Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences
Psycholinguistics at UMASS
MIT Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Tufts Center for Cognitive Studies
Language Experiments on the Web
Washington University Memory and Cognition Lab
NASA’s Cognition Lab
Link to Links on Memory and Cognition
Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins
Psycholinguistics at the University of York
Advances in Cognitive Psychology (online journal)
Institute of Cognitive Science at University of Colorado
UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
Cognitive Science Celebrities! Not quite TMZ, but....
Cognitive Neuroscience Society
Cognitive Science Society
Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences at Brown
CogWeb- Cultural Cognitive Studies
Cognitive Science at UCLA
Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Department of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at University of Denver
Cognitive Psychology at Yale
Monday, November 24, 2008
Recently, I was held up at gunpoint, and having survived the event, it gave me a first hand look at how you remember aspects of a traumatic event.
This article talks about how innacurate memories that are "recovered" after years of not remembering are. I was trying to find an article that focused on how you alter memories directly after the event, because that is something I felt like I was semiconciously doing.
At the police station, I was able to depict the guy's clothes, hat and general build and shape exactly since I have a fairly photographic memory for everything but faces, but having to depict the gun, I started to depict it as a silver and black thing that I felt like I remembered exactly, until I realized, I molded the memory of a tv show I watched the week before with the actual memory of the gun.
I realized when I was depicting the weapon, I was picturing the scene of the movie I was watching pasted into my hallway with the clothes the guy was wearing, but the scene was not my own and I have absolutely no memory of the actual gun that was in my face.
I think that is a way I rationalized the event and tried to separate that from myself. The most traumatic thing, I completely repressed while replacing it with a fictional more distant memory.
I wonder if I had not taken this class before the event, would I have noticed that my memory was shifting as it was or would I have accepted the movie scene as what really happened.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
After reading the assigned article on creativity, I decided to look for something related online. The link above goes to a little panel of people talking about creativity. One thing I found interesting in both articles is the relationship of school and creativity. Robert Epstein says that part of our creativity gets killed off in first grade, because we are taught so much, tests are so emphasized, and we are basically socialized to pay attention and stop day dreaming. I think this is very true, I mean our schools are based on a model from the 19th century when school were meant to produce good little factory workers who could be quiet and follow instructions. Epstein adds that knowledge stimulates creativity, the problem is that in addition there needs to be time for children to be more free in generating ideas. The Sternberg article on creativity talked about different learning methods, based on either memory, analysis, creativity, or practicality, and how students who are predisposed to learn better in the latter two ways often do poorly in school because the former two methods are so highly regarded. Sternberg also talked about how having creative ideas is not enough, one needs to know how to use them and persuade others that the ideas are good.
Another thing I found interesting is the idea that like intelligence, creativity is something that increases when it is exercised. Epstein has four "skill sets" for creative expression: capturing, which is being able to gather all the random creative ideas you have; challenging, because tough situations open up multiple solutions; broadening, which means learning more things so there are greater possibilites to create from; and surrounding, which is managing your enviroment so that it stimulates creativity.
Oh, and the idea of the myth of creativity was pretty interesting, especially considering we're all artists of one sort or another here. Artists are apprenetly viewed as "weird" and "crazy" and "drug-addicts" which is negative, but at the same time artists are held up as possessing some magical "gift." This can put off some people from being more creative or intimate them to think they can't be creative.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
I looked up Project Zero and found that it is a research project trying to study and improve children’s learning in and through the arts. They are trying to understand the cognitive functions of learning founded by Harvard Graduate School of Education. Project Zero is interested in teaching children more of the arts to greaten their strengths in creative thinking and problem solving. The founder is named Nelson Goodman and was given the name “Zero” because it was recently discovered in the field. Project Zero’s goal is to understand the processes of learning in the arts and other areas of study.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Scientific American Mind
Duke University Cognitive Psychology Lab
Tversky at Stanford University
Project Zero at Havard (Multiple Intelligence)
Brandeis Memory and Cognition Lab
University of Georgia Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab
Princeton Center of Mind, Brain and Behavior
The Ergonomics Society
The Cognitive Science Society
UCSC Perceptual Science Lab
Decision Processes at Penn State
Society for Judgement and Decision Making
Cognitive Science Starter Kit of Reading
The SAT: Aptitude or Demographics?
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
This week I found an article in the New York Times from 2007 that reported on a story of a 6 week old baby, named Crown Shakur, who died of starvation due to his parents’ insistence on raising him vegan. Shakur’s parents who live in Atlanta were being convicted of involuntary manslaughter of their son who weighed a mere 3.5 pounds at the time of his death. I began wondering if there was any research in the field of cognitive psychology that questions if the development of an infant’s brain is affected by a vegan diet. I searched around the net for a while and found a few blogs and such that argued that the lack of B-12 in a vegan baby’s diet had a negative effect of its brain development. However, for the most part I found no real credible sources on the matter.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I found an interesting post on a non-cognitive psychology blog about embarrassment, which I think is related to the field of cognitive psychology. It explains that embarrassment is a non-desirable feeling that in many cases (or most cases) prevents people from many opportunities such as scared to ask a cute guy out because of fear of embarrassment of rejection, etc. The irony of it is that we would be regretful if we don't act on certain things in fear of embarrassment, but we would never ever regret feeling embarrassed. The feeling is not a natural response, but it is in how we react to awkward situations. Our reaction is everything. When people look at you when you do something "embarrassing", they are not looking because of what you did, but they are looking at how you are responding to what you did. People do not care about what you did anyway, and therefore you should not keep this feeling of embarrassment for a long time.
The post suggests some preventions to feeling embarrassed, such as thinking that "Someday I'm going to be dead", or think to "open your mind, open your life". I think this post is very interesting and very true, but I believe the best way to prevent feeling too embarrassed when faced in an embarrassing situation is to laugh it off or make a joke about it.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I came across this article about whether or not parents should let their kids and toddlers watch TV. By letting toddlers watch TV, parents teach kids that they must be entertained at all times, and this might increases the likelihood of shortening their attention spans and making it harder for them later on in their lives to focus on their school work and other works. Categories of TV programs have effects on the likelihood of them developing attention problems as well. Toddlers aged 0 - 36 months who watch educational programs, such as Sesame Street and Barney, are less likely to develop attention problem than toddlers who watch non-violent programs such as Rugrat, and violent programs such as Power Ranger. However, it is the other way around for kids ages 4-5. Kids ages 4-5 are more likely to develop attention problems when they watch educational programs than violent programs. I find this hard to believe.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
He also mentions that researchers from the University of Calgary tested a group of monkeys to see if the color monkeys were better at hunting than those who have normal vision. It is revealed in the study that the colorblind monkeys were indeed better at hunting. It is believed that, “The monkey’s without color vision caught more insects, presumably because they could see through the insects camouflage.”
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
You have probably seen a "spinning" woman illusion online somewhere before (go to the link if you haven't). They say that if you see her spinning clockwise, then you're right-handed, and if you see her spinning counter-clockwise, then you are left-handed. That is not necessarily true. Some people can see her spinning both ways, and some can only see her spinning in one way. This blog/article has asked over 1,600 readers to answer what they see. Roughly 2/3 of the people see her as spinning clockwise, and the rest, counter-clockwise, and 2/3 of them can see the reverse spinning direction, as well. This may have been because it is less natural to see her spinning counter-clockwise, and therefore, people who first saw her spinning in the "natural" way (clockwise), is less likely to be able to reverse her spinning direction.
This blog also says that those people who can reverse the spinning woman are significantly more likely to be able to see 3D Magic Eye illusions (see link), and that there might be a relationship between how much time you spend gaming and your ability to perceive the illusions. I have never been able to see a magic eye illusion and had not really been able to reverse the spinning woman all my life when everyone around me could. I'm hoping that it is mainly because I do not play games, not any other reasons.
Our project will entail discerning the way that color is understood by members of different majors at pratt and by members of the color normal and color blind communities (if colorblind testsubjects can be found).
We will replicate the Sloan acromatopsia card test used by Oliver Sacks in The Island of the Colorblind: which are "each of these cards has a range of grey squares which vary only in tone, progressing from a very light grey to a very dark grey, almost black. Each square has a hole cut out in the center and if , a piece of colored paper is placed behind these, one of the squares will be a match for the color, they will be an equal density.
This test is really easy for fully colorblind people as they can only see the value, but I thought it would be interesting to test color normal students to test their accuity in being able to match a bright color to a grey of the same value.
We are also looking into performing another experiment seeing if students can match a color chip to its duplicate on a wall of different color and value chips, similar to a color go fish.
We will then separate the subjects by major and concentration and age and gender as well as ethnicity and primary language and color normality versus colorblindness to see the effects of each of these demographics on the test results.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
The article included three charts which compared the use of both deictic and representational gestures among Italian children and American children. The results suggested that American children used more deictic gestures, Italian children used representational gestures dramatically more than American children, and American children had drastically larger number of spoken words.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Cognitive dissonance is the feeling one gets when one does something that contradicts his or her beliefs. It can be a strong and distasteful feeling, and researchers have found that it can affect a person's judgment.
Funnily enough, this was tested by having people dress up as Carmen Miranda, the Chiquita banana lady. In a grass skirt, coconut bra, and fruit-laden headdress, subjects walked in broad daylight across a campus quad, then asked to estimate the distance they traveled. Some of the subjects were made to believe they had a choice in wearing the costume or doing some unnamed embarrassing thing, while others were given no choice. There was also a control group who didn't wear the costume at all.
Those who chose to wear the outfit tended to estimate the distance much shorter than those who were forced to wear it. Those not in outfits estimated right in the middle of the other two. The cognitive dissonance of having to dress up in an embarrassing costume caused the brain to judge distance longer than if there was a choice or if there was no outfit. Perhaps this is because the uneasy feeling made people feel like time was dragging on, so the distance seemed longer. Or perhaps because those subjects felt put-upon, they imagined the task to be harder and the embarrassment longer lasting. At any rate, there is a definite indication that cognitive dissonance affects the judgment of the physical world.