Cognitive Daily

Archives for January, 2007

As a lefty, how did I miss this one when it came out? Left-handers “think faster”. Why can’t people tickle themselves? Can a robot park New Yorkers’ cars? It’s an open question, especially since the cars aren’t very good at parking themselves. Even controlling our own limbs is a difficult problem. The always-insightful Deric Bownds…

When our dentist told us Jim and Nora needed braces, we just took them straight to the orthodontist and signed them up for treatments — we didn’t even think twice about it. On the other hand, their treatments haven’t been especially dire — neither child needed “headgear,” for example. I know people who’ve had elaborate,…

Publishers spending big bucks to try to stop the open-access publishing movement. Yes, these tactics are slimy, but are they not also a sign that open access is a real threat to commercial publishing? Speaking of free science reporting, check out Encephalon at Sharp Brains. Babel’s Dawn describes ceremonial speech (based on my background in…

The psychology of money

How much money do you really need? Nearly everyone, regardless of their wealth, responds with an amount higher than what they currently have. Many financial planners suggest that Americans need to save at least $2 million by retirement in order to maintain their lifestyles. Yet what if you die before you spend all that money?…

Are you smart or stupid?

Are you smart or stupid? Take the test! Not scientific, but amusing nonetheless. Another “interesting” application of IQ (Warning: photos of swastikas). Data is rather old here, but I’d be surprised if these correlations don’t still hold up. Fish may be more logical than the subjects of the previous link. Cognitive Dissonance had a birthday.…

Nearly all video games that offer a first-person perspective — where the view on-screen simulates what a real person would see as she navigates through the virtual environment — also include a virtual map to help in navigation. Even my favorite golf game has one. Such maps can be indispensable, but they also invite a…

Suppose you’re a granting agency, and you have $1 million to spend to help foster research in your area of interest. Would you be better off giving ten grants for $100,000 each, in hopes that one or more of the funded projects might produce results, or just announce a $1 million prize — to be…

Here’s the Cognitive Daily weekly podcast for January 28. Topics: Brains can tell the difference between metaphor and irony Want to drive safely? Talking to passengers may be okay, but talking on the phone isn’t Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the podcast using the special RSS feed: http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/rss-podcasts.xml To subscribe using iTunes, select…

Last week’s Casual Fridays study was inspired partially by reports we see in the mainstream media so often, proclaiming that Americans are ignorant about the rest of the world. If the rest of the world really is better than Americans at geography, then maybe they can beat us even on our home turf. Our quiz…

The last reader poll for a while

As you may have noticed, we’ve been experimenting with a new posting format at CogDaily. Previously, we posted a “news” post every morning that included brief analysis of one news item followed by a set of “in other news” links to other news items from across the Web. But many readers complained that they were…