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Earlier this month, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California had its annual two-day open house. For a laboratory complex that has the same acreage as Disneyland, it was just as crowded as the House of Mouse on a busy summer day. What a refreshing sight it was to see so many people – couples,…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Painstaking scientific research has identified seven dating tips that could boost your chances on Valentine’s Day … including shouting in his right ear and scaring him witless. Whether or not you have a Valentine this year, head on over to check out to my latest piece in The Guardian: Valentine’s Day dating tips from lovestruck…

It’s here! After more than a month of reviewing, I am pleased to announce the list of posts that will be included in this year’s edition – the fifth – of The Open Laboratory! In no particular order: Givin’ props to hybrids by DeLene Beeland The decade the clones came: Beware the mighty Marmokrebs! by…

Ah, Thanksgiving. A day full of turkey, cranberries, pie, and, of course, SCIENCE! After you fill your stomach with gravy and stuffing, stuff your mind with all this great Thanksgiving science. What’s any good Thanksgiving feast without some turkey? Emily Anthes of Wonderland starts the meal off with an offering of thanks for the turkey’s…

Despite the fact that my research lies at the intersection between cognitive, comparative, and developmental psychology, I am also quite interested in the evolution of our understanding of psychopathology. The ultimate goal of the study of psychopathology is to ground such disorders in brain and body. But our understanding of some pathologies are simply not…

Welcome to the mental illness mini-carnival! Mental illness, or psychopathology, is a field riddled with controversy and it can be sometimes confusing to wade through all the uncertainty and conflicting data and opinions. In an effort to help make sense of some of it, your faithful psychology and neuroscience bloggers are here to help. “Illness…

Social Media Week in LA

This week is Social Media Week in Los Angeles, as well as in Mexico City, Milan, Bogota, and Buenos Aires. What does that mean, exactly? Social Media Week is a multi-city global conference connecting people, content and conversations around emerging trends in social and mobile media. Dozens of free events hosted at locations all over…

As I’m sure many of you did, I recorded Phil Plait’s (twitter, blog) Bad Universe pilot last week, and it was so good that I watched it twice. And then two more times as I tried to figure out why it was so compelling. Why am so interested in picking apart these particular 44 minutes…

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…

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…