Brain & Behavior

Category archives for Brain & Behavior

The Western Undergraduate Problem

A few years ago, we ended up trading some classroom space in the Physics part of the building to Psychology, which was renovated into lab space for two of their new(ish) hires. This turned out to be a huge boon not only for the department (the lab space we got in the swap is really…

Through the Wormhole

The Science Channel debuted a new show last night, Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, with the premier apparently designed by committee to piss off as many Internet types as possible. The overall theme was “Is there a creator?” and it featured physicist-turned-Anglican-priest John Polkinghorne talking about fine-tuning but no atheist rebuttal. It spent a…

I Have Competitive OCD

SteelyKid is a fan of a web game called BumperStars, which my parents introduced her to. If I’m at the computer doing something, she’ll march over, demand to be picked up, then point at the screen and say “Buh-Pah” until I open it up. Of course, she’s a toddler, and thus has an extremely short…

Au Revoir, Cognitive Daily

Set the bloggy flags at half-mast, for Dave and Greta are shutting down Cognitive Daily. OK, maybe three-quarter-mast, because they’re doing it of their own free will, but still, they’ll be missed. And now I need to find a new example of an extremely successful blog that is always and unfailingly about science, with no…

Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz

I’ve gradually gotten used to the idea that as a semi-pro blogger, I will occasionally be sent review copies of books I’ve never heard of. These are generally physics books, and I have a stack of them sitting next to the bed at the moment, not being read nearly fast enough. It’s only recently that…

Baseball and Tea Parties

The baseball playoffs are upon us, which means that most of the sports media are consumed with baseball talk. I find this faintly annoying, as I’m not really a fan of baseball. And, really, I can’t be a fan of baseball, for the same reason that I can’t be a conservative Republican activist– I don’t…

The Myth of the Abrasive Genius

Via Steve Hsu, a lengthy rant by Bruce Charlton about the dullness of modern scientists: Question: why are so many leading modern scientists so dull and lacking in scientific ambition? Answer: because the science selection process ruthlessly weeds-out interesting and imaginative people. At each level in education, training and career progression there is a tendency…

How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer

I watched Jonah Lehrer on the Colbert Report a few months ago, and thought he did a really good job. So, when we were offered free copies of his new book, How We Decide, I asked for one, even though it’s not my usual sort of thing. The main point of the book is that…

Over at the New York Times’ Freakonomics blog, Justin Wolfers gets into the March Madness spirit by reporting on a study of basketball games that yields the counter-intuitive result that being slightly behind at halftime makes a team more likely to win. It comes complete with a spiffy graph: Explained by Wolfers thusly: The first…