Cognitive Daily

Archives for February, 2007

Take a look at this animation. One face will flash; then it will be followed by another face. Are the two faces the same or different? The change between faces could be a small one. Did you notice a change? (You can repeat the movie once if you’re not sure.) Let’s make this one a…

One of the worst jobs I ever had was in high school. I was a door-to-door salesman for our local newspaper. It seemed like a great job in 1983 — just three hours a night, and I got paid $4.50 an hour plus $5 for every subscription I sold over 15 a week. We didn’t…

Lots of “other news” today! Sense of smell keeps on sniffing, even as we get older. How the past, present, and future are reconstructed in our minds. Composites of “hottest” and “nottest” faces… …and an explanation of what’s going on here. A new (to me) carnival, “Brain Blogging” — strives to go “beyond the basic…

Face-composite software is commonly used to generate images of crime suspects. But how accurate is it? We’ve reported here on a study suggesting that building face-composites may actually harm the memory of eyewitnesses. Now a new review article is suggesting that there are additional problems with the system: Facial composite systems produce a poor likeness…

Today’s study will explore how sound is related to perception of motion and illusions. We’ll be examining a couple of different, really cool phenomena that may or may not be related. If you’ve been reading CogDaily regularly, you might be familiar with some of the stimuli, but you won’t have seen them combined in this…

Randomness wrap-up

This week’s article on the “most random” number was the most popular post ever on Cognitive Daily. The stats aren’t all in yet, but so far the post has been viewed at least 40,000 times. It wasn’t long ago that 40,000 was a good month for Cognitive Daily! Since comments and questions about the project…

Should iPods be banned from crosswalks? Bloggers respond, and so does Jake Young. A model of how the brain processes time. Do cigarette warning labels work? Yep. One reason to believe that IQ can be improved. Do you like experimental psychology? How about experimental Philosophy? Encephalon will be at Mind Hacks next week. Submit now…

Recently I attended a concert featuring the premier of an up-and-coming composer’s work. She gave a brief talk before her piece was played, during which she explained the complex symbology of her work. The musical notes weren’t just noises; they were intended to convey a meaning above and beyond a mere sequence of sounds. But…

“Brain fitness” is all the rage lately — the idea that by “exercising” your brain, you can keep your mental ability at high levels even as you age. The good news is that there’s more science to back up this fad than in other recent gimmicks such as the Mozart Effect. The bad news is…

Navigation without the hippocampus

Mind Hacks has an excellent review of a case study that appears to contradict some “common knowledge” about the brain: The hippocampus is thought to be essential for navigation. Surprisingly, a paper published last year reported that a London Taxi driver, who suffered hippocampus damage on both sides of the brain, could successfully navigate around…