Tag: seth roberts


Richard Sprague: Fish Oil Makes me Smarter

February 10, 2015

Richard Sprague is interested in understanding peak performance. Inspired by self-experimenter, Seth Roberts, Richard decided to test if consuming fish oil affected his response time. In this talk, Richard explores his data and discusses what he found out when he ran his analysis.


Seth Roberts: The Best Way To Learn Is To Do

April 28, 2014

My friend Seth Roberts, pioneering self-experimenter and personal scientist, died last Saturday. Seth’s sister Amy, made the announcement yesterday on his blog. The news was unexpected and very sad. A few things Seth taught me: Doing lots of experiments keeps you supplied with new ideas. With sensitive and reliable measurements, tiny experimental effects can yield surprising…


Effect of Vitamin D3 on My Sleep

May 4, 2012

I have blogged many times about biohacker Tara Grant’s discovery that she slept much better if she took Vitamin D3 in the morning rather than later. Many people reported similar experiences, with a few exceptions. Lots of professional research has studied Vitamin D3 but the researchers appear to have no idea of this effect. They don’t control the time of day…


Butter and Arithmetic: How Much Butter?

December 2, 2011

I measure my arithmetic speed  (how fast I do simple arithmetic problems, such as 3+ 4) daily. I assume it reflects overall brain function. I assume something that improves brain function will make me faster at arithmetic. Two years ago I discovered that butter — more precisely, substitution of butter for pork fat — made me…


Effect of One-Legged Standing on Sleep

March 24, 2011

In 1996, I accidentally discovered that if I stood a lot I slept better. If I stood 9 hours or more, I woke up feeling incredibly rested. Yet to get any improvement I had to stand at least 8 hours. That wasn’t easy, and after about 9 hours of standing my feet would start to hurt….


Another Mysterious Mental Improvement

January 24, 2011

A month ago I posted this graph, which shows how long I needed to type the answer to simple arithmetic problems (7-5, 4*1, 9+0). I tested myself with about 40 problems once or twice per day. Because I’d been doing this for a long time, I no longer improved due to practice. Then, at the…


Does Shower Temperature Affect Brain Speed?

January 8, 2011

In November I learned about benefits of cold showers. So I tried them. I took cold showers that lasted about 5 minutes. I liked the most obvious effect (less sensitivity to cold). Maybe a bigger “dose” would produce a bigger effect. Maybe the mood improvement cold showers were said to cause would be clearer. So I…


Will Butter Make You Smarter? Introducing Butter Mind…and Coconut Mind

October 13, 2010

Update: 10/19/10 – Study is now open to users at http://genomera.com/studies/butter-mind Will eating one of these fats improve your math performance?  Based on Seth Roberts’ butter and math study, recently presented at a Bay Area Quantified Self Show & Tell, during which Seth ate half a stick of butter each day and performed better in…


Seth Roberts on Arithmetic and Butter

September 29, 2010

At the last Bay Area Quantified Self Show&Tell, Seth Roberts presented new findings on his “Arithmetic and Butter” experiment. Seth does arithmetic problems every morning as a measure of his brain function. He found that eating half a stick of butter every day shaved 30 milliseconds off his time to solve the problems. Does butter…


Arithmetic and Butter

August 17, 2010

A guest post by Seth Roberts in response to his talk “Arithmetic and Butter” based on his self-experimentation with eating butter and math performance.


The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Self-Experimentation

May 31, 2010

It all started when Seth Roberts wondered why his self-experiments were so effective. Over 12 years, this psychology professor and regular at Quantified Self meetups tested new ideas, observed himself, and learned a number of significant things – new theories about mood, weight loss, sleep-wake cycles, and daily habits necessary for optimal living. Seth’s exploration…


Measuring Cognitive Function – New Results

March 29, 2010

At QS Show&Tell #12 Seth Roberts quickly showed some of his latest results from his fascinating cognition experiments. We will have video of Seth’s talk up soon, but in the meantime I wanted to link to some additional explanation Seth has posted on his blog. First, some background. At QS Show&Tell #2, Tim Lundeen described…


What Tools Should I Use To Make Tracking Easier?

December 6, 2009

Jeremy Johnson sent in this question for the illustrious QS Scientific Advisory Board, so we set about finding an answer for him. Gordon Bell and Seth Roberts responded with lightning speed! Jeremy’s question and their answers are below. If you have a question about your self-tracking that you’d like some help with, let me know….


Stop worrying and start experimenting!

April 15, 2009

In this inspiring talk from the recent QS Show&Tell, author, scientist, and self-experimentalist Seth Roberts explains why worries about experimental design are overblown. You will learn what’s wrong with your experiments by starting to do them.


Hey, What Happened to My Brain?

March 9, 2009

For a few months, I’ve been measuring how well my brain is working using arithmetic problems. Each test session includes 100 simple problems (3+4, 7-0, 4*8) divided into 5 blocks of 20. I type the last digit of the answer as quickly as possible. I got the idea from Tim Lundeen, who got better on…


Annals of Self-Experiment – Seth Roberts is His Own Mouse

May 31, 2008

I’m becoming a devoted fan of Seth Roberts, one of the great champion of self-experimentation. Roberts, an emeritus professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, has spent many year studying himself, and, even better, offering many practical clues about how to construct your own “experiments of one.” I first found out about his work in the…