December 2009 Archives

My Experiment With Smart Drugs

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It's not an amphetamine or stimulant, the article explained: it doesn't make you high, or wired. It seems to work by restricting the parts of your brain that make you sluggish or sleepy. No significant negative effects have been discovered. Now students are using it in the run-up to exams as a "smart drug" - a steroid for the mind.


Janine Benyus: Biomimicry in action

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Janine Benyus has a message for inventors: When solving a design problem, look to nature first. There you'll find inspired designs for making things waterproof, aerodynamic, solar-powered and more. Here she reveals dozens of new products that take their cue from nature with spectacular results.

In the late 1960s, psychologist Walter Mischel performed a series of tests on preschoolers referred to as The Marshmallow Tests. Mischel would give a child a single marshmallow, then leave him or her alone in the room with it. Before he departed, he'd make each kid an offer: if they wanted to, they could eat it immediately -- but if they waited for him to return, they'd get two marshmallows. The tests were designed to examine willpower and the mental processes behind delayed gratification. Watching kids go through the experiment can be poignant... and adorable.

Dr. MacLin's Talk on NPR

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Bennington president Liz Coleman delivers a call-to-arms for radical reform in higher education. Bucking the trend to push students toward increasingly narrow areas of study, she proposes a truly cross-disciplinary education -- one that dynamically combines all areas of study to address the great problems of our day.

Why Study the Liberal Arts?

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To be liberally educated is to be transformed. A liberal arts education frees your mind and helps you connect dots you never noticed before, so you can put your own field of study into a broader context. It enables you to form opinions and judgments, rather than defer to an outside authority.

What's a Liberal Arts Education Good For?

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What does liberal learning have to do with the harsh realities that our graduates are going to face after college? The development of the capacities for critical inquiry associated with liberal learning can be enormously practical because they become resources on which to draw for continual learning, for making decisions in one's life, and for making a difference in the world.

On the Purpose of a Liberal Arts Education

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When they first arrive at college, many students are surprised at the general education classes they must take in order to graduate. They wonder why someone who wants to be an accountant or psychologist or television producer should study subjects that have nothing directly to do with those fields. And that is a reasonable question--Why should you study history, literature, philosophy, music, art, or any other subject outside of your major? Why should you study any subject that does not help to train you for a job? Why should you study computer programming when you will never write a program? Why study logic when all you want to do is teach first grade or be a church organist?


Even if you're enrolled in a traditional college, you'll probably have the opportunity to learn in an online environment.  That's because many of today's traditional classrooms are starting to use online instruction to enhance the classroom experience.  This is good news for students, as it gives them access to the benefits of both learning methods.

Monkey to be sent to Mars

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Mr Mikvabia said: "The robot will feed the monkey, will clean up after it. Our task will be to teach the monkey to co-operate with the robot."

Estimates for the length of the journey to Mars vary depending on the type of mission envisioned, but the European Space Agency says its proposal for a round-trip mission would take 520 days, or about a year and a half.

How will the monkey be trained to work with the robot? Are there ethical issues?

A revolutionary new device that reads a person's thoughts and turns them into speech could soon change the lives of paralysed patients around the world.

Users will simply have to think of what they want to say and a voice synthesizer will translate the thoughts into speech almost immediately.

No Einstein in Your Crib? Get a Refund

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Parent alert: the Walt Disney Company is now offering refunds for all those "Baby Einstein" videos that did not make children into geniuses.

They may have been a great electronic baby sitter, but the unusual refunds appear to be a tacit admission that they did not increase infant intellect.

Does an enriched environment make the kids smarter?

Officials Name Teen With No Memory

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(Oct. 25) -- Authorities on Sunday released the name of a woman who turned up in New York this month saying she had no memory of her name or family. Police a day earlier said a CNN viewer in Maryland identified the woman, who was found in Midtown Manhattan on October 9 outside a youth shelter. A photo of Peterson, who had been referred to as Jane Doe, was circulated by police and aired on CNN this week. Authorities didn't release Peterson's name until Sunday.

Do you believe that she really didn't know who she was? Where her other memories intact? based on what we have learned about memory, what type of amnesia might she have had?

Movie Genre Index

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Find movies that relate to your topic in mind such as 3D, Stop Motion, man versus machine, memory loss, virtual reality....

Cell Phones for Class Lessons

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WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. -- Ariana Leonard's high school students shuffled in their seats, eagerly awaiting a cue from their Spanish teacher that the assignment would begin.

"Take out your cell phones," she said in Spanish.


Officer Garcia - Eyewitness Identification

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Ted Talks - How the mind works

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At a conference about ideas, it's important to step back and consider the engine that creates them: the human mind. How exactly does the brain -- a three-pound snarl of electrochemically frantic nervous tissue -- create inspired inventions, the feeling of hunger, the experience of beauty, or the sense of self -- and how reliable is it?



Responsive Face - Interactive

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The eventual goal of this research is to give computer/human interfaces the ability to represent the subtleties we take for granted in face to face communication, so that they can function as agents for an emotional point of view.

Psychological Tutorials and Demonstrations

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Psychological Research on the Net

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An extensive list of experiments on the internet hoster by Dr. Krantz at Hanover College.

Hanover College


Neuroscience Animations

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This is a collection of java animations for various biopsychology or neuroscience phenomena aimed at an undergraduate audience.  Explanatory text will be added as time permits (and there is never enough time).  Currently most of the animations are in the area of sensory physiology.

Cognition Laboratory Experiments

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Here is a small set of experiments designed for my cognitive psychology class.  There are many sets of cognitive psychology experiment available.  What is unique about these is the combination of their being web deliverable and that the parameters of the experiment can be adjusted by you.

Rethinking our Everyday World

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This is a good example how people take the familiar, extract the function, and reinsert form to create some beautiful and insteresting office and household items.


Gallery of Early Computers

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Why are computers important in the area of cognitive psychology?

Here are some images and descriptions of the earliest computers.

The Cognitive Homer

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How do these Homer quotes relate to the underlying cognitive theories (if at all)?

Bingo! I love that game, but I can't remember what to say when you win.

How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain - remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?

You know those balls that they put on car antennas so you can find them in the parking lot? Those should be on every car!

I hope I didn't brain my damage!

I saw this movie about a bus that had to SPEED around a city, keeping its SPEED over fifty, and if its SPEED dropped, it would explode! I think it was called "The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down."

Shut up, brain, or I'll stab you with a Q-Tip!

I am so smart, I am so smart, S M R T, I mean S M A R T.

(More Homer quotes:

A physiological explanation of the déjà vu phenomenon may exist. The optical and neural paths from the two eyes may be slightly different, or the processing of such signals might be delayed in one path due to some variant structure. Or, alternately, a "newer" and "older" brain processing method might be responsible.

This would be a good site to fact check - is the science reported correct and in a correct context?


Activation of the septal region by direct injection of acetylcholine produced local electrical changes in two epileptic patients and a shift in mood from disphoria to contentment and euphoria, usually with concomitant sexual motivation and some "orgastic sensations.



Also see: "The Orgasmic Brain"


Evolution on PBS Anova

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An interactive site on evolution from Darwin to religion.

Singularity Overview

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The Singularity is the technological creation of smarter-than-human intelligence. There are several technologies that are often mentioned as heading in this direction. The most commonly mentioned is probably Artificial Intelligence, but there are others: direct brain-computer interfaces, biological augmentation of the brain, genetic engineering, ultra-high-resolution scans of the brain followed by computer emulation.

Check out thier videos as well.

Logical Fallacies and How to Spot Them

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Logic is important in decision making. This site uses the evolution v creationism debate to discuss logical fallacies.

Learn a Language

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Examine the different mnemonic techniques discusses in your text. Apply that technique to learn a new language. See how many words you can learn in a week. Document your progress.

Free Online Language Courses

Word2Word is pleased to provide these links in the hope of all people developing a better understanding of others through the use of language. We have attempted to place as many online courses at your disposal as possible. These sites contain lessons to help learn one language from another. The courses vary in quality and the quantity of material presented. Please note that some of the courses may require your browser to have the ability to read the language being learned. The links we provide are to free resources.

1910s A. Charrier by collectvelo.

Free Documentaries

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I wasn't sure where this fits. Just like the idea and want to have access to it...

The Brain Observatory

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On December 2nd, 2009 we will begin slicing the brain of the amnesic patient H.M. into giant histological sections. The brain specimen is going to be frozen and sectioned whole during one continuous session that we expect will last approximately 30 hours.


Project H.M.: Latest post

Traditionally, dialectologists have listed three dialect groups in the United States: Northern, Midland, and Southern--although some scholars prefer a two-way classification of simply Northern and Southern, and one may also find significant difference on the boundaries of each area. The map shown above represents a synthesis of various independent field studies this century.


Cognitive Science of Linguistics

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Students studying linguistics and other language sciences for the first time often have misconceptions about what they are about and what they can offer them. They may think that linguists are authorities on what is correct and what is incorrect in a given language.

Extensive web book.


Underwood Typewriter II by geoftheref.