Cognitive Daily

Archives for June, 2008

Last weekend Nora and I went on a hike in the Smoky Mountains. Whenever we go hiking, we make trail mix — usually just cashews and raisins. This time, however, we had some mixed nuts left over from a party so we decided to use those instead. But there’s a problem with mixed nuts: invariably…

Boundary extension — misremembering the boundaries of a scene as wider than they really are — has been observed in adults as old as 84 and children as young as 6. But for kids much younger than 6, the phenomenon becomes quite difficult to study. How do you ask a 6-month-old whether the picture they’re…

Take a look at these three pictures. Can you tell which is a human, which is a cat, and which is a pigeon? How about these three pictures? A little easier? It would be even easier, of course, if the pictures were in motion, like in this movie (QuickTime required). (Update: Nikolaus Troje has provided…

A reader recently emailed to ask us if there’s been any research about whether poor working conditions such as a noisy or overheated office affect motivation and efficiency. Wouldn’t it be great if you could document to your employer that the guy in the next cubicle’s constant gabbing on the phone is negatively affecting the…

This article was originally posted on March 27, 2007 When we see a familiar face, or even a photo of a favorite car or pet, we’re often flooded with memories from our past. Sometimes just seeing a person or object that’s similar to the ones in our memory will trigger recollections we never knew we…

Not long ago we discussed work led by Deena Skolnick Weisberg showing that most people are more impressed by neuroscience explanations of psychological phenomena than plain-old psychology explanations. Talking about brains, it seems, is more convincing than simply talking about behavior, even when the neuroscience explanation doesn’t actually add any substantive details. Now David McCabe…

Take a look at the short movie I’ve linked below (Click on the picture to play. QuickTime required). The movie shows a virtual gripping device (two red balls) lifting rectangular objects and placing them on a conveyor belt. Do you notice anything unusual happening as the objects are being moved? This is a recording of…

The link below will take you to a short movie (QuickTime Required). You’ll see a series of seven easy addition problems, which will flash by at the rate of one every two seconds. Your job is to solve the problems as quickly as possible (ideally, you should say the answers out loud). Click to watch…