered why? 

Some scientists who study the human brain are asking the same kinds of questions. One recent experiment tested whether people's brains actually work differently depending on what uniform they're wearing. Test subjects who wore a lab coat scored higher on attention tests than those without the coats. And when everyone wore lab coats, those who were told it was a doctor's coat tested better than those told it was a painter's coat. Something about wearing that white lab coat—or with whom it was associated—appeared to make the subjects more attentive!

This fun field of science known as "embodied cognition" is exploring how our body's experience of the physical world around us affects the way we shape our thoughts. We're learning that we don't just think with our brains, but with our bodies too!

Image: iStockphoto

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    through September 7 (see exceptions)
    Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas
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Museum of Science+Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
1 (773) 684-1414
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