Mixing Memory

Archives for June, 2006

Traveling Ants

I’m going to play biologist for a moment, and talk about a species other than humans or nonhuman primates. First, imagine that you’re about 10 mm long, a couple mm high, and you’re stuck in the middle of the Sahara desert. Eventually you’ve got to find food, so you leave the comfort of your burrow…

The Underread

Jonah, over at Frontal Cortex, has a post titled “Neglected Psychologists,” in which he asks: What other great scientists of mind are modern neuroscientists neglecting? The same could be asked of all cognitive scientists. Jonah gives two names: William James and John Dewey. If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you know that I’m…

Freud as Literature; Freud as Science

In a response to my defense of Freud, Jonah Lehrer states that, with Harold Bloom (ewww!), he sees Freud as “one of the great artists of the 20th century.” In my view, how we read Freud today — as literature, philosophy, or science — is largely a matter of choice, as is the case for…

A Lot of People in White Coats

Dave over at Cognitive Daily beat me to this (curse you, Dave!), but I wanted to point everyone to an article in Seed Magazine by Paul Bloom, titled “Seduced by the Flickering Lights of the Brain.” If you can’t tell from the title, the article is on the lure of imaging studies, and the sense…

In the past, I’ve often wondered how journalists pick which studies to write about. The obvious answer is that they pick studies that will get readers or viewers, but given how little their stories correspond with the research they’re writing about, it seems to me like they could pick any study and make it sellable.…

The Synapse

The first edition of The Synapse, one of two new neuroscience carnivals, is here. Especially interesting are the mating robots and the post on neurotheology.

Habermas on Blogs

Well, not on blogs exactly, but internet communication in general. What he says definitely applies to blogs, though. The quote is in a footnote in this speech that Habermas gave at the 2006 annual convention of the International Communication Association. Allow me in passing a remark on the Internet which counterbalances the seeming deficits that…

Why Blog About Science?

This week’s “Ask a Science Blogger” question is, “What makes a good science teacher?” I don’t know how to answer that. I’ve had many science teachers, some of whom were very good, some of whom were very bad, and most of whom fell somewhere in between. And they were all different. The only thing I…

Taking Sax and Brooks to Task

Mark Liberman has two great posts over at Language Log debunking first a claim made by David Brooks in this article on the gender gap in education, and then Leonard Sax’s poor use of science that inspired Brooks’ claim. This is what Brooks wrote: There are a couple of reasons why the two lists might…

Here is an illusion that was discovered relatively recently. Take a look at this (from here): You should see two figures with a purple outter border and an orange inner border. What color is the interior of the figure? It probably looks like it’s orange, though a lighter shade of orange than the inner border.…