Cognitive Daily

Archives for March, 2005

Early childhood education can often seem like one of the most over-researched fields imaginable. So many parents are so concerned with the fate of their progeny, that it’s natural for research to focus on more effective ways to teach kids. Yet the process of learning is also so complex that it can be difficult for…

Psychologists and neuroscientists can be said to be working on the same problem, but they tend to approach it from opposite directions. Psychologists generally look at behavior and then try to understand the mental processes that might cause that behavior. Neuroscientists look at brain activity and see how it corresponds to behavior. Then people who…

The NCAA basketball tournament is down to the wire now, with only four teams left. How will the players respond? Will they be able to perform under the incredible pressure from the other teams, the coaches, and most of all, the fans filling in their tournament pool brackets? Today’s headline might be just a tad…

When we look at a scene, it often seems as if we perceive it all at once. Yet in fact, we are physically able to accurately view only a tiny portion of the scene at a time. Take a look at this image of a human retina (the back of your eyeball). The portion of…

How big is the picture?

When you look at a picture, you are probably generally focused on the central objects, though the overall style might catch your eye. But what about your memory for the background of the picture? Put another way, how accurate are you at recalling the exact borders of a particular view? For that matter, how accurate…

Watch out for that parked car!

Have you ever noticed that when you drive by a car whose hazard lights are blinking, something doesn’t look quite right? You know those blinking hazard lights are really on the car, but they seem off, somehow. Part of what might be going on is something called the flash-lag effect. Take a look at the…

Language researchers have long relied on participants suffering from language disorders as a means to better understand how language develops in healthy people. A new special issue of Applied Psycholinguistics covers the study of mental disorders that affect language development. Cognitive Daily will report on a couple of these articles in the coming weeks, so…

I’ve taken only two pictures of the Mona Lisa, and both turned out about the same: they captured the frenzied attempts of dozens of tourists trying to take a picture of the most-recognized image in the world. Here’s the one I took last summer: I hadn’t noticed it until now, but the motion of the…

A few weeks ago, an article appeared in my local newspaper. According to the article, many mothers were beginning to teach their kids sign language, starting at a very young age. Both kids and parents had perfect hearing, but the babies learned sign language even before they could speak, communicating more effectively with their parents…

With every new generation of violent video game, there seems to be a new outcry about the damage it may be doing to young minds. Yet there has been comparatively little research detailing exactly how video game violence actually corresponds to behavior in the real world. While Grand Theft Auto makes the headlines today, in…