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  • December 13, 2011
  • 10:28 AM
  • 747 views

Hearing about scientists' struggles helps inspire students and boosts their learning

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest



Newton worked hard and had an inquisitive nature
Science suffers from an image problem. Many students see the subject as too difficult and they think scientists are aloof boffins with big brains. A new study out of Taiwan tests the benefits of teaching high-school physics pupils about the struggles of eminent physicists - Galileo, Newton and Einstein.

Over the course of three computer-based lessons during one week, 88 low-achieving students were taught not just about the relevant theories dev........ Read more »

  • December 13, 2011
  • 10:24 AM
  • 4,101 views

Fast at the peripheries: deaf people have equally fast responses throughout the visual field.

by Emma in That's F*c#ing Amazing

File under: “it turns out it’s more complicated than that.”  Many deaf people have better-than-average vision and many studies have shown that the parts of the brain that would be used for hearing are helping out with vision instead. New work from a joint team from universities in Italy and France demonstrates that things may [...]... Read more »

  • December 13, 2011
  • 10:24 AM
  • 4,197 views

Fast at the peripheries: deaf people have equally fast responses throughout the visual field.

by V1 bloggers in V1

File under: “it turns out it’s more complicated than that.”  Many deaf people have better-than-average vision and many studies have shown that the parts of the brain that would be used for hearing are helping out with vision instead. New work from a joint team from universities in Italy and France demonstrates that things may [...]... Read more »

  • December 13, 2011
  • 10:24 AM
  • 372 views

Fast at the peripheries: deaf people have equally fast responses throughout the visual field.

by Emma Byrne in The Sweary Scientist

File under: “it turns out it’s more complicated than that.”  Many deaf people have better-than-average vision and many studies have shown that the parts of the brain that would be used for hearing are helping out with vision instead. New work from a joint team from universities in Italy and France demonstrates that things may [...]... Read more »

  • December 13, 2011
  • 03:08 AM
  • 4,463 views

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Here's a paper - soon to appear in Psychological Science - which says that Most Reported Genetic Associations with General Intelligence Are Probably False PositivesThe authors tried to replicate published associations between particular genetic variants (SNPs) and IQ (specifically the g factor). They looked at three datasets, a total of about 10,000 people, and didn't confirm any of the 12 associations.As Razib Khan says in his post on this, "My hunch is that these results will be unsatisfying t........ Read more »

Chabris, C. F. et al. (2011) Most Reported Genetic Associations with General Intelligence Are Probably False Positives . Psychological Science. info:/

  • December 13, 2011
  • 12:39 AM
  • 4,327 views

The Joy of Assessing Yourself

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

Providing an authority figure with an assessment of your own performance seems like a tricky proposition. After all, there’s a fine line between “convincingly laudable” and “full of shit.” Fortunately, a new study shows that when it comes to self-assessments reality isn’t all that important.... Read more »

  • December 12, 2011
  • 07:40 AM
  • 4,723 views

Body focus: How removing clothes changes the way the mind is perceived

by United Academics in United Academics

The research was performed by Kurt Gray, psychologist at the University of Maryland, along with colleagues from Yale and Northeastern University. What makes this research interesting is that unlike many previous studies, this one applies to both sexes and calls into question the role of objectification. The researchers argue that concentrating on someone’s physical characteristics doesn’t mean this person is perceived as a mindless object.... Read more »

Gray K, Knobe J, Sheskin M, Bloom P, & Barrett LF. (2011) More than a body: Mind perception and the nature of objectification. Journal of personality and social psychology, 101(6), 1207-20. PMID: 22059848  

  • December 12, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 4,480 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: On getting older and wiser!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Growing older is not for sissies. ‘Some people’ have ‘senior moments’ and then tend to mock ourselves while we secretly worry that it signals the onset of dementia. Many trial lawyers avoid the older juror due to concerns about sleepiness, inability to track the evidence, or simply being checked out during the trial. It isn’t any [...]


Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: When to talk about racial bias and when to stay quiet
Simple Jury Persuasion: Got charisma?
Simple Jury Persuas........ Read more »

Worthy DA, Gorlick MA, Pacheco JL, Schnyer DM, & Maddox WT. (2011) With Age Comes Wisdom: Decision Making in Younger and Older Adults. Psychological Science. . PMID: 21960248  

  • December 12, 2011
  • 05:44 AM
  • 5,258 views

New Research says: Men Think About Sex More Often Than Women. Really?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

If you want to do some headline-grabbing research it doesn’t get much better than this. Recent research published in the Journal of Sex Research (yes, I was surprised it existed as well) from the University of Ohio tries to give the most accurate-to-date answer to the age old stereotype of whether men really think about … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • December 12, 2011
  • 12:23 AM
  • 4,495 views

Can the Width of a CEO’s Face Affect His Firm’s Performance?

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

Choosing a CEO is difficult. You need to evaluate a candidate’s education, work experience, market knowledge, technological savvy, and social skills. Now new research  points to yet another quality that must be evaluated when considering a male candidate: Face width. ... Read more »

  • December 11, 2011
  • 07:58 AM
  • 4,387 views

Do Antidepressants Make Some People Worse?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Antidepressants may help depression in some people but make it worse for others, according to a new paper.This is a tough one so bear with me.Gueorguieva, Mallinckrodt and Krystal re-analysed the data from a number of trials of duloxetine (Cymbalta) vs placebo. Most of the trials also had another antidepressant (an SSRI) as well. And the SSRIs and duloxetine seemed to be indistinguishable so from now on I'll just call it antidepressants vs. placebo as the authors did.People on placebo got, on av........ Read more »

  • December 10, 2011
  • 08:45 PM
  • 751 views

A case of congenital beat deafness? [Part 2]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters


Isabelle Peretz told me about Mathieu during a workshop at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in November 2009. She was very excited, and I couldn’t but share her enthusiasm: She was pretty sure she found a beat-deaf person.
... Read more »

Phillips-Silver, J., Toiviainen, P., Gosselin, N., Piché, O., Nozaradan, S., Palmer, C., & Peretz, I. (2011) Born to dance but beat deaf: A new form of congenital amusia. Neuropsychologia. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.02.002  

  • December 10, 2011
  • 03:32 PM
  • 1,273 views

Moderate believers might benefit from less, not more religion

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom



I always enjoy analyses of religion done by people whose main research focus lies in other fields. They tend to have quite a refreshing take.

So here's a study written by three outsiders. You probably already know Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational (and if you don't, well then get out and read the book this moment!). The lead is Daniel Mochon, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University, and the other is Michael Norton, an Associate Pr........ Read more »

Mochon, D., Norton, M., & Ariely, D. (2010) Who Benefits from Religion?. Social Indicators Research, 101(1), 1-15. DOI: 10.1007/s11205-010-9637-0  

  • December 10, 2011
  • 09:00 AM
  • 4,084 views

Cursing soothes your pain

by United Academics in United Academics

No acces to painkillers after bumping your head? Just shout out all the bad, vulgair, and profane words you can think of. New research shows that swearing actually relieves your pain. But don’t curse to often, overuse of swearing decreases the beneficial effect.... Read more »

  • December 9, 2011
  • 02:29 PM
  • 875 views

Altruism in Religionless Rats

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

No one who has ever kept rats as pets (as I have) will be surprised by a study that appeared in yesterday’s Science and is getting major media coverage. In “Empathy and Pro-Social Behavior in Rats,” the authors report:
Whereas human pro-social behavior is often driven by empathic concern for another, it is unclear whether [...]... Read more »

Bartal, I., Decety, J., & Mason, P. (2011) Empathy and Pro-Social Behavior in Rats. Science, 334(6061), 1427-1430. DOI: 10.1126/science.1210789  

  • December 9, 2011
  • 01:50 PM
  • 1,157 views

Why Good Time Estimators Are Better at Math

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish




Since most of us were never called on in class to answer a tough time-estimation question, or quizzed on the lengths of tones in milliseconds, we don't have a good grasp of our skill in this area. It's kind of exciting. You could be a prodigy and not know it! But a cold dose of reality comes from new research saying skill in time estimation is tied to mathematical intelligence. If you're not amazing at math, your temporal abilities probably aren't A-plus either.

Writing in PLos ONE, a group ........ Read more »

  • December 9, 2011
  • 12:28 PM
  • 1,027 views

How mixing work incentives put us on the horns of a dilemma

by Alex Fradera in BPS Occupational Digest

To encourage collaboration, many organisations structure incentives so that whole groups are rewarded – or not - based on their collective output. However, the groups-eye view allows for social loafing, where people shirk duties and assume team-mates will carry their load, so it's tempting to keep everyone accountable by adding incentives to individual performance too. Christopher Barnes and his colleagues set out to see just how these mixed incentives turn out in practice.The researchers used........ Read more »

  • December 9, 2011
  • 09:35 AM
  • 1,322 views

Some Ground Rules for a Theory of Psychology

by Andrew Wilson in Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists

Add psychology to the listA fairly common response to our theory post was 'here's my theory, which is designed to replace and fix all the others'. However, it's more a symptom of the problem I was discussing than a solution for everyone to have their own entirely separate theory which doesn't talk to any other work in the field (see above). One of my personal goals in science is to not be that guy. I want to see cognitive science become more integrated, not more fragmented. We have also been ask........ Read more »

Clark, A., & Chalmers, D. (1998) The Extended Mind. Analysis, 58(1), 7-19. DOI: 10.1111/1467-8284.00096  

van Gelder, T. (1995) What might cognition be, if not computation?. The Journal of Philosophy, 92(7), 345-381. info:/

Warren, W. (1984) Perceiving affordances: Visual guidance of stair climbing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 10(5), 683-703. DOI: 10.1037/0096-1523.10.5.683  

  • December 9, 2011
  • 08:51 AM
  • 740 views

The Brain's High School Spot

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

It's been known for a long time that electrical stimulation of the brain's temporal lobe can sometimes evoke vivid memories.The famous neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield first noticed this effect as part of his pioneering stimulation experiments, but he believed that it was both uncommon and haphazard with any given stimulation able to evoke any memory, more or less at random.A new paper, however, says different. Philadelphia's Joshua Jacobs et al report that they found a spot in the left temporal lob........ Read more »

Jacobs J, Lega B, & Anderson C. (2011) Explaining How Brain Stimulation Can Evoke Memories. Journal of cognitive neuroscience. PMID: 22098266  

  • December 9, 2011
  • 05:16 AM
  • 1,967 views

Sword Swallowers, Belly Buttons and Flatulent Fish: the Ig Nobel prizes

by thesoftanonymous in the.soft.anonymous

In a world where high-speed neutrinos and melting ice caps hog the limelight, it’s sometimes nice to pay tribute to the sillier side of science. Because for every Einstein there’s a physicist trying to understand why toast always lands butter-side down; for every Darwin, a biologist who studies fish farts.... Read more »

Edgeworth R, Dalton BJ, & Parnell T. (1984) The Pitch Drop Experiment. European Journal of Physics, 198-200. info:/

Maguire EA, Gadian DG, Johnsrude IS, Good CD, Ashburner J, Frackowiak RS, & Frith CD. (2000) Navigation-related structural change in the hippocampi of taxi drivers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 97(8), 4398-403. PMID: 10716738  

Stack, S., & Gundlach, J. (1992) The Effect of Country Music on Suicide. Social Forces, 71(1), 211. DOI: 10.2307/2579974  

Wilson B, Batty RS, & Dill LM. (2004) Pacific and Atlantic herring produce burst pulse sounds. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society. PMID: 15101430  

Witcombe B, & Meyer D. (2006) Sword swallowing and its side effects. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 333(7582), 1285-7. PMID: 17185708  

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