Cognitive Daily

Archives for December, 2008

A few days ago after downloading the latest beta version of the FireFox web browser, I posted what I thought was an innocuous complaint on Twitter: The software assumes you will always have multiple web pages open. Even if you’re only reading one web page, the browser puts it in a tab, thus taking up…

Yesterday’s post showed that our memory for objects depends on the background information available when we first see the object: If you see a toy in a room, you remember it better later if you see it again in the room. Being in the same position in a blank picture of the room doesn’t help.…

PLoS ONE turns two this month, and to celebrate, they’re partnering with ResearchBlogging.org to make history on December 18. On that day, we’re asking bloggers to write about one of the thousands of articles that have appeared on PLoS ONE in the past two years, in a synchroblogging event of epic proportions. It might just…

Change blindness is a truly remarkable phenomenon. There are so many ways that the human perceptual system can be tricked into missing a change that appears right before our eyes, that it’s sometimes astonishing that we aren’t constantly running into walls or misplacing the basics of life — our car keys, wallet, our what were…

The New York Times has an interesting article about the latest international math/science testing. American kids actually fared pretty well, behind just a few other countries. More focused testing on individual states puts Massachusetts kids behind only Taiwan and Singapore. Encephalon is up at Living the Scientific Life Skills for Healthy Living blog reports that…

What you remember about your life is almost certainly not accurate. Adults have very few memories before age five, and there is a systematic bias to the memories most people have for the rest of their lives. We are more likely to remember details about positive events like marriage and having children than we are…

The last place I lived before small-town Davidson, North Carolina, was New York City. One thing that seemed extremely different to me when I moved from New York to Davidson was the behavior of pedestrians and drivers. In New York, drivers honk at you at a stoplight to remind you that the light’s going to…

Can you hear colors? Can you see sounds? Do words have colors or images associated with them? It may sound impossible, but there are many documented cases of people who experience all these things. We’ve discussed it before on Cognitive Daily, and even found some limited evidence of similar phenomena among the general population. Collectively,…

We can quickly spot a face staring at us in a crowd. We can do this much quicker, for example, than we can determine that no one is staring at us, as this movie demonstrates. A grid of 100 pictures of Greta will be flashed for about 1/3 of a second. Can you spot the…