The Thoughtful Animal

Archives for April, 2011

What is learning? Most psychologists (indeed, most people in general) would agree that learning is the acquisition of new knowledge, or new behaviors, or new skills. Hungarian psychologists Gergely and Csibra offer a deceptively simple description: “Learning involves acquiring new information and using it later when necessary.” What this means is that learning requires the…

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week. To start with, is there anything that might help with exposure therapy for specific phobias? Michelle from C6-H12-O6 describes a paper that suggests that the administration of cortisol might! While many people claim to not be able to dance, if pressed, most could dance to…

There’s a very well-known experiment in developmental psychology called the “A-not-B task.” The experiment goes something like this: you, the experimenter, are seated opposite a human infant. Within the reach of both you and the child are two boxes: box “A,” and box “B.” You hide a toy in “A,” in full view of the…

Big Open Lab Announcements!

First, the first couple of reviews of the 2010 anthology are now out: by Dr. Alistair Dove at Deep Sea News and by Ariel Carpenter at USC News. Check them out. If you have read the book and have a place to publish a review, we’ll appreciate it – just send us the link. Second,…

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week: To start things off, Krystal D’Costa of Anthropology in Practice discusses the science of women’s shoes. Was the “Gay Caveman” really gay? Or even a caveman? Eric M. Johnson takes his blog tour to David Dobbs’s Neuron Culture blog: The Allure of the Gay Caveman.…

The first two reviews (that I’m aware of) of this year’s edition of Open Lab have surfaced! First, USC ran a fantastic story on Open Lab and on my experiences with science blogging more generally. It was placed prominently (to my surprise) at the front page of the USC website for a week, and included…

A couple weeks ago, I asked readers to offer up some science blogs written by women. I wrote: Throughout the month of March, The Smithsonian Channel aired all-new original programming, exploring the scientific contributions of five female scientists: Elisabeth Blackburn, JoGayle Howard, Nan Hauser, Elisabeth Kalko, and Gudrun Pflueger. (I featured one of the programs,…

Baby Animals at the LA Zoo

I’ve been a bit remiss in posting much this week, mostly because I had to prep a guest lecture (from which I just returned, and it was awesome thankyouverymuch) on the Domestication of Social Cognition. In the meantime, now that spring is here, baby animals are starting to pop up all over the LA Zoo.…

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week: Liberals Are Conflicted and Conservatives Are Afraid and Colin Firth is published in Current Biology. From the Neurocritic. Despite what beer commercials tell you, not everyone responds to alcohol in the same way. The Science Life blog discusses the science of drinking. How does an…

I’m working on putting together a resource sheet for various people (teachers, professors, graduate students, etc) that will help them find psychology-related resources on the web. And I can use your help. To start with, I’m compiling as extensive a list as is reasonably possible of psychology and related blogs. Here is a starter list,…