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Crowdsourcing with mobile apps brings 'big data' to psychological research

A fast-paced game app where players pretend they are baggage screening officers operating airport x-ray scanners has provided researchers with billions of pieces of data in record time, according to an article published by the American Psychological Association.

Learning: Actively Recalling Information from Memory Beats Elaborate Study Methods

ScienceDaily (Jan. 21, 2011) — Put down those science books and work at recalling information from memory. That's the shorthand take away message of new research from Purdue University that says practicing memory retrieval boosts science learning far better than elaborate study methods. "Our view is that learning is not about studying or getting knowledge 'in memory,'" said Purdue psychology professor Jeffrey Karpicke, the lead investigator for the study that appears January 20 in the journal Science. "Learning is about retrieving.

Decision 'cascades' in social networks

How do people in a social network behave? How are opinions, decisions and behaviors of individuals influenced by their online networks? Can the application of math help answer these questions?

Pretty woman, dumb man…

Johan Karremans couldn’t remember his own address when an attractive lady asked him at the end of a conversation. This Dutch psychologist had been so busy trying to impress her that his cognitive abilities were temporary exhausted. He decided to investigate this more closely and discovered man can’t think optimally after a conversation with a woman. The prettier the woman, the stronger the effect. With women this effect did not appear.

Right-Handed and Left-Handed People Do Not See the Same Bright Side of Things

ScienceDaily (Feb. 2, 2010) — Despite the common association of "right" with life, correctness, positiveness and good things, and "left" with death, clumsiness, negativity and bad things, recent research shows that most left-handed people hold the opposite association. Thus, left-handers become an interesting case in which conceptual associations as a result of a sensory-motor experience, and conceptual associations that rely on linguistic and cultural norms, are contradictory.

What's Your Name Again? Lack of Interest, Not Brain's Ability, May Be Why We Forget

(ScienceDaily) Most of us have experienced it. You are introduced to someone, only to forget his or her name within seconds. You rack your brain trying to remember, but can't seem to even come up with the first letter. Then you get frustrated and think, "Why is it so hard for me to remember names?"

Computer games and learning handbook

(Future Lab) Aimed at teachers and those interested in using games with an educational intent, this handbook aims to provide some useful anchoring points for educators to make sense of the area and to develop practical approaches to the use of computer games as a medium for learning.

Key Molecules Involved in Forming Long-Term Memories Discovered

ScienceDaily (Sep. 10, 2012) — How does one's experience of an event get translated into a memory that can be accessed months, even years later? A team led by University of Pennsylvania scientists has come closer to answering that question, identifying key molecules that help convert short-term memories into long-term ones. These proteins may offer a target for drugs that can enhance memory, alleviating some of the cognitive symptoms that characterize conditions including schizophrenia, depression and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

Eat an Egg and Stay Alert

(eggs.org.nz) New research at Cambridge University in the UK has found that going to work on an egg may be sound advice! Scientists there have discovered that egg proteins help people stay awake and alert during the working day.

The study, published in a recent issue of the journal Neuron, suggests that specialised cells in the brain are able to translate different diets into different patterns of activity – and also measure dietary balance. The research team focused on cells called orexin-hypocretin neurons that transmit signals for wakefulness and energy.

Testing Can Be Useful for Students and Teachers, Promoting Long-Term Learning

(Science Daily) Pop quiz! Tests are good for: (a) Assessing what you’ve learned; (b) Learning new information; (c) a & b; (d) None of the above.

The correct answer?

According to research from psychological science, it’s both (a) and (b) – while testing can be useful as an assessment tool, the actual process of taking a test can also help us to learn and retain new information over the long term and apply it across different contexts.

Endless Original Music: Computer Program Creates Music Based On Emotions

(Science Daily) A group of researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) has developed Inmamusys, a software programme that can create music in response to emotions that arise in the listener. By using Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques, the programme means that original, copyright-free and emotion-inspiring music can be played continuously.

Now the Mobile Phone Goes Emotional

(Science Daily) ForcePhone is a mobile synchronous haptic communication system. During phone calls, users can squeeze the side of the device and the pressure level is mapped to vibrations on the recipient?s device. Computer scientists from University of Helsinki indicate that an additional haptic channel of communication can be integrated into mobile phone calls using a pressure to vibrotactile mapping with local and remote feedback. The pressure/vibrotactile messages supported by ForcePhone are called pressages.

Scientists Discover Ways to Optimize Light Sources for Vision: Tuning Lighting Devices Could Save Billions

(ScienceDaily)  Vision researchers at Barrow Neurological Institute have made a groundbreaking discovery into the optimization of light sources to human vision. By tuning lighting devices to work more efficiently with the human brain, the researchers believe billions of dollars in energy costs could be saved.

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