cognitive science

Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>

Smoke Pot When You're Young and Your IQ May Suffer

'It makes them feel better momentarily,' but issues like depression don't improve

(Newser) - Over the years, Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a researcher in Canada studying mood and anxiety disorders and the impact of marijuana, has seen "many youth" smoke pot "heavily." And despite previous research suggesting those who start at a young age are at a higher risk of psychiatric issues... More »

Practice Doesn't Make Perfect When It Comes to Chess

Study suggests that you need to be naturally smart, too

(Newser) - If you were hoping to become a chess master by practicing 10,000 hours, think again. Contrary to the theory that expertise at chess is based on intensive training, researchers at the University of Michigan have concluded based on a meta-analysis of 19 studies that hard work is important but... More »

Scientists Create Stoner Rats

THC reduces their 'willingness to exert cognitive effort,' even for a larger reward

(Newser) - Scientists, apparently bored with pert, productive rats, added a little marijuana to the equation and found that, as many a teenager can tell you, laziness ensued. So report researchers at the University of British Columbia in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience after concluding that male lab rats given TCH... More »

Scientists: We May Be Able to Alter Human Intelligence

There are 2 gene networks perhaps controlled by master 'switches': researchers

(Newser) - Researchers from London's Imperial College think they've found two networks of genes, possibly controlled by a master system, that control cognitive functions—a find that may allow them to modify human intelligence down the line, the Guardian reports. In a study published in Nature Neuroscience , scientists say these... More »

Some People Are Born Without a 'Mind's Eye'

Aphantasia impairs one's ability to visualize

(Newser) - When science journalist Carl Zimmer wrote a 2010 article in Discover magazine about English neurologist Adam Zeman's case study of a man who couldn't visualize people or things, the professor was approached by 21 people who saw themselves in the article and wanted to learn more. Now Zeman... More »

Why Parents Should Put a Toy Chicken on Their Heads

Kids can learn the difference between joking and pretending by 16 months

(Newser) - Parents who joke and pretend with their toddlers are doing more than just play, they're teaching them important life skills, researchers from the University of Sheffield report in a new study in Cognitive Science . In fact kids as young as 16 months use cues from their parents to pick... More »

How Scientists Know What Music You Like

Cognitive style is a major predictor of musical taste

(Newser) - Are you an empathizer, preferring to focus on the emotions of those around you, or a systemizer, interested in the patterns and rules of the world? How you answer that question predicts what style of music you like, report University of Cambridge psychologists in the journal PLoS ONE . In fact,... More »

Toddlers' Sense of Justice Surprises Researchers

They're more interested in making things right than punishing wrongdoers

(Newser) - Preschool justice may be more developed than previously thought. So finds new research published in the journal Current Biology , where 3- and 5-year-olds observed two of four different scenes involving puppets, toys, and cookies. It turns out that not only did the kids sort out pretty quickly whether the "... More »

Older Adults Think Better in the Morning

People 60 to 82 did best on cognitive tasks before 10:30am

(Newser) - Older adults who want to take a crack at the Sunday Times crossword or try a Food Network recipe may want to do it first thing in the morning. A small study by Canadian researchers and published in the journal Psychology and Aging found that adults between the ages of... More »

Why Overheard Calls Are So Annoying

Our brains hate hearing 'halfalogues'

(Newser) - Does hearing people blab away on their cell phones make you want to scream? You're not alone—and now scientists know why. Hearing someone talk on his phone is, in fact, more annoying than overhearing a conversation, according to new study published in Psychological Science . Turns out our brains can't... More »

Older Women's Memory Better Than Men's

50-year old women trump men at verbal recall, research shows

(Newser) - A middle-aged woman may have a better memory than a middle-aged man, a new study suggests. UK researchers asked men and women aged 50 to remember 10 words and to recall them two minutes and five minutes later. Women scored 5% higher than men, on average, in the first test... More »

Real 'Thinking Cap' May Not Be So Far Off

Magnetic pulse boosts learning, study shows; headgear next?

(Newser) - A magnetic pulse directed at a certain area of the brain may enhance learning and memory, the Telegraph reports. Canadian researchers subjected volunteers to a test that required they track a dot moving on a computer screen with a joystick, and volunteers who received stimulation fared much better. More »

Poor Kids' Stress Harms the Brain, Chance of Success

Elevated stress hormones early can lead to lack of working memory later

(Newser) - Chronic stress caused by growing up poor appears to impair a developing child’s working memory, the Washington Post reports, pointing to another link between childhood poverty and lessened long-term success. While environmental and experiential factors—such as having fewer toys and more exposure to lead—likely affect the achievement... More »

Study Links Video Games to Improved Vision

Action games improve optics and brain's response

(Newser) - Adults can apparently improve their eyesight by playing action video games, a treatment less painful—for some, at least—than corrective lenses or eye surgery, according to researchers. Scientists compared study subjects who played the action games Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament 2004 to a group who played the... More »

Long Work Hours Weaken Mental Skills

Putting in 55 or more hours per week hurts memory, reasoning

(Newser) - Working long hours may weaken mental skills, the BBC reports. Researchers administered a series of reasoning and memory tests to 2,214 British civil servants and found that those working more than 55 hours a week did significantly worse than those who worked around 40. The effect was cumulative, meaning... More »

Single Nerve Cell Can Hold a Memory: Study

New findings may shed light on addiction, memory disorders

(Newser) - Individual neurons in the brain can hang on to memories for a minute or longer, a new study finds. Something like a computer’s temporary random access memory (RAM), this working memory is what allows you to keep a phone number in your head for a few seconds, then forget... More »

Brain Looks Beyond Eyes to Recognize Faces: Scientists

New research shows that eyebrows, noses are key to distinguishing people

(Newser) - Want to make yourself hard to recognize? Get a nose job and shave your eyebrows, say facial-recognition experts, who have yet to fully understand—or agree upon—how we “see” or “read” faces. Psychologists and neuroscientists, fueled by the need to quickly and correctly identify people in the... More »

Researchers Push 'Brain Steroids' for All

Future drugs could boost job, classroom performance

(Newser) - Healthy adults should be able to take brain-boosting drugs for a competitive advantage at work or on an exam, researchers say in a provocative paper. Seven authors say ethical questions about cognitive-enhancement pills are both warranted and imminent, and that such medicinal aid is no less moral than caffeine consumption,... More »

'Number Sense' Predicts Math Success: Study

Ability to guess group size linked to algebra, calculus skill

(Newser) - The skill of estimating group size at a glance is directly linked to success in higher forms of math like algebra and calculus, reports the Washington Post. A new study found that students with better “number sense”—the ability to quickly and accurately guess numbers in a group—... More »

It's Official: Bikinis Make Men Stupid

Scientists say sex drive trumps common sense

(Newser) - Men make dumb decisions when ogling bikini-clad beauties—conventional wisdom, sure, but now there's some science behind it. Belgian researchers found that men bombarded with sexy images have a definite drop-off in cognitive skills when compared with those who gaze at landscapes, reports MSNBC. The experiment supports earlier findings that... More »

Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>