The Thoughtful Animal

Archives for August, 2010

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week! At BPS Research Digest, Christian Jarrett asks what makes for an effective apology? Krystal D’Costa of the Urban Ethnographer blog describes an afternoon at a fish market in New York City, and ponders the relationship of smell and memory. The Neuroskeptic asks “Are you addicted…

This post considering the evolutionary origins of numerical cognition, specifically in terms of the approximation of large numbers, is meant as a companion to this week’s series on the developmental origins of numerical cognition and developmental dyscalculia, at Child’s Play. What are the origins of number representation in the mind? Are there any innate building…

There’s also a shortage of clean water. Friend of the blog Melissa Rowley is working to fix that. She writes: When I see photographs of children in developing countries, I ponder what my life would have been like had I not been adopted. My being here, here and now, and not roaming the streets of…

I will be reposting some dog-related posts from the archives in the coming few weeks as I prepare for the course I’m teaching this semester on dog cognition. Please let me know if you find something inaccurate or unclear. Domesticated dogs seem to have an uncanny ability to understand human communicative gestures (see here). If…

Insights into the mind of a cat

Apparently when something interests you, the best way to figure it out is to smack it really hard, and repeatedly. If you’re a cat, at least. h/t @ferrisjabr

Extra, Extra

Science and Science Writing Colin Schultz has committed science blogging! Science bloggers link more often to original research than do mainstream journalists. Not surprising, but good to know there’s empirical research. Hannah Waters of Culturing Science ponders the place of young science writers in the broader science writing ecosystem. And in response, some good reminders…

If there is one book that every human should read, it is The Invisible Gorilla, by Chris Chabris and Dan Simons. I suppose that’s a pretty bold statement to make. Let me explain. As a student of psychology, and as someone who studies and writes about the mind, I am overwhelmed with the general perception…

Social Cognition in Polar Bears

In most zoos and animal parks, polar bears (ursus maritimus) attract such a disproportionate amount of attention that they are referred to in the industry as “charismatic megafauna,” or in other words, “really cool animals.” Perhaps it is because it is especially rare for the average zoo-goer to happen upon a polar bear in the…

Bears Gone Fishing

“The problem is that most bears don’t like to get their ears wet.” That is the problem, isn’t it? Another awesome video courtesy of the folks at BBC Earth “Life Is”. Narrated by (who else?) David Attenborough.

What I’m Listening To

I totally heart this song.