Cognitive Daily

Archives for July, 2006

[originally posted on March 16, 2005] 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…

[originally posted December 9, 2005] A few months ago, Jon Stewart opened the eyes of his Daily Show audience when he interviewed the author of the book On Bullshit. Viewers accustomed to hearing the familiar bleep when Stewart enters foul-mouth mode were surprised to find that the word came through completely uncensored. Stewart himself reveled…

I’m still on vacation, but I’ve got just enough time to pop in with a quick link to a nice discussion about the link between heredity and IQ. While some have argued that as much of 75 percent of the variability in IQ is hereditary, more recent research suggests a more complex interaction. The key,…

Violence in sports fans

We’ve written a lot on Cognitive Daily about the relationship between violent video game play and real-world aggressive behavior. While we feel the evidence showing that playing violent games does cause real aggression is compelling, a frequent critique of our analysis is that other activities, such as competitive sports, may also lead to violence. “Should…

Why we can’t all be divas

[originally posted April 6, 2005] Listen to these two musical excerpts and note any differences you discern: Ave Maria, version 1 Ave Maria, version 2 (Source: courtesy of Mayumi Hamamoto and Kyota Ko) If you’re a typical nonmusician, you will probably notice some sort of difference between the two excerpts. Maybe one seems to be…

How is a mother “connected” to her infant? According to a recent report in Stem Cells, quite literally. The research, conducted on mice, found the stem cells of fetal mice were present in their mothers’ brains. These cells persist long after birth, and even seem to assist in the process of repair when the mother’s…

[article originally posted September 27, 2005] All this talk about stereotypes can get you thinking. Perhaps some stereotypes reflect actual differences. Take color vision, for example: men often refer to themselves as “color-impaired,” letting the women in their lives make home design decisions and even asking them to match clothing for them. Maybe they’re just…

Is beauty a universal standard? Or is it in the eye of the beholder? Some research on attractiveness, including some we’ve discussed on CogDaily, suggests that “average” faces are the most attractive, and that most people agree on what makes a pretty face. But Johannes Hönekopp has recently questioned the statistics behind these studies. Consider…

[article originally posted July 6, 2005] Today’s article is one of my all-time favorites. It was originally written by Katherine Kiechel, an undergraduate at Williams College as part of her honors thesis, and could serve as a model for others in its simplicity and ingenuity (the report I’m discussing here was revised and coauthored by…

CogDaily’s big summer vacation!

The whole Munger family will be heading out of town for the next three weeks. Fortunately, there should be plenty to keep you occupied here while we’re gone. We’ve written up a few posts in anticipation of the trip, and they’ve been scheduled to appear intermittently while we’re gone. In addition, we’ve gone to the…