10 Stories

The Bubbles in Seltzer Water Are Tricking You

Study finds people feel more quenched after drinking carbonated water

(Newser) - If you're feeling uncomfortably thirsty, you may want to grab a La Croix, or so suggests a new study that looks at the "Perception of Drinking and Thirst Quenching in Thirsty Adults." Science Daily explains the assumption that rehydration alleviates thirst isn't really true: "In... More »

Your Fear May Make This Spider Look Huge

Arachnophobia may boost people's size estimates

(Newser) - When Noga Cohen, a grad student at Israel's Ben-Gurion University, spotted a spider one day, arachnophobe and fellow student Tali Leibovich freaked out about its size. Cohen thought that odd, because the eight-legged arachnid looked tiny to her, reports Live Science . And so a study was born. They set... More »

For the Obese, Objects Are Closer Than They Appear

The obese see distances as at least 10% greater than those of average weight

(Newser) - The very weight we carry can change our perception of the space around us, reports the Guardian , with obese people seeing distances as being at least 10% greater than those of average weight do, report researchers from Colorado State University Fort Collins. In the journal Acta Psychologica they report that... More »

The Mice Have Spoken: Taste Is an Illusion

Scientists turn sense of taste on and off by manipulating brain cells: study

(Newser) - That bitter tincture a bunch of mice in a Columbia University lab recently gagged on could have been sweet nectar, or even just plain water. Why they took issue with the taste: For a study published in the journal Nature , scientists fiddled with their brain cells to make them think... More »

With Eyes Shut, We Can't Tell Our Toes Apart

Many people can't differentiate in new study

(Newser) - This little piggy went to market—or was it that little piggy? According to researchers at Oxford University, it may be hard for people to tell which toe is which if their eyes are closed and someone's touching their lower digits—a condition called agnosia, AFP reports. In a... More »

The 'Present Moment' Lasts for 15 Seconds

Study reveals fascinating details of perception

(Newser) - If you're aiming to live in the present, you'll want to restrict yourself to the last 15 seconds—because that's how long we perceive the current moment, a study suggests. A group of US researchers say it's not just a split second: Instead, our minds seem... More »

Informal Pics Capture Real You: Study

'Spontaneous' photos reveal personality better than posed shots

(Newser) - The way you pose for photos telegraphs your personality and can even change the way other people interpret it. Photo subjects were rated on 10 personality traits through self-description and interviews with friends, and researchers then let study participants loose. Though self-esteem and extraversion come across easily, traits like likeability... More »

Babies Ready to Rock at Birth

Infants can perceive rhythmic regularity

(Newser) - Babies are born ready to get in the groove, a new study suggests. Researchers played repetitive rock beats for infants, and when “metrically-unimportant” aspects of the music were absent, the babies’ auditory activity didn’t change much. But if there was a shift in the rhythm—for instance, if... More »

Hamas: We're Winning the Sympathy War

Group sees political gains in the face of casualties

(Newser) - The casualties—most of them civilians—are appalling, but Hamas still sees itself coming out the winner in Israel’s devastating Gaza offensive, Time reports. In a war of “perception,” write Jamil Hamad and Tony Karon, Hamas is reaping sympathy from the wide distribution of images of suffering... More »

Sleight of Hand Gets the Academic Treatment

Magicians break code for benefit of science

(Newser) - Magicians got in on the act at this summer’s Magic of Consciousness conference, hobnobbing with—and even tricking—cognitive scientists as they helped dissect their own profession. The New York Times visits Las Vegas, where master illusionists were welcomed for what one scientist calls "their specific interest in... More »

10 Stories