The Thoughtful Animal

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Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week. The first selection this week comes from Chad Orzel at Uncertain Principles. “But wait,” you say. “A psychology post in a physics blog?” Yes! Active Engagement Works: “Improved Learning in a Large-Enrollment Physics Class” Autism diagnosis in cultural context. Dorothy Bishop reviews a recent book…

Human infants have one important job during the first years of life, and that is to learn about the world and their culture from their parents and other caregivers. But what is learning? I’ve previously written that Hungarian developmental psychologists Gergely and Csibra have defined learning as the acquisition of new, generalizable knowledge that can…

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week. Are you an inattentive superhero? Bradley Voytek thinks so, and explains why in this fantastic post at Oscillatory Thoughts. Does visual perception for the actions of others alter perception of the passage of time? Mo Costandi at Neurophilosophy describes a recent paper addressing this very…

My latest piece for LAist just went up: Retail therapy: It’s the answer for almost any problem. Girlfriend broke up with you? Didn’t get that promotion? Buy yourself something pretty. People like to shop, especially for high-status items, when they’re feeling down. Decades of research has indicated that when a key feature of one’s identity…

Being a great science teacher is not so different from being a great science writer. You have to convince your audience to pay attention to you, rather than to the myriad other potential sources of entertainment and engagement out there. You have to maintain their attention: at any time, a reader can click over to…

Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections for this week. What can the spinal cord teach us about learning and memory? A lot, it seems. Bjorn Brembs has the scoop. How do box jellyfish hunt their prey? With each of their TWENTY-FOUR eyes! Mo Costandi explains at Neurophilosophy. That’s it for this week… Check back…

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,…