Cognitive Daily

Archives for January, 2007

Senses in the news: This seems too good to be true: But apparently it is true. See this paper and this blog post. If you’re lucky enough to have eyes, here’s a good analysis of how all your visual inputs get put together into a single representation. For robots, a sense of smell is important,…

I’m currently reading Hugo M√ľnsterberg’s fascinating 1916 book, The Photoplay (I’m reading a paper copy, but the link takes you to the complete online text). It’s one of the earliest serious works on film, which was unfortunately not well received at the time it was published due to the start of World War I and…

At the ScienceBlogging conference last weekend, speaker Hunt Willard brought up an interesting dilemma, discussed by ScienceBlogger Suzanne Franks (aka Zuska): At some point, Willard said, cloning will be so straightforward we’ll be able to clone a Neanderthal. He asked, “Can you really believe no one will want to do it? Just to see?” And…

However you spin it, handedness changes with aging. How Sapir-Whorf may still have life (via Mind Hacks). But see this analysis of the same data set. How labels help us learn. How computers help writers. How you can get a job like Greta’s — or Chad’s. How neurons communicate with each other. How computers might…

Many many studies have repeatedly shown the dangers of driving while using a cell phone. Yesterday, while discussing a new law in Britain imposing heavy penalties not only for driving using a handheld phone, but also while using phones with hands-free kits, commenter Jan claimed that talking to a passenger was less dangerous than talking…

Who believes in magic?

The New York Times has an article filled with some interesting anecdotes about the prevalence of magical thinking. Everyone, it seems, even college grads hoping to be admitted into graduate school, has a few superstitions. Let’s face it: magic is fun. At the University of Chicago, there was a superstition that stepping on the brass…

Orac has an insightful post addressing concerns that Big Pharma won’t develop non-patentable drugs. Future worry: Big AI won’t develop better robot nurses? Current worry: Will Nintendo put Weight Watchers out of business? Steven Pinker tackles consciousness. Does the brain actually have a “resting mode”? Is mental illness still a stigma? One answer. Possible mechanism…

As laws against driving with cell phones continue to go on the books around the world, Britain has upped the ante: Drivers caught using a hand-held mobile or who do not have control of their vehicle while using a hands-free kit will be hit with a fine of 60 pounds. They will also get three…

Blogging’s impact on my life

This seems like an interesting meme. I was tagged by Babel’s Dawn, who asks the following: What have you learned so far from visitors to your blog? To be aware of who I’m writing to: a very bright, sometimes expert audience — though not always expert in the particular field I’m writing about. Also, that…

NYT writer John Tierney discusses why women might want to be thinner than the optimal weight for attracting men. Learning a second language impairs ability in your first language. A little bit, anyway. Apparently there is some truth to every ninth-grader’s excuse for not doing his Spanish homework. Does long-term use of narcotics for back…