Mixing Memory

Archives for June, 2006

In Defense of Freud

A couple Science Bloggers have been giving Freud a hard time lately. In a post on Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, Jonah Lehrer of The Frontal Cortex wrote: So why was Blink less than satisfying for me? Becase Gladwell ended up lumping together all sorts of research, from Damasio’s Iowa Gambling Task to Ekman’s cartography of facial…

Psychological essentialism is the belief that kinds have an underlying, probably unseen essence that makes them what they are. We may, for example, believe that tigers have an underlying essence that gives them their stripes and makes them carnivores. We could represent that essence as a particular underlying feature of tigers, such as their genetic…

Is it 1998 Again?

Noooooooooooooooo!

I’ve got it! I know how we can test conceptual metaphor theory in the domain of time. Yesterday I argued that the problem with the experiments published so far is that it’s impossible to distinguish mere lexical priming (priming spatial meanings of the terms, which influences subsequent temporal reasoning) from conceptual priming due to metaphorical…

On Time, Space, and Metaphor

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: conceptual metaphor theory sucks. Why does it suck? Well, because there’s no experimental evidence for it (and plenty of evidence against it). Except, that is, in one domain: time. Specifically, the work of Lera Boroditsky, along with Dedre Gentner and her colleagues, has provided interesting demonstrations…

A Note and a Link

First, the link. This probably won’t be of interest to most of you, but some might like this: the published version of Habermas’ lecture titled “Religion in the Public Sphere“. Here’s Habermas’ outline of the lecture (from p. 3-4): I would like first of all to bring to mind the liberal premises of the constitutional…

Neural Adaptation for Gender

In yesterday’s post on afterimages and aftereffects, I mentioned that demonstrations of neural adaptation for a particular feature (in the post, I used the examples of color and motion) is generally taken as evidence of the existence of specific neurons or groups of neurons that detect/process that feature. With motion or color, which are very…

Most of you have probably seen this before, but if you haven’t, look at the flag for 30 seconds (if it doesn’t work with 30, try 60), and then look at the white space underneath it. You should see a red, white, and blue flag when you look at the white space. That is a…

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post that was pretty critical of the current state of Experimental Philosophy. In the post, I focused on the work of Joshua Knobe, not because his work is the worst Experimental Philosophy has to offer, but because it is, in my mind, the best by far. Yesterday on…

Bilingual False Memories

False memory research has been very popular over the last several years, in part because of its connection to one of the more contentious debates in cognitive science: the recovered memories debate. I remember attending a poster session at a conference a couple years ago, and an entire room was filled with posters on false…