Mixing Memory

Archives for July, 2006

[First posted on 10/31/04 at the old blog] From Aristotle through speech act theories, metaphor had been viewed as a secondary type of language, built on literal speech which is, in turn, the true nature of language. However, since the 1970s, cognitive scientists have become increasingly convinced that metaphor is not only central to thought,…

[First posted on 1/20/05 at the old blog] With all the controversy surrounding the issues in my last few posts, I thought it would be refreshing to talk about something completely uncontroversial: the existence of universals in art based on neurological mechanisms. (That was a joke, people). I’ve been doing some research on the cognitive…

Oldies But Kinda Goodies

I’m going to have only sporadic computer access for the next several days, so I won’t have time to do much new posting. So I’m going to just copy and paste some of the more popular posts from the old blog. They are four posts on neuroaesthetics, particularly Ramachandran’s 10 principles of art. Also, because…

A couple weeks ago, a couple Science Bloggers, sparked by Jessica of Feministing, discussed the potential dangers of discovering the biological causes of homosexuality. Jessica expressed a common attitude in her post, writing: And naturally the larger question with all these why-are-you-gay studies is why do we have to know? I’m terrified that once someone…

The Neuroscience of Playing Chicken

Theory of mind, or how we think about what’s going on in other people’s heads, continues to be one of the hottest topics in cognitive science today. A debate continues to rage over whether we reason about other people’s thoughts by means of theory-like propositional knowledge, or through simulation (i.e., putting yourself in their shoes……

Emotion in Political Judgment

It’s been obvious to everyone who’s written about politics since Aristotle that emotion plays an important role in political rhetoric and political judgment. With an increased focus on emotion in cognitive scientists, there has been a flourish of empirical work attempting to elucidate this role. I thought it might be interesting to say a little…

The Synapse and Other Links

The second edition of The Synapse is up over at A Block Around the Clock. I especially liked “Are You Conscious of Your Precuneous” and Ethics at the Dawn of the Neurotechnological Age.” Elsewhere, John Hawks tackles Aymara, “the future is behind us” thing, with some links to some nice discussion at Language Log as…

Go Italy!

Wow, what a really bad cup this year. I mean, I was rooting for Italy after the U.S. was eliminated, but ending on penalty kicks? That just sucks. Combine that with all the other games that either ended on penalty kicks after extra time, or in which the only goal scored was on a penalty…

This week’s visual illusion is related to Mach bands, and similar in some ways to the watercolor effect. It’s called the Craik-O’Brien-Cornsweet effect (or just the Cornsweet effect)1. This is the best example I’ve ever seen (from here): What you should see is a dark square over a light square (almost white). Now take your…

The Westen et al. study on the motivated reasoning of political partisons has made its way back into the blogosphere, first with Will Wilkerson, and now fellow Science Blogger Ed Brayton. I posted on the study, and hot cognition/motivated reasoning in general back in March, when the study was first noticed by the press and…