Cognitive Daily

Archives for March, 2007

When a suspect confesses to a crime, it’s often seen as a clear victory for the prosecution. But what if the confession was coerced? Under the emotional strain of an interrogation, it happens more often than you’d think. In response to the problem of coercion, many police departments now videotape interrogations. This should eliminate all…

An interesting strategy for picking colors for charts, graphs, and so on. Be sure to check out ColorBrewer. Another reason to study music. A sad result that’s likely to be controversial: 18 percent of women experience sexual victimization. If robots dreamed, what would they dream about? Inquiring minds want to know: Is it a good…

Yesterday’s “Buzz in the blogosphere” on the ScienceBlogs main page was all about medically unfit troops being sent in to battle. You should definitely check out some of those articles, including a discussion of whether the reports are accurate. However, those reports don’t cover another troubling phenomenon of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: the…

Take a look at the image below. Your job is to find the T among the sea of Ls. If you’re like most people it will take just a second or two. Figure 1: If you repeat this task several dozen times, each time with a new set of Ls and T in different colors,…

Musical tastes and personality

Is it better to meet your special someone by picking them up at a rock concert, or by serving on the same church committee? Actually, the rock concert might be the better bet, assuming you’re both enjoying the music. Chris at Mixing Memory has a fascinating discussion of why musical tastes may be a more…

Can psychology help us be happier?

Mind Hacks interviews Gretchen Rubin, who’s working on a book about happiness, and blogging about it. SCLin’s Neuroscience Blog asks: How do you keep up with the literature? I cheat. I let Greta do it for me! NY Times discusses the difference between “psychological” and physical torture. Short answer: there is none. I’ve suspected this…

When I was a paper boy back in the 1980s, I always hated daylight-saving time. Just when the mornings were finally starting to lighten after a long, dark winter, daylight-saving time came along and ruined everything: when clocks “spring” forward, the sunrise arrives one hour later. It would be several weeks before I’d be able…

Do you speak with an accent? How well do you understand the accents of others? Do you think you can identify where someone came from just based on his or her accent? Now’s your chance to put that knowledge to the test. We had so much fun with the little accent quiz we did earlier…

HBO Series on addiction

On Thursday, March 15, HBO will premier an ambitious series of documentaries entitled Addiction. Although HBO is a premium cable service usually costing an extra $10 or more per month, they are offering their service for free to regular cable and satellite subscribers during the four-day weekend beginning March 15, and all the shows will…

Two days ago, we discussed research suggesting that the emotional qualities of images affect short-term memory for those images. When you watch a movie depicting a rapid sequence of images, you’re more likely to remember images that have strong emotional content — especially images that are arousing, whether they depict positive or negative things. Most…