2 eyes, 4 targets, and 8 moving disks: Lagging gazes in object tracking

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, […]

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Fortifying memory after encoding: Internal and external attention and visual short-term memory

You are in the cognitive laboratory and you focus on the screen in front of you. A few color patches are flashed for 1/10th of a second, and 2 seconds later another array of patches appears that stays on the screen until you respond. Your task is to decide whether any one of the patches […]

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Absolutely not absolute pitch perception: but even people without perfect pitch can hear off notes

Most of us can’t tell one musical note from another – but is it because we can’t really hear the difference, or because our knowledge of musical structure is implicit? Recent evidence suggests that we can take advantage of a lifetime of experience with musical categories to identify whether a musical note sounds wrong. Being […]

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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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Don’t think about the pink elephant you are reaching for: automaticity of reading and arm movements

Imagine your daily commute. Think about 2+2. Don’t picture pink elephants. These examples illustrate the automaticity of cognition. On highly familiar routes, people habitually and automatically navigate, sometimes taking a familiar route absent-mindedly even when they needed to run an errand some place else. I’d be willing to bet that most people reading this couldn’t […]

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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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