Cognitive Daily

Archives for August, 2006

The Washington Post has an article claiming that being just a few pounds overweight can lead to premature death: The 10-year study of more than 500,000 U.S. adults found that those who were just moderately overweight in their fifties were 20 percent to 40 percent more likely to die in the next decade. Another study…

Different ways of finding your way

Learning to navigate through an unfamiliar environment can be a difficult challenge. Could you find your way through the crowded, narrow streets of the city depicted at left — especially if the signs were in a foreign language (bonus points if you can identify the city in the comments section!)? If you do have to…

A new study finds that 3- to 5-year-olds appear to conflate their future needs with those of the present. Young children who have been fed pretzels and are thirsty are more likely to say they’ll need water tomorrow than pretzels. If they haven’t eaten pretzels, they’ll say they will need pretzels tomorrow. One of the…

Why is Greta so happy?

Why does Greta look so happy in this photo? Perhaps it’s because she’s wearing her new neurotransmitter earrings, chosen by CogDaily readers (for the results of our poll, see this post). Seratonin and dopamine were in a dead heat, so she got one of each. A close-up of the earrings is below the fold.

How smart are dolphins, anyway?

Slashdot points to an Aljazeera (!) article about dolphin intelligence (or lack thereof). The article quotes scientist Paul Manger, who argues that since dolphins never think to jump out of enclosures such as holding tanks in aquariums, or tuna nets, they clearly aren’t very smart. After all, even a goldfish will jump out of its…

Babies and eye tracking

By the time a baby is 4 months old, she has begun to amass an impressive array of skills. She might be able to roll over, as Nora is demonstrating in this picture. She will almost certainly be able to follow an object with her eyes as it moves across her field of vision. But…

When Jim and Nora talk about the social groups in their school, they matter-of-factly categorize almost every fellow student into stereotyped pigeonholes. There are the nerds, the rockers, the cools, the goths, and of course, the jocks. The assumption, naturally, is that none of these groups intersect. Jocks are dumb, nerds are smart, and cools…

What in the world is this thing? It’s called an optokinetic drum, and it’s one of the many implements of torture you’ll find in a spatial orientation lab. In an optokinetic drum, you sit or stand inside while the entire drum rotates around you. By changing the pattern on the inside of the drum, or…

Green grass makes better neighbors?

Scientific American has an article covering recent research about neighborly relations. The conclusion: people living in desert climates get along better with neighbors when they have nice, shady green lawns, as opposed to natural desert landscaping. From the SciAm article: The 60 or so individual subjects have been living within the various landscapes since 2005…

Greta really wants some of these neurotransmitter earrings. But which ones should she get? Let’s make this one a poll — that way you can help her decide! When she gets the earrings, we’ll post a picture of her wearing them.