Cognitive Daily

Archives for May, 2007

Social bonding with robots

In Star Wars, the real hero might be R2D2 — the only character who makes it through all six episodes without falling to the “dark side” of the force. R2D2 is a robot, but everyone in the film treats “him” like a person, even commending him for “bravery.” As viewers, we don’t have a problem…

Take a look at these two pictures. Who is more dangerous? It’s not hard to decide, although I wouldn’t hurt a fly, and Nora, even at age three, could be brutal with her sarcasm. Now, what’s the most dangerous situation? Again, an easy decision. While Carhenge is certainly an awe-inspiring monument (and perhaps Jim could…

A new blog has emerged in Terre Haute, Indiana. Its message is somewhat cryptic, including such gems as this one, from “annefernald”: For those who think of surgeons as spending their days operating on people, this would definitely not be Dr. Johnson….Not, in fact a medical doctor at all, the wit and writer is constantly…

Many studies of the electrical activity in the brain have found consistent differences in activity when people look at faces compared to other stimuli such as cars or tools. This has led some researchers to conclude that face processing is fundamentally different from other visual processing. But a recent study has found some evidence to…

Casual Fridays: Typing quirks

It used to be that everyone who needed to type took typing class in school. I was probably part of the last generation that actually learned on a typewriter rather than a computer: we clacked for 55 minutes a day in Mr. Butler’s room full of IBM Selectrics. No correction keys, either: if you made…

They say exercise can help you lose weight. What they didn’t tell you is how much exercise. A new study offers the depressing truth: more than you ever imagined. Thousands of volunteers reported their weight and exercise regimens over a seven-year period. Here are the results: 25-to-34-year-old men gained 1.4 pounds annually if they ran…

CogDaily on facebook

Cognitive Daily now has a facebook profile. I’ve never done facebook and I don’t know how active this will be, but perhaps some of our readers are facebook users and this will be a way for you to connect with each other. There’s also a ScienceBlogs fan club on facebook, so that’s another way to…

How many moving objects can you keep track of at once? Clicking on the image below will take you to Lana M. Trick’s web site, where she has a nifty demo of a multi-object tracking task. You’re asked to keep track one to four of the smiley-faces as they move randomly around the screen. Then…

Fellow ScienceBlogger Jonah Lehrer has a nice article on the new respect cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists have for emotion. Here’s an excerpt: Ever since Plato, scholars have drawn a clear distinction between thinking and feeling. Cognitive psychology tended to reinforce this divide: emotions were seen as interfering with cognition; they were the antagonists of reason.…

Yesterday the preeminent socially generated news site, digg.com, nearly exploded. The way the site is supposed to work is that users submit links to stories (and web sites, photos, and videos) they think will be interesting, and others give those stories a thumbs-up (a “digg”) or thumbs-down. If enough users digg a story, it will…