Category Archives: Psychology

Posts relating to my research on cognitive psychology and neuroscience

Resolving (or complicating) the iPhone resolution debate

On Tuesday I posted that the iPhone 4 is nowhere near the capabilities of the human retina. But yesterday over at the Bad Astronomy blog, Phil Plait argued the opposite: Jobs wasn’t falsely advertising the iPhone’s capabilities at all. … … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology, Technology | 3 Comments

Does the “Retina Display” live up to its name?

I’m a pretty big Apple fan. I have Apple computers, an iPhone, an iPod, and an iPad. But yesterday as I watched the coverage of Steve Jobs’ WWDC Keynote, I bristled at the name of the new iPhone 4 display. … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology, Technology | 13 Comments

Saying goodbye to Cognitive Daily

[Cross-posted from Cognitive Daily] Five years ago today, we made the first post that would eventually make its way onto a blog called Cognitive Daily. We thought we were keeping notes for a book, but in reality we were helping … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology | 5 Comments

Literature review

Jim and Nora are both taking AP English courses next year (though I think they’re actually taking slightly different classes). What’s cool about this is that their reading lists have taking a sudden turn for the better — there’s some … Continue reading

Posted in General, Psychology | 1 Comment

This kind of thing really bugs me

I hate it when the popular press leaps on a “new scientific discovery,” and it turns out that the research hasn’t even been published yet. Such is the case with this research on brain patterns in political partisans (update: it’s … Continue reading

Posted in InstaMunger, Psychology | 1 Comment

Pinker, research, and race

Steven Pinker has changed. In The Language Instinct he wrote brilliantly about the evolution of language and the means by which humans came to be the only thinking animals. He wrote about how the similarities that bind the different races … Continue reading

Posted in General, Psychology | 2 Comments

Is this the lamest study ever or what?

On Cognitive Daily, we have editorial standards. We won’t post on a study which we don’t think is worthwhile. Fortunately here I have no such restrictions. Consider this article from Brain and Cognition: “Appearance of Symmetry, Beauty, and Health in … Continue reading

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Now this is good

I have to say, I’m loving Steven Johnson’s new article in NY Times Magazine (thanks, Ben Vershbow). In fact, I can’t wait to get the book. I was a little disappointed by his previous book, Mind Wide Open, but that … Continue reading

Posted in General, Psychology, Technology | Comments Off

Happy birthday, Word Munger!

Hard to believe, isn’t it? Just one year ago, Word Munger was a tiny babe, almost too fragile to hold in your arms. That’s right, Word Munger sprouted into existence one year ago today. It’s a very merry Word Birthday … Continue reading

Posted in General, Marriage, Psychology, Satire, Technology | 3 Comments

Introducing Cognitive Daily

I had mentioned a few days ago that I was working on a “secret” blog. Today I can let you know what secret is: a new site called Cognitive Daily. I’m really excited about this site because it combines two … Continue reading

Posted in General, Psychology | 4 Comments

What are we doing when we watch a movie?

Most schools of literary criticism suggest that it’s fruitless to attempt to consider what the intentions of the author are; we can only examine the “text” itself: it is the only solid evidence we have. Similarly, critics toss up their … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology | 3 Comments

Marshall McLuhan redeemed — sort of

A couple weeks back, I posted a rant about Marshall McLuhan. Basically I was arguing that while the medium may be the message, the medium isn’t the only message. There was a fair bit of commentary on my post, both … Continue reading

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Are artists vision experts?

Today’s reading is “Artists as Experts in Visual Cognition,” by Aaron Kozbelt of the University of Chicago (Visual Cognition, 2001). We need to incorporate many skills in order to make visual sense of the world. We must be able to … Continue reading

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What does the shadow know?

How do we tell where an object is in a three-dimensional world when our eye only gives us two dimensions worth of information? Today’s reading (“Moving Cast Shadows Induce Apparent Motion in Depth” by Daniel Kersten, Pascal Mamassian, and David … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology | 2 Comments

Where is the light coming from?

Today’s reading is “Prior Knowledge on the Illlumination Position” by Pascal Mamassian and Ross Goutcher of the University of Glasgow (Cognition, 2001 [PDF link]). When we see an embossed seal such as a notary stamp, how do we know which … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology | 4 Comments

More on sound and vision

Today’s reading is “When Sound Affects Vision: Effects of Auditory Grouping on Visual Motion Perception,” by Katsumi Watanabe and Shinsuke Shimojo of Caltech (Psychological Science, 2001). In 1997, Sekuler, Sekuler, and Lau discovered a fascinating effect that I’ve attempted to … Continue reading

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The bizarre world of color vision

How do we see things in color? How do we know objects stay the same color when the color of the light they reflect changes as the lighting changes? We see this effect most dramatically in the theater, where the … Continue reading

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Troxler — and YOU!

Today’s reading delves deep into the visual system, so hold your breath and get ready to dive in. It’s “Sound-aided Recover from and Persistence Against Visual Filling-in” by Bhavin Sheth and Shinsuke Shimojo of Caltech (Vision Research, 2004). I even … Continue reading

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How can we tell where someone is looking?

Today’s reading is “The Influence of Head Contour and Nose Angle on the Perception of Eye-Gaze Direction” by Stephen Langton, Helen Honeyman, and Emma Tessler, of University of Stirling (Perception and Psychophysics, 2004). We’re exceptionally good at telling where someone … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology | 1 Comment

Psychblogging

I’m going to try a new concept here at Word Munger today: “psychblogging.” I’m working on a book proposal on cognitive psychology, and as I do the research for it, I’ll include my notes here. It’s a little different from … Continue reading

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