Category Archives: Cognitive Science

Daydream Believer

Today’s NY Times describes research (funded by Eli Lilly of course) that identifies a condition called Sluggish Cognitive Tempo.  SCT is supposedly characterized by “lethargy, daydreaming, and slow mental processing.” The research suggests (no surprise) that drugs might be useful … Continue reading

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The Greatest Psychologist

Drum roll please…..and the winner is….. Charles Darwin! This is a fascinating argument, which I have seen made implicitly but never as directly and as comprehensively as this. After all, many of the pioneers of psychology and psychiatry (William … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Cognitive Science, Ethology, Nature of science | 1 Comment

Defining normal

Two interesting articles in the 6 February 2013 of the New York Times raise the question of how we categorize people according to their position on the spectrum of human variation. First, in The Stone series, philosopher Gary Gutting talks … Continue reading

Posted in Cognitive Science, Environment, Medicine | Leave a comment


My friend and colleague Rob Pennock likes to illustrate the concept of representation, which is essential for understanding both cognition and the scientific method, using maps. One thing (for example a mental image of one’s grandmother or a scientific model … Continue reading

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Embodied intelligence in slime molds…

More on this later: Slime molds remember where they’ve been using the slime they leave behind.  Ariadne’s thread, Hansel’s bread crumb, Physarum‘s slime.

Posted in Cognitive Science, Ethology, Evolution | Leave a comment

Placebo effects

Dumbo and Timothy Mouse-The Magic Feather I’m fascinated by placebo effects. Here are two recent topics that illustrate the power of placebo effects, and the challenge of interpreting whether drugs have the effects that are meant to have (over and … Continue reading

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