Cognitive Daily

Archives for March, 2008

Researchers have known for some time that people are surprisingly accurate at visually judging distances to objects as far as 25 meters away. If you’re allowed to briefly look at an object up to that distance away, then blindfolded, you’ll walk right up to it with great precision. If you walk halfway, you can throw…

[This post was originally published in November of 2006] Do you recognize the person depicted in this video? (QuickTime required; the movie is below the fold)

[This article was originally published in January of 2007] Many many studies have repeatedly shown the dangers of driving while using a cell phone. Yesterday, while discussing a new law in Britain imposing heavy penalties not only for driving using a handheld phone, but also while using phones with hands-free kits, commenter Jan claimed that…

Do you recognize the faces in this picture? Sure you do — you could recognize the authors of this blog anywhere, even upside-down. It might take you just a bit longer to realize that something isn’t quite right with the picture. I’ll show you what the problem is at the end of this post. We’ve…

Upcoming presentations

This coming Friday I’ll be at the NISO Discovery Tools Forum in Chapel Hill, NC, to talk about ResearchBlogging.org, along with fellow ResearchBlogger and librarian Eric Schnell. Here’s the abstract for our presentation: ResearchBlogging.org began simply as a way for academic bloggers to identify serious and public posts in what can also be a frivolous…

Everyone on ScienceBlogs seems to be talking about the latest Intelligent Design debacle. Apparently the extremely famous blogger PZ Myers attempted to attend a free screening of Expelled, a Ben Stein screed against “Darwinists.” The security folks at the screening had been alerted that he would be there, and refused him admission. Yet the even…

Point-light displays are an amazing demonstration of how the visual system creates order out of what initially seems to be a random pattern. Take a look at this short movie (QuickTime required). Just looking at the first frame, it might be difficult to tell what’s being displayed, but after watching for just a second, it…

Freud meets cognitive psychology

My first introduction to psychology was in a required social science class in college over 20 years ago, reading Sigmund Freud’s Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis. The experience made me think I’d better be careful if I ever had kids: I didn’t want them telling their psychoanalysts how my misadventures in early parenting had scarred them.…

There is a growing body of evidence that very young children — too young even to talk — still know plenty of words. When our kids were very young, it was quite clear that they knew the meanings of many more words than they could actually produce. When they couldn’t speak at all, they understood…

Music has been associated with drug use for decades — from the flower children smoking weed at Woodstock to jazz great Charlie Parker getting hooked on heroin, it seems that every type of music has a drug that we associate with it. Last month we discussed a study where college students were asked what type…