Cognitive Daily

Archives for March, 2007

When a neutral face isn’t neutral

The Kuleshov Effect, discovered nearly a century ago by Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov, posits that the context in which we see an image of an actor’s face will determine the emotion the face portrays. For example, take a look at this short little clip I made (QuickTime required). First you’ll see a gray screen, then…

What will be the next Sudoku?

The New York Times has a great article on the Japanese gaming company responsible for the Sudoku craze. The article is interesting, but be sure to check out the sidebar, where you can try three up-and-coming rivals to Sudoku. Personally I find Sudoku a little boring: After I figured out a “system” that allowed me…

Vote for the top psychology study

PsyBlog has completed its list of the top 10 psychology studies. You can now vote for your favorite. What are the odds of a three-way tie in Jeopardy!? What’s special about beef, cream, and orange? Chris disses the simulation theory of aesthetics, or why watching Rambo doesn’t feel like getting shot. What’s the key to…

Several news outlets are reporting on a study, in some cases claiming that racing video games “cause” accidents or reckless driving. But causality is difficult to demonstrate in psychology research. Do the games really cause accidents? Many of the irate commenters on the news articles claim that the study doesn’t really show causality, or that…

On the opening episode of the Colbert Report, faux conservative Stephen Colbert expressed his preference for “guts” over facts: That’s where truth comes from — the gut. Facts come from the brain — and some people think that makes facts better. But did you know you have more nerve endings in your stomach than in…

Eric Schwitzgebel offers an interesting paradox: When I was a graduate student, a girlfriend asked me what, of all things, I most enjoyed doing. Eschewing the obvious and half-clever reply, I answered skiing — thinking of those moments of breathing the cold, clean air, taking in the mountain view, then expertly carving a steep, lonely…

It seems that students (and their parents) are more stressed than ever about whether they’ll get into the right college. Admission to places like Harvard, Stanford, and Duke is getting more competitive each year, with less than ten percent of applicants actually admitted. Because attending the best high schools increases chances of admission, the stress…

The general consensus about last week’s world accent test is that it was very difficult, but also quite fun. Everyone also wanted to know the answers to the quiz. I’m not going to make it that easy for you, but at the end of the post I will offer a way for you to figure…

I’ve found a few articles that I’ve got couple sentences’ worth of thoughts about, but not a couple paragraphs, so I’m going to write them all up here. This is sort of halfway between a news and an in other news post. 1. Neuroscience and science writing. Jonah Lehrer argues that it’s okay for science…

Artists look different

These two pictures represent the eye motions of two viewers as they scan a work of art with the goal of remembering it later. One of them is a trained artist, and the other is a trained psychologist. Can you tell which is which? How about for this picture? Art teachers have noted that when…