from month 02/2009

Cross-cultural differences in risk taking

The study of our way of dealing with risky situations (situations that involve potential losses) is one of the cornerstones of the judgment and decision making literature. It is generally taken for granted that the psychological mechanisms underlying our reactions towards risk are universal. As a ...

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10th Anniversary Inter-University Graduate Conference: Culture, Cognition and Construction

The LSE is proud to announce the hosting of the 10th Anniversary Inter-University Graduate Conference: Culture, Cognition and Construction, May 22-23 2009, in collaboration with Cambridge University. The Conference has traditionally supported the integration of diverse viewpoints across the ...

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Paleolithic art: awesome — but not religious

This would seem to be the conclusion from Dale Guthrie’s massive The Nature of Paleolithic Art, perhaps the most comprehensive and rigorous study to date of cave paintings and other Stone Age artefacts. Guthrie’s no-nonsense, scientifically rigorous study shatters our most cherished and ...

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How persistent are intuitive (erroneous) beliefs?

My motivation for posting this blog is simple: I am wondering whether it is possible for humans to ever truly internalize counterintuitive scientific principles like evolutionary theory or Newtonian (let alone Einsteinian) physics. According to developmental psychologists like Elizabeth Spelke ...

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Newborn infants detect the beat in music

In PNAS February 17, 2009 vol. 106 no. 7 2468-2471, "Newborn infants detect the beat in music" by István Winklera, Gábor P. Hádena, Olivia Ladinig, István Sziller and Henkjan Honing   Abstract To shed light on how humans can learn to underst...

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Do economic games tell us something about real behaviours?

The last issue of Current Anthropology reports a research conducted by Polly Wiessner among the Ju/'hoan Bushmen of the Kalahari. Like a recent article by Gurven (see our previous post), this research calls into question the relevance of economic games. Here is the abstract: Experimental ...

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Post-Doc fellowship, philosophy of cognitive science, Oxford

Faculty of Philosophy POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP IN PHILOSOPHY OF COGNITIVE SCIENCE Grade 7, £28,839 - £35,469 per annum Fixed-term for two years from 1 October 2009 complete description here. A fixed-term research and teaching appointment in Philosophy of Cognitive Science ...

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Beta-blocker erases fear response related to bad memories

In the cult movie “The Matrix”, Morpheus offers Neo a choice between 2 pills: Take the red pill, and you got yourself enough trouble to make a whole film trilogy. Take the blue pill, and forget we ever had this conversation”. Scientists at the University of Amsterdam think there ...

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Face value

As Dan was noticing last time, the ability to recognize individuals on the basis of faces (and voices) is quite fascinating. The ability to « read » unfamiliar faces is no less interesting, albeit quite independant : prosopagnosics with impairments in perception of facial ...

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Faculty position, Cognitive Science Program, CEU Budapest

  The Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary, invites applications for an open-rank faculty position to extend its recently established Cognitive Science Program. This new position can be taken in Fall 2009 or later. We are seeking candidates with a PhD in a relevant ...

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Dinosaurs go Machiavellian

Neurophilosophy grabbed the attention of the 10-years-old in me with a post on the brain of dinosaurs. A team of Ohio osteopaths is trying to reconstruct inner soft tissues in dinosaurs' cranium with "sophisticated imaging techniques" (meaning: don't ask) and speculation informed ...

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Spatial orientation among reindeer herders

In Current Anthropology Volume 50, Number 1, February 2009 an article by Kirill V. Istomin and Mark J. Dwyer "Finding the Way: A Critical Discussion of Anthropological Theories of Human Spatial Orientation with Reference to Reindeer Herders of Northeastern Europe and Western Siberia" ...

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