Cognition Essential Reads

How Are Gesture and Speech Related?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on May 26, 2016 in Ulterior Motives
People may learn gestures by watching the speakers of their native language. But new research suggests the language itself can shape these gestures.

Working Better: Brain Science in Business

There are many brain science lessons that can be applied in organisations from sleep hygiene to managing stress to fostering creativity.

The Appeal of Conspiracy Theories About EgyptAir MS804

How can a seventy-year-old, 90-second animation help explain the popularity of conspiracy theories about airplane crashes?

The Best Way to Move on After a Breakup

Getting over the end of your relationship can be a difficult process, but finding the silver lining will help you move on.

A (Metaphorical) Bridge Between Semantic Order and Chaos

Walt Whitman once asked, “Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?” Research on the neural networks involved in metaphor processing justifies that feeling of pride.

The Concept of a Cause Has Gotten More Important Over Time

By Art Markman Ph.D. on May 19, 2016 in Ulterior Motives
Over the past 100 years, the world seems to have gotten more complicated, a new study finds. Does that affect people's interest in causal knowledge?

The Border Fence Principle

9% of Americans don't know what country New Mexico is in. Those who are bad at geography are more likely to favor building a border fence.

We Are, Where We Are: Spatial Cognition Shapes Our Self-Hood

The physical environments that surround you have a huge impact on who you are in the present moment and cumulatively throughout your lifespan, according to new research.

How to Love Your Body

Are images of perfect bodies weighing you down? Some thoughts on embracing your body the way it is.

5 Reasons the Cerebellum Is Key to Thriving in a Digital Age

For human beings to thrive in a digital age, the cerebellum must not be allowed to atrophy by sitting all day, limiting face-to-face contact, or excessive screen time.

When Intelligence Flourishes, the Questions Get Tougher

Human and machine intelligence are flourishing. Is our wisdom keeping pace?

Think More, Eat Less? Memory Can Make Us Eat Less

Hungry? Surprisingly, the trick to eating less might be our memory, and not our stomach. Remembering a past meal, or thinking about a future meal, can lead to less snacking!

You Can't Force Brilliance

Whether you are trying to figure out where you parked your car or avoid calling someone the wrong name, again, don't overthink it!

Remember When It Was Easy to Remember?

By Lee Eisenberg on May 06, 2016 in The Point Is
Once upon a time, the interface was person-to-person. Now it's person-to-Siri. Does it really matter?

What Is a "Good Enough Mother"?

Being a "good enough mother" involves a balancing act between two equally important things for a child's healthy cognitive development and future happiness.

Autistic vs. Psychotic Spectrums: Overlapping or Opposite?

The first study to consider both cognitive modes proposed by the diametric model finds evidence of overlap and diametric opposition of autistic as opposed to psychotic traits.

The Surprising Psychology of Baby Naming

Your name was, in all likelihood, selected by your parents and you, in turn, will select names for the kids you decide to have. Here's what might influence that decision

Daydream Your Way to Better Grades

Got a final exam tomorrow (or some other memory task)? A good night’s sleep is the best preparation, but what if you don't have time for sleep? New research offers a ray of hope.

"Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?"

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 26, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A new and important book by primatologist Frans de Waal considers the critical questions and data that center on the cognitive lives of a wide variety of nonhuman animals.
Photo courtesy of Dietrich Stout and Emory University

Tool Use and the Emergence of Language

By Laura Otis Ph.D. on April 24, 2016 in Rethinking Thought
Motor and language skills may seem distinct, but in human brains they are closely related.

Why We Hate Not Knowing for Sure

By David DiSalvo on April 24, 2016 in Neuronarrative
We evolved to respond to uncertainty for good reasons, and that response is still strong with us even if the reasons have changed. Uncertainty is stressful like nothing else.

Can Dogs See in Ultraviolet?

Recent research suggests that dogs may see patterns in the ultraviolet that are invisible to humans.

Are Your Cognitive Behaviors Hurting Your Health?

By Nicole Avena Ph.D. on April 18, 2016 in Food Junkie
Is self misperception and mindless eating preventing you from losing weight?

Born Late: The Trouble With Due Dates

By Joshua Gowin Ph.D. on April 18, 2016 in You, Illuminated
Waiting for a baby to be born can be an anxious experience. A classic psychology study explains part of the reason why, and offers clues to ease your worries.

Wait, There’s Spinach in That?

I must kill her buzz whenever I feel like it because it is just simply my right. There’s a big-sister handbook and this rule is the title.
W. R. Klemm

Organize for Better Thinking and Memory

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on April 16, 2016 in Memory Medic
Confused? Organize your thinking by organizing your information.

Is Multiple Choice Testing Immoral?

By Rolf Reber Ph.D. on April 15, 2016 in Critical Feeling
Should multiple choice tests be banned because students learn false facts from wrong response options?

The Data Says "Don't Hug the Dog!"

An analysis of photographs of people affectionately hugging their dogs shows that the majority of the dogs are experiencing stress and anxiety at that moment.

Designing Robots That Avoid The Uncanny Valley

Although we generally prefer robots that have humanlike features, new research suggests that machines that look too much like people are perceived as less inviting and trustworthy.