Cognitive Daily

Archives for December, 2007

Memories, attention, and intention

The human perceptual system is able to enforce a large array of illusions on our conscious experience. Most importantly, we hold the illusion of a complete and vivid picture of our surroundings, while in fact we selectively ignore nearly everything we see. There’s a good reason for this, of course: focusing on the task at…

Listen to this short recording: It’s a sequence that repeats every sixth beat. But when we’re listening to music, we usually prefer to divide rhythm into two- or three-beat patterns (duple or triple rhythm). In this case, the sequence doesn’t make it obvious which pattern is correct. A traditional duple rhythm, like a march, would…

Scienceblogs has launched the beta version of its German-language site. You can check it out at Scienceblogs.de. The site looks great — I’ve never regretted not learning German more! It also offers a feature I’d like to see here on the English version: A thumbnail view of the ScienceBlogs Select feed (in English). The logical…

There’s been a lot of discussion online lately about the relative importance of the position of an author name. Is it more impressive to be a first author on a report? If so, how much? John Lynch made a graph of Guillermo Gonzalez’s publication record as a way of illustrating his argument that Gonzalez didn’t…

Casual Fridays: Reading comprehension?

This week’s Casual Fridays study is just a quick reading comprehension test. Is that all it is? I can’t tell you. Why not just try it and find out for yourself? Click here to participate As usual, the survey is quite short, with just 8 questions. It should take only a minute or two to…

When we are trying to understand what someone is saying, we rely a lot on the movement of their face. We pay attention to how their faces move, and that informs our understanding of what is said. The classic example of this is the McGurk effect, where the same sound accompanied by different facial movements…

Developmental Psychology blogs?

A reader asks: I’ve been reading Cog Daily for about 4 months now and have always found that I am particularly fascinated with entries dealing with developmental psychology, such as the latest one regarding the logarithmic-like representation of numbers in young children. I was curious as to whether you knew of any [credible] blogs or…

One of our readers emailed us asking if there has ever been research on whether kids’ understanding of numbers — especially large numbers — differs from adults. Greta did a little poking around and found a fascinating study on second- and fourth-graders. In the U.S. (and I suspect around the world), kids this age are…

Carnivals on the brain and pediatrics

Pediatrics Grand Rounds is up at Hope for Pandora, complete with its first-ever Cognitive Daily selection. Encephalon is up at A Blog Around the Clock, featuring all manner of brainy goodness, including a CogDaily post as well.

I’ve reviewed Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee’s recent book The Body Has a Mind of Its Own over at The Quarterly Conversation. So, is this the science book that should have made the New York Times’ Notable Books list? (Several ScienceBloggers have complained that the list includes no science books). As I point out in my…