Cognitive Daily

Archives for January, 2006

Clicking on the image below will take you to a short Quicktime movie. Make sure you have your sound turned up, because I’ve recorded a few sentences that play along with the movie. Your job is to determine, as quickly as possible, if each sentence is grammatically correct — while you focus your vision on…

This week’s Casual Friday survey was inspired by what I observe as I drive in different parts of the country. It seems that nearly everywhere I go, there’s a slightly different expectation for how drivers will respond to others. Given that Cognitive Daily has an amazingly diverse global audience, I thought it would be fun…

Cognitive Daily readers tackle change

Last Friday, we asked readers to identify changes in a painting by Eugène Delacroix, Christopher Columbus and His Son at La Rábida. For the test, the picture flashed maddeningly between its original state and a doctored version Greta made in Photoshop. Here’s the original: We admit it — we were being a little sneaky. We…

Kids in America grow up in a society that overwhelmingly believes in life after death. At the same time, these same kids grow up learning more and more about the nature of living organisms, and what makes something living or dead. At some point, these two belief systems inevitably collide: pure religious faith suggests that…

Disney’s purchase of Pixar makes it clear that computer-generated (CGI) animation appears to be the wave of the future in movies. But one difficulty with CGI animation is conveying realistic emotions. While film animators (whether they use computers or not) can use artistic license to achieve the desired effects, when “emotions” are generated exclusively by…

Happy Birthday, Mozart!

January 27 is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 250th birthday. In honor of the event, Greta Munger is giving a talk entitled “In the Mood: The Real Mozart Effect” discussing how scientific research addresses the claim that listening to the music of Mozart actually makes you more intelligent. If you’re in the area of Davidson, NC (about…

When I was a kid, school lunches didn’t offer choice. I paid $1.10, and I was given four plops of foodlike substance. The entrees had names like “salisbury steak,” “lasagne,” or “beef stroganoff,” but they all tasted about the same. Our “vegetable” was usually overcooked peas or green beans. There was a “starch,” like mashed…

How do you detect change?

This week’s study is a simple test. You’ll first be directed to a Quicktime movie of a painting. The painting will flash repeatedly, changing slighly between flashes. You have 9 seconds to identify the change; then your browser will automatically redirect to a survey, with (as usual) 5 questions to answer (most important, of course:…

The results of the first Casual Friday survey are in, and I have to say, I’m impressed at the level of response. Greta mentioned to one of her colleagues that we had collected 213 responses in five days, and his eyes lit up with excitement. Just to give you an idea of how large this…

To say college students* aren’t well-known for their efficient sleep habits might be the most dramatic understatement since Washington observed that Valley Forge winters are “a bit nippy.” I can remember dozing off with my head in a pile of books at the library when I was in college, then waking with “The Riverside Chaucer”…