How long is a piece of string? We all know this proverbial and largely rhetorical question. We also probably assume that it has no right answer—indeed, that’s the point of this rhetorical question in the first place, namely to indicate that the issue under consideration does not have a meaningful answer. Enter the venerable BBC. […]
Features and Objects
The own-race bias in face processing is a well-known effect that refers to the fact that people generally find it easier to identify faces of people of their own race. Although the general effect has been known for decades, the source of the bias is not well understood. There are a number of broad explanations […]
Did you meet your partner online? As recently as 2005, few Americans would have answered this question in the affirmative, but according to Pew Research, in 2016 around 15% of Americans reported using online dating sites or mobile dating apps.
We keep track of multiple objects every day. When we drive, we need to keep track of the cyclist near the curb, the dump truck bearing down on us from behind, and the lost tourist in front of us who is signaling turns at random. When we are on the beach on a family outing, […]
How many things can we attend to simultaneously? Imagine being an air traffic controller and you are monitoring O’Hare arrivals on the day before Thanksgiving. How many aircraft can you attend to simultaneously? Or imagine watching a flock of grazing impalas in Krueger National Park or the Serengeti while a pride of lions is casually […]
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 […]
Attention guides human perception, memory, and action in intriguing ways. Some time ago on this blog we learned that visual search can be directed by conceptual information: Saying or reading a word such as “tomato” makes it easier to find red things. We also learned on this blog that looking at a tomato can help you touch […]