Welcome! [The Thoughtful Animal]

Welcome to the new home for The Thoughtful Animal!

Welcome especially to new readers! To the old readers, I hope you'll enjoy the new place. Nothing big will change; but now I've got better technical support, a family of Sciblings (go check out their blogs!), a more powerful interface, and hopefully a more pleasant experience for you!

Take a few minutes to check out the site. You can read a little about me, and if you'd like you can peruse the old blog. I shall miss the old place, but am very excited to be joining the Borg Scienceblogs, and all my new Sciblings. Special thanks go to Dr. Isis, Bora, Scicurious, and Dave Munger for encouraging and supporting the move and ferrying me through the transition. And of course to Erin and the SB Overlordz!

Who is this guy?
I'm a grad student in Developmental Psychology at the University of Southern California.

What are we doing here?
The main focus of this blog is animal cognition. Animals do some pretty cool things, and there are some clever ways for figuring out how an animal thinks. What does it mean for a cognitive skill or capacity to be truly innate? How can the environment take the basic building blocks of cognition and push them around in different ways? How did those building blocks evolve? How do they develop throughout the lifetime? I think that investigating and understanding animal cognition is a really powerful method for understanding the evolution of the human mind.

I like to cover the animals you usually think of when it comes to animal cognition. Monkeys and dolphins and dogs and such. I also like to cover the critters that you usually wouldn't think of. Like ants, turtles, or fish. Every Monday (including a special double-dose today) you can expect a post about the animals most familiar to us: the animals we invite into our homes as pets.

I also do brain imaging research on reading and dyslexia. Seems a world away from animal cognition, but there are some important parallels. Similar to any other cognitive skill or overt behavior, reading emerges from the complex relationship of biology and environment. Reading is a skill that evolution did not prepare us for. It is not intuitive, and takes years to master - yet most of us learn to read with relative ease. Why? And what goes wrong in developmental dyslexia?

I'm interested in the way that Science and Science Communication are changing in the Web 2.0 world. I'm interested in the way that the Web 2.0 world has affected child development.

Hmmm, what else? I like to cook. And eat. DVR changed my life. I just got Netflix.

That said: I like it when you read, and I like it even more when you comment. This is meant to be a conversation. Read, comment. Lather, rinse, repeat.

That's all great, but will there be shoes?
If you're lucky.

What about LOLcats?

Technical Details
This is the new permanent home for The Thoughtful Animal. All comments at the old blog are now closed. As such, please update your bookmarks and blogrollz.

The proper URL is now: http://scienceblogs.com/thoughtfulanimal/

Those of you who subscribe via RSS, the new feed is: http://scienceblogs.com/thoughtfulanimal/index.xml

For those of you who had been receiving The Thoughtful Animal by email, this is a feature that is no longer supported. I encourage you to bookmark the website, as an alternative. You could even make it your homepage!

Now the party can begin.

Figure 1: Physioprof promised to come to the party if there was a clown.

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