Finding the Waldolance among sedans: Verbal cues can guide search for societally important vehicles

Quick! Find the image on the left among the images on the right in the figure below. This basic task—visual search—has been a staple of the vision scientist’s toolkit for decades. Even if one has no interest in visual search itself, the basic paradigm of searching for a target among an array of images is […]

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Online data collection: The good, the better, and the advantages

This is the first in a series of posts on online data-collection. The popularity of collecting behavioral data online continues to rise. The reasons are many: ease of getting large numbers of participants, relatively low cost, and access to a more diverse population. Early concerns that online data collection is inherently unreliable are gradually evaporating, […]

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A little explanation goes a long way (and further than facts)

Many of our beliefs are factually wrong. For example, according to the General Social Survey, roughly 20% of Americans polled in 2014 think that the Sun revolves around the Earth. Although such incorrect beliefs are a justified source of dismay to educators and scientists, they have little bearing on our everyday life. A sunset would […]

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When Wednesday is yellow and a blinking cursor ticks loudly: Synesthesia and associative learning

What color is Wednesday? If the answer is obvious to you, you might have a form of synesthesia in which sequences such as numbers, days of the week, and months of the year are perceived as having colors (or else you might be from Thailand). Initially, one may well be skeptical on being told that […]

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Zombie apocalypse? Or Zombie bigger bang for the cue?

One of the most hair-raising thought experiments in philosophy of mind is the philosophical zombie, a being that is physically and behaviorally identical to a normal human, but is not conscious of having any mental states, like the fellow on the right in the figure below.     The existence of such a being provides […]

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#symbodiment should be #symbodimeaning: Do we need concepts?

How are the meanings of words, events, and objects represented and organized in the brain? This question, perhaps more than any other in the field, probes some of the deepest and most foundational puzzles regarding the structure of the mind and brain. …so begins Mahon and Hickok’s introduction to this collection of papers “on issues of fundamental significance to […]

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Personality and attention: birds of a feather scoping the return

Most would agree that that taking an interdisciplinary approach to studying the mind and brain is a necessity. Yet, as practicing scientists we often find ourselves in decidedly disciplinary bubbles: reading specific journals, and relying on theoretical constructs and methods that we are most familiar with. In a new study published in Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, Kristin Wilson […]

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Your car tells you what to see: Driving affects distance judgments

One of the most important functions of perception is to help organisms navigate through their environments. Different animals navigate through very different environments: think of birds flying at thousands of feet above the ground, bats catching moths in pitch darkness mid-flight, whales crossing entire oceans, bees finding nectar-rich flowers, monkeys scampering through dense tree foliage. […]

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