Cognitive Daily

Archives for October, 2006

Winners of mid-sized lottery prizes are happier than losers — or those winning small prizes — even over the long term. Chris Chatham reviews a review of the research on Theory of Mind, the science of understanding how people understand the minds of others. Tom Keane argues that bridges should not be made suicide proof,…

If the human eye was a digital camera, how many megapixels would it have? Clarkvision does the calculations. The answer: 576 megapixels. Impressive job — I wish I had thought to do that. Note that their calculations require a bit of fudging: the fovea actually covers just a tiny bit of the visual field; the…

Last week’s Casual Friday study was inspired by a recently-discovered illusion which showed that sound could influence what people percieve visually. I was planning to report on the study confirming that illusion yesterday, but my computer wasn’t cooperating with me, and I couldn’t generate a demo of the illusion. I think I’ve figured it out…

The idea of a distinct “internet addiction” problem separate from, say, compulsive gambling or obsession with pornography isn’t especially new. It’s been studied since at least 1999, and we reported on one attempt to describe it in 2004. Yet in the U.S., there has been no serious effort to quantify it until now. A new…

This week’s Ask a Scienceblogger: “Is severely regulating your diet for a month each year, as Muslims do during Ramadan, good for you?” I’d say that’s nearly impossible to answer: there are too many other factors at work. But consider this: Kuwait’s average life expectancy is 76.9 Portugal’s is 77.2 Since Kuwait is a primarily…

Directory of open access journals

Apropos of our discussion yesterday of the pros and cons of open access publishing, I’d like to point you to a great resource: the Directory of Open Access Journals. The Directory of Open Access Journals … covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals. We aim to cover all subjects and languages. There…

Click on the “Video Games / Technology” category over to the left and you’ll see that we’ve covered many, many studies on the subject of video game violence, almost all of them demonstrating a link between playing violent games and real-world aggressive behavior. Nearly every time we do, we receive an influx of comments from…

Jake Young has written an excellent summary of a panel discussion he attended at the Society for Neuroscience meeting. I encourage you to read the whole thing, as it presents a fascinating interplay of the forces at work in academic publishing. But if Jake’s synopsis is too much for you, here’s a quick summary of…

The developmental psychologist Jean Piaget developed several tasks to show how very young children were different from older kids. One of the most surprising is the “conservation” task: a 5-year-old, who talks clearly and appears quite bright, will watch water being poured from a short, wide glass into a tall, slender one. She will say…

Low IQ leads to a short life?

The BPS Research Digest is reporting on a new article by Satoshi Kanozawa, who claims that the poor economic conditions and short life expectancy in many developing countries can be explained by low IQ. The economic historian Richard Wilkinson has argued that economic inequality leads to shorter life expectancy because being at the bottom of…