Laura’s Psychology Blog

One Professor’s Observations of the World of Psychology….   

June 23, 2012

readings in psychology for 23 june 2012 @PsychScience

Here is what I am reading today:

Concentrating closely on a conversation can leave us ‘deaf’ to other sounds, reveals Dr Polly Dalton from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London.

“Yogi Bear always claimed that he was smarter than the average bear, but the average bear appears to be smarter than once thought. Psychologists Jennifer Vonk of Oakland University and Michael J. Beran of Georgia State University have taken a testing methodology commonly used for primates and shown not only that the methodology can be more widely used, but also that bears can distinguish among differing numerosities.”

“Babies were thought to begin seeing in stereo at about four months after their due date. They actually learn to do it four months after they are exposed to light, even if they are born early.

Ilona Kovács at Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Hungary and her colleagues gave 15 premature and 15 full-term babies goggles that filtered out red or green light. Once a month for eight months, the team sat the babies in a dark room and got them to stare at patterns of dots on a screen. The goggles made the dots invisible unless viewed in 3D.”

“A phenomenon known as the sardine run — involving millions of the small fish swimming in formation as part of their annual migration — may be one of the most alluring spectacles of the marine universe, and it was captured beautifully by renowned wildlife photographers Chris and Monique Fallows during their recent expedition off the Wild Coast region of South Africa (see the following images).”

“…The raw fMRI data will likely show an eruption of signals. “You see this frothing cauldron with this little blip of extra activity,” says computer scientist Francisco Pereira, a researcher at Princeton University…”

“Do animals other than humans have a sense of humor? Perhaps in some ways, yes. But in other ways there are likely uniquely human properties to such emotions. Aside from anecdotes, we know very little about nonhuman primate laughter and humor, but some of the most significant findings to emerge in comparative science over the past decade have involved the unexpected discovery that rats—particularly juvenile rats—laugh. That’s right: rats laugh. At least, that’s the unflinching argument being made by researcher Jaak Panksepp, who published a remarkable, and rather heated, position paper on the subject in Behavioural Brain Research.”

 

 

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