Cognitive Daily

Archives for June, 2008

Are MMORPGs “addictive”?

In our discussions of violence associated with video game play, we’ve frequently noted that there appear to be different effects depending on the type of video game. Some games are more violent than others, and some games reward violence while others discourage it. All this has an impact in terms of real-world behavior and attitudes.…

Casual Fridays — Summer break

This is just a brief note to let our loyal Casual Friday readers know that we’ll be going on a break for the summer. We should be able to maintain a semi-reasonable pace with the regular Cognitive Daily posts, but with all of our travel, it generally becomes a logistical nightmare to keep up with…

My high school experience, like that of nearly everyone who attended my school, was a perplexing one. It seemed there were only a few “popular” people — those that everyone knew and liked — and wanted to be like. Everyone else was much like me: they struggled to become more popular, with little success. Everyone…

We’re still working hard on getting the next version of ResearchBlogging.org ready to go. I know this is taking a long time, but since we have a (semi) working system right now, we really want to get this right. It shouldn’t be too much longer. A few weeks ago we settled on a new list…

Do you multitask? I’m not talking about literally doing two things at once, like emailing while talking on the phone, or playing the trombone while washing the dishes. I’m talking about the more common phenomenon of starting one project before you’re finished with another. For example, after I read the journal article I’ll be discussing…

One of the things that motivated Nora and me to conduct the Casual Friday nuts study was our intense ambivalence toward the Brazil nut. It’s so much bigger than the other nuts that it tends to dominate any mixture, even when present in small quantities. And, to our palate, it just doesn’t taste good. It…

Last week we asked our readers what their favorite types of mixed nuts were. Does the mixture that comes in the can actually approximate real-world preferences, or are the nut-packagers just giving us the cheapest nuts, with no allowances for our actual likes and dislikes? We received over 600 responses. Readers rated seven types of…

Does music help us learn language?

One of the first steps to learning a language is figuring out where one word ends and the next one begins. Since fluent speakers don’t generally pause between words, it can be a daunting task. We’ve discussed one of the ways people do it in this post — they focus in on consonant sounds. Other…

What makes something look glossy? At first, it doesn’t seem like a difficult question — it’s something smooth and reflective. But if you were to attempt to draw something that looked glossy, how would you to it? Now, the problem suddenly gets a lot more difficult. Taking a look at a photo of a glossy…

Listen to this short audio clip: The clip plays two notes that are two full octaves apart. That’s a greater range than many people can produce vocally. It should be easy for anyone to tell the difference between these two notes, even when heard in isolation, right? Not necessarily. A team led by Ulrich Weger…