Ir nugalėtojas yra: from 0 to a little Lithuanian in an hour

And the winner is….. in 2014, cognitive scientists from University College London launched an international competition, with a $10,000 prize, to find the best way of tackling a challenge faced by millions every day, namely how best to acquire the vocabulary of a new language. Prof David Shanks and Dr Rosalind Potts from UCL teamed […]

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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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Working memory workout: Training bench presses does not help you throw a ball

Few areas of psychology research are as controversial as ‘brain training’. For the last 10 years, we have seen an influx of apps and games that purport to improve users’ cognitive capabilities. The appeal is simple. Play a game, get smarter. The controversy, as we’ve covered here, is that unbiased research on whether brain training […]

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Sleeping on banara and the fate of banana: consolidation of new words in the lexicon

How do we recognize the written word? While this seems trivially easy to us, we need to remember that words that are quite close perceptually can be drastically different in meaning. Fin and fine, crew and crow, and deck and desk may look nearly the same but their meanings differ considerably. In the sentence “I […]

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When hand waving turn pistons into engines: The role of gestures in creating understanding

Conversations in Milan, Rome, or Madrid seem ever so much more animated and exciting than those polite chats over a tea cozy in Oxford, London, or Wetwang (Yorkshire). At least in part, this may reflect the greater physical rigor that denizens of the Mediterranean exhibit during their speech. As the New York Times put it: […]

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Old Faithful but not El Capitan: multiple-choice pretesting helps learning about cronartium ribicola

Old Faithful…. Hayden Valley…. Mammoth Hot springs. Clearly I am talking about the natural wonders of Yellowstone National Park. Now try and answer the following question: What state does the majority of the park reside in? The choices are: (a) Idaho; (b)South Dakota; (c) Wyoming; (d) Montana. If you correctly picked Wyoming, you clearly know too […]

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