Cognitive Daily

Archives for February, 2007

Two new articles tackle the issue of whether most research is false… Which raises the question: how do we know whether this research is true? Or whether any of the links which follow are true? Undaunted, I’ll continue… Chris of Mixing Memory has a thoughtful article discussing research suggesting religion can have harmful effects. When…

Brain Maps offers over 50 terabytes of high-resolution pictures of brains from several different organisms. You’re probably familiar with the brain off to the right — it’s good ol’ Homo sapiens. The brain at left may be a bit less readily identifiable. It’s Tyto alba, or the barn owl. Perhaps the most impressive feature of…

Chris Chatham explains a new two-part model of working memory. Older adults have too much confidence in their memory. Genetic research may neglect effects of environment. Do you miscommunicate more with people you know better? This may explain why. To spank or not to spank: The Chicago Tribune assesses the research. A new model for…

Our visual system is exceptionally good at detecting change — as long as the change takes place while we’re looking. If you glance at a scene, then look away for a moment, your ability to detect a change is substantially impaired. Changes that would be obvious when we’re looking can become maddeningly difficult to detect…

Researchers have developed a new method of creating laser beams which they believe may pave the way for practical laser X-rays: Most of today’s X-ray lasers require so much power that they rely on fusion laser facilities the size of football stadiums, making their use impractical. “We’ve come up with a good end run around…

Still more mystery photos!

Did you miss the cut-off for the Casual Fridays study last week? Now’s your chance to see more mystery photos. In this post, you’ll find eight new versions of the photos — ones which didn’t appear in the original study. Each photo is followed by a poll so we can track responses. The idea is…

Casual Fridays: More mystery photos!

Remember these photos from earlier this week? Readers were intrigued with the idea that we can tell which photo is a face, despite the fact that the photos are just 12 by 14 pixels! That brings the question: can we identify faces with even *less* information? This week’s study may help answer that question. You’ll…

The world’s best science feed

Do you read Cognitive Daily via Google Reader’s “Science” bundle? Then you’ll also want to subscribe to the ScienceBlogs Select feed. It was formerly only available internally to ScienceBloggers and editors, but now it’s been made public. I think it’s the best science feed in the world — it consists of two or three handpicked…

When you look out the window and then look away, how do you remember what you saw? Do you hold a picture of the window in your head, frame and all? What about a photo? Do you remember the physical photo, or do you imagine the real scene it represents? If you remember the scene,…

As was noted with irony a few days ago, many psychologists feel obligated to describe the abilities that make humans unique. Perhaps this trait itself is part of human nature: we’re constantly seeking to justify our actions — many of which harm other organisms. When we learn that an animal can, for example, recognize itself…