Cognitive Daily

Archives for March, 2005

About two weeks ago I engaged in a seemingly pointless exercise in male bonding: I played 24 hours of video games with my son. It turns out, even aside from perfecting my guacamole recipe, the experience may have done me some good. C. Shawn Green and Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester conducted a…

Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke, You gotta understand, It’s just our bringin’ up-ke That gets us out of hand. Our mothers all are lawyers, Our dads are CEOs. Golly Moses, natcherly we’re punks! Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein wrote “Officer Krupke” in 1956 as a brilliant satire of contemporary research suggesting that poor kids were more…

How we perceive biological motion

Have you ever played around with point-light displays? If not, take a few moments to explore the amazing site I’ve linked. Through these simple animated displays, we can detect gender, emotion, even species. Point-light displays have been studied for decades as a way to understand how we perceive biological motion. Even pigeons, quail, and cats…

Drug use and attention

The world of someone who has a psychological disorder is different from the world of a healthy person. For example, someone suffering from clinical anxiety will notice threatening stimuli sooner, and an alcoholic will perceive alcohol-related images quicker than healthy people. These different perceptions of the world exacerbate the illness, making recovery even more difficult.…

Take a look at the following movie (quicktime required). The movie will alternately flash a picture of a desk and a patterned block. Your job is to see if anything about the picture of the desk changes each time it flashes. Don’t replay the movie when you get to the end; just stop. Did you…

When you were a child, did you ever bend over and look between your legs to see what the world looked like upside down? If you were like me, you were disappointed: for me, anyways, the world didn’t look as different as I had hoped. Though turning things upside down does make it more difficult…