from month 01/2009

How automatic are human social skills?

This January in Biology and Philosophy, philosopher Mitch Parsell questions the view that some parts of social cognition, like face-perception or gaze-following, are independent mechanisms working independently from other cognitive processes - what philosophers call "informational encapsulat...

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Are dogs (and chimps) really inequity-averse?

In a recent article, New-York Times op-ed columnist Gail Collins reports on an experiment published in PNAS about a sense of fairness among dogs. "Folks at the University of Vienna conducted a test in which dogs were asked to shake hands over and over and over again. If you have any ...

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Cross-cultural variation of speech-accompanying gesture

Of cognition-and-culture interest: An article entitled "Cross-cultural variation of speech-accompanying gesture: A review" by Sotaro Kita in: Language and Cognitive Processes, Volume 24, Issue 2 February 2009 , pages 145 - 167. Abstract: This article reviews the literature on ...

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Presidential OCD ?

President Obama having to retake the presidential oath because a single word was out of sequence when he was sworn in last Tuesday, January 20, 2009, made me thing of the relation between ritual and Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviour (OCD), as suggested most notably by Pascal Boyer and Pierre ...

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Cultural differences in scene perception?

In The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Volume 62, Issue 2 February 2009 , pages 276 - 285 "Scene perception and memory revealed by eye movements and receiver-operating characteristic analyses: Does a cultural difference truly exist?" Authors: Kris Evans,  Caren M. ...

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Individual recognition in horses, monkeys and humans

In the last issue of PNAS (January 20, 2009; 106 (3)), there is an article on "Cross-modal individual recognition in domestic horses (Equus caballus)" by Leanne Proops, Karen McComb and David Reby. Here is the abstract: "Individual recognition is considered a complex process ...

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Why does sneezing elicit blessing?

I have long been puzzled by the title question, and have never come across a satisfactory answer. So, let me share the puzzle and raise a few more specific questions:       A) Ethnographic questions : Examples of different blessing elicited by sneezing (e.g., among the ...

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Descartes’ skull

(This post was writtten last week - see post-scriptum) In these times of financial and social crisis, the French government is at work. On January the 12th, an interministerial commission will be gathered in Matignon by French Prime Minister François Fillon, and presided by his assistant ...

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Workshop on Pragmatic Development

Workshop on Pragmatic Development, 22, April 2009, Lyon, France. Call for Posters. Deadline: 13, February   How children come to understand and produce gestures and speech in context-specific ways is an issue addressed from different perspectives in a number of fields. The aim of the ...

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Are humans intuitive dualists? Mitch Hodge replies.

Last October, a post by Paulo Sousa based upon a paper by Mitch Hodge generated much discussion on this blog. Mitch Hodge has kindly replied to the critics. I made it an independent post to avoid the comments thread to Paulo's post becoming too bulky _ Olivier. I want to begin by apologizing ...

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Cross-cultural investigation of Smileys

This post, written by Karim N'Diaye, was first published in 2006 on the Alphapsy blog. I republish it here because it is relevant to the discussion I was having with Helen de Cruz, on the cultural specificity of cartoon faces. Below the posts are some comments posted on the Alphapsy blog in ...

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Cultures and Cognition in Evolution. Young researchers conference in cognitive science, Montréal, Ju

Changing Minds: Cultures and Cognition in Evolution - Cognitio 2009 Young researchers conference in cognitive science Montréal, June 4th, 5th & 6th 2009 The goal of this conference is to show current (theoretical and empirical) trends in cognitive science, and to allow academic ...

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