Mixing Memory

Archives for June, 2008

Well, I’ve got Lakoff’s new book, The Political Mind, and I’ve read the first few chapters, so I figured I’d start sharing my thoughts about them. For now, I’ll do it on a chapter by chapter basis, which makes sense, because the chapters are pretty disjointed and, at least after the first few, it’s hard…

There’s an interesting short paper by Paul Bloom and Susan Gelman in the July issue of Trends in Cognitive Science with that title. Unfortunately, it’s not yet available without a subscription (though Bloom tends to put his papers on his website once published, so it might show up there sometime in the near future), but…

The War and Peace Phenomenon

Here’s a little tidbit from my personal life that I thought I’d share, because I find it pretty amusing. I’ve always ridden the bus to work, because as anyone who’s spent time on a college campus knows, it’s impossible to get good parking spots unless you show up at about 4 am. On the bus,…

UPDATE: I’ve messed with some of the images below the fold, which will hopefully make it easier for people to see the illusion without having to move all round the room. Last year, Rob Jenkins published a seriously spooky-looking illusion (it freaks my son out) in the journal Perception (1). Take a look at this…

Lakoff in the NYT

There’s a review of George Lakoff’s new book, The Political Mind, in today’s New York Times. You can read the review here. Some key excerpts: Neuroscience shows that pure facts are a myth and that self-interest is a conservative idea. In a “New Enlightenment,” progressives will exploit these discoveries. They’ll present frames instead of raw…

Best Mirror Neuron Comment Ever

Hahahahaha!!! From the comment section to this post: HULK SEE MOVIE, HULK LIKE SMASH THINGS, HULK F5 NEURONS EXHIBIT ABOVE-BASELINE BOLD ACTIVITY.

Sex = Mirror Neurons!

We already know that mirror neurons are responsible for social interaction (except when they’re not), meaning, art, religion, sports, dinosaurs, sun spots, Marxism, post-it notes, freeze-dried fruit, Harleys, and and Firefox 3.0, so it’s not at all surprising that we’re now learning that they’re responsible for sex as well. Oh, I know, I know, we’d…

Brain Activity and Meaning

Blogs and the mainstream media have been filled with neuroscience news lately. First we learned that sarcasm happens in the brain, and then that sexual orientation is in the brain too. There was even an attempt (sarcastic, I hope) to account for sports fandom with mirror neurons (I’ve heard that the actual reason we like…

One of my favorite optical illusions is the rotating face, an instance of depth inversion. I like it so much that I sometimes use the above image as my avatar around the web. If you’re not familiar with the illusion, what you’re seeing is a 3D mask, one side of which is convex, while the…

This Kid Rocks!

If you’re a depressed liberal and need to read something uplifting and inspiring, check out this profile of Adam Bender (pictured below), a great little league catcher who happens to have only one leg. Be sure to watch the video! It’s really impressive. And then there’s this: He suffered a mild concussion on one collision…