Cognitive Daily

Archives for April, 2007

One of the most hated practices on the Internet is the breaking of articles into pages. Jason Kottke swearingly rants against it here, and Mike Davidson denounces the practice here. I don’t much like the practice either, especially when a short, pointless article is broken into four or more pages (Davidson mockingly points to this…

Update: New version of the study is up here! #@*& it if I couldn’t come up with a shorter Casual Friday study this week. When we started doing Casual Fridays a year and a half ago, the goal was to keep them short — less than five questions, if possible. They’ve gradually expanded from week…

While the debate over guns and gun control has taken center stage on ScienceBlogs, ultimately there’s a human pulling the trigger. The New York Times has an interesting article about the problems getting troubled students to seek help before they harm themselves or others. The facts about college suicide are startlingly grim: While shootings like…

One “trick” dieters often use is to put their food on a smaller plate. The idea is to fool yourself into thinking you’re eating more food than you really are. But doesn’t our stomach tell us how full we are? Actually, it doesn’t. Brian Wansink has devoted his career to studying how perception of food…

Some potential benefits of nicotine

Madam Fathom has an excellent discussion of nicotine’s effect on the brain and cognitive function. First off, I’ve rarely seen a clearer explanation of how neurons actually work: Neurons are functionally integrated in expansive neural networks, with each neuron receiving up to thousands of inputs from other neurons. However, the neurons are not actually physically…

Earlier today I wrote a post about optical illusions. I was hoping it would distract me from thinking about the Virginia Tech shootings. It didn’t. I began to see connections between the illusions and the tragedy: That sinking feeling that somebody was being shot, that spiral like a gun sight. The problem is that human…

Optical illusions!

Tired of depressing news? Take a break and look at some optical illusions! For more, visit SandLot Science. Haven’t seen enough illusions? There are more below!

How can something like this happen?

Today at least 31 people were killed by gunfire at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, in senseless violence. Early reports suggest that the perpetrator was a boyfriend of a Virginia Tech student who was “looking for his girlfriend.” But whatever the proximal cause of this tragedy, the larger question is how we can prevent such incidents in…

How many hours did you spend watching TV news coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks on that day?* Now, did you have dreams about it in the following days and weeks? According to a newly published study, the more hours you spent watching news coverage, the more likely you were to have dreams with…

There was a lot of talk on the ScienceBlogs back channel last week about Mike Dunford’s post on President Bush’s wrangling with Congress over funding the Iraq war. The post attracted a lot of attention, including many comments from readers who claimed Dunford didn’t “support the troops.” If they had actually read the post they…