Can you train your brain? Or should you go jogging instead?

Does “brain training” make you smarter, more alert, and (cognitively) younger all around? If you pay for brain training software, is that a smart investment? The people who sell this software presumably think so. But not everyone agrees. The websites of the Stanford Center on Longevity and the Max-Planck Institute for Human Development recently posted […]

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I know this guy. But wait, what was his name?

As self-aware beings, we humans seem to be in a constant dance between our information storage faculties and our own assessment of those faculties—I think I remember that familiar-looking person’s name, but how sure am I?  This dance guides our behavior.  Sometimes we act on what we remember (“go say hi!”).  Sometimes we don’t (“I’m […]

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Ready for everything – Accommodating variability in accented speech

In an increasingly globalized world, one of the most important things we have to do is understand people from different parts of the world and the things they say. Not only are there an estimated 5,000 different languages on Earth today, but also the number of non-native speakers of English vastly outnumbers the number of […]

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Optimal learning competition: Mastering Lithuanian in an hour

Psychologists from the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at University College London (UCL) have launched a unique international competition, with a $10,000 prize, to find the best way of tackling a memory problem faced by millions of people every day, namely how best to learn foreign language vocabulary. Dr Rosalind Potts and I have teamed up […]

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Will that depression rub off on me? How beliefs about mental illness influence our interactions

If people’s memory for past events was entirely accurate and if people could only act on things they remembered, our ability to survive in the world would be severely curtailed. This may sound provocative (it is) and counter-intuitive (it is) but it’s also commonly accepted as true. Why? Because if all you remembered about certain […]

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More on social media: Twitter Tech Tips and Facebook Features

In a previous post, Dorothy Bishop explained why it is that research scientists might be interested in using Twitter. I share her views, having been moderately active on Twitter for a few years under my handle @STWorg. I have lost count of the number of really interesting papers and articles that I have come across using Twitter. Although it […]

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Announcing the Psychonomic Society’s Featured Content Section

Thursday, September 25, 2014 The academic publishing business is undergoing a revolutionary transition. Within the last few years, conventional ‘paper’ publishing modes have become nearly obsolete and most scholarly literature is now online. On the face of it, this shift is merely technological. However, the technological shift has been accompanied by substantial cultural shifts towards […]

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