Cognitive Daily

Archives for September, 2009

Here are my picks this week for the best psychology/neuroscience posts on ResearchBlogging.org. Who feels pain after surgery…LONG after surgery? As many as 50 percent of patients report pain long after surgery. Healthskills examines a paper exploring some of the reasons why. Speaking of pain, how do you study whether overweight people feel “less full”…

Imagine you learned your romantic partner was unfaithful to you. Would you be more upset if he or she had sex with someone else, or if they had fallen in love with someone else? Several studies have found that the answer to that question depends on the your gender. Women say they would be more…

Casual Fridays: Who can see illusions?

A couple weeks ago I discussed the Troxler Effect in my column on SEEDMAGAZINE.COM. Some people said they couldn’t see the illusion, so I thought it might be interesting to play around with the effect and see if people can see it under different circumstances. For this week’s Casual Fridays study you’ll see a variety…

As an undergraduate, at my school it was practically a requirement to steal silverware from the campus cafeteria. There were students who’d commandeered full sets of china. The desk clerk at my dorm used to say that the only thing we were learning from our college education was “how to steal.” Somehow it didn’t seem…

Rethinking “Addiction”

My column on SEEDMAGAZINE.COM today addresses the definition of “addiction.” Does it make sense to lump all dependence on substances and even all habits under the umbrella of “dependence?” Here’s a selection: We often think of true addicts as street junkies who prostitute themselves or steal from others to support their habits, but in reality…

Does rewarding altruism squelch it?

Imagine your neighbor has a dog that regularly escapes her yard. One day you see the dog escape and return it to her. She thanks you by giving you a piece of delicious home-made apple pie. This happens several days in a row. Then one day when you return the dog, there’s no pie, no…

Last week’s Casual Fridays study was inspired by my annoyance at a website form which required me to constantly switch between typing in information and selecting it from a menu. I wondered if there was really any significant benefit to requiring the use of menus, when typing (for me, anyways) seemed so much faster. So…

Teens who routinely exercise (especially in organized activities like team sports) are less likely to smoke or abuse drugs or alcohol. This fact alone might make it seem like a no-brainer to include physical activities in substance-abuse prevention and treatment programs, but in fact little research has been done to figure out whether exercising actually…

My column for SEEDMAGAZINE.COM today covers the fascinating research on perceptual illusions. While these illusions are often amazing in their own right, what’s more important is what they tell us about the visual system, and how common they really are: Are you sitting in a swivel office chair as you read this article? Would you…

We’ve talked a lot on Cognitive Daily about change blindness: the inability to spot visual differences between images and even real people and objects right before our eyes. The most dramatic demonstration might be Daniel Simons’ “experiment” that took place before participants even knew they were being studied: More recently researchers have uncovered a similar…