Cognitive Daily

Archives for December, 2008

[This entry was originally posted in April 2007] The Beck effect is difficult to replicate online, because it involves testing reaction times. However, I think I’ve figured out a way to approximate the effect. This movie (Quicktime required) will show you how it works. Just follow the directions on the opening screen: Now, which letter…

[This article was originally posted in February, 2007] The setting was an integrated suburban middle school: nearly evenly divided between black and white students. As is the case in many schools, white students outperformed black students both in grades and test scores. But how much of this difference is attributable to real differences in ability?…

[Originally posted in December, 2006] So it’s December 22, and you are one of the few people who hasn’t already bagged out of work to get ready for the holidays. You’ve been absolutely deluged — swamped with work — the entire month of December. You’ve hardly had time to think about Christmas, let alone shop.…

What brain games do you like?

There’s a fair bit of evidence that playing games can enhance your cognitive ability and prevent decline as we age. Or at least that’s the excuse I use when I take a few minutes off during the course of the workday to play a game or two. Here are some of my current favorites: Str8ts.…

Two summers ago in Paris, I was astounded at the volume of traffic that somehow managed to negotiate the traffic circle at the Arc de Triomphe without incident. Here’s the (poor quality) video I made to document traffic flow there: I learned to drive in my 20s in New York City. Like Paris, New York…

Last week’s Casual Fridays study was inspired by my (incorrect) observation that the latest beta version of Firefox always displays tabs. (Actually, while it defaults to that setting, it’s possible to disable it.) When I pointed this out on Twitter, the reaction was one of astonished disbelief that I might ever not want to be…

[This is our synchroblogging post in honor of PLoS ONE's second birthday. Why not write your own?] Ever wonder whether it’s better to study all night before a big exam, or to get a good night’s sleep, but maybe not have a chance to go over all the material? We know that memory consolidation can…

Earlier today we asked readers to imagine an angry face. Then, in a surprise poll, we asked what gender the face was. So far our results match those of a study led by D. Vaughn Becker: over three-fourths of the responses were “male.” In the published study, there was no difference in the response based…

Preview poll for today’s post

Think about an angry face. Make a picture of it in your mind. Then, answer the poll below.

When I was 12 years old, I sometimes got to ride the train from Seattle to my aunt’s house in Portland. Staring at the countryside flashing past the train window, it seemed to me that the landscape was rotating in a giant circle: Nearby objects flashed past the train as expected — they appeared to…