Latest Entries

Operation memory chip

Aided by the U.S. military, memory research has just taken a big step further into science fiction territory. Last week, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) — a division of the U.S. Department of Defense — pledged up to $40 million to the development of electronic devices to help restore memory. You can read more about the research … Continue reading


The mind games of pain

Confession: I love pain. More precisely, my past year of study has left me fascinated by the ways psychological factors influence the experience of physical pain. So I had a field day with a recent Trends in Cognitive Sciences article that examines the ways sensory experiences beyond touch — especially visual and auditory experiences — can ramp up or … Continue reading

essay / research

How cartoons might improve healthcare

Navigating tough conversations that affect mental health: apparently, there’s an app for that. Or actually, at least 15 apps. Kognito just launched an app to help physicians discuss childhood weight gain with families, adding to their collection of simulation apps for healthcare sensitivity training. Called Change Talk, it’s the result of a two-year collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics. You can … Continue reading


Sherlock’s faulty vision?

Clip: In which Sherlock pops his collar.  It’s a bold move, questioning Sherlock Homes. But the famous investigator just begs for scrutiny in the second episode of the BBC’s hit series Sherlock. In the spirit of Dr. John Watson, I’ll enjoy setting him right. Sherlock makes a precise claim relating to cognitive science — specifically visual memory … Continue reading


All about placebos

The placebo effect: It’s both an everyday fact and a giant question mark for medical science. Placebo effects happen whenever people benefit from medical “treatments” that don’t actually target the problematic condition. Think of someone experiencing relief from illness after swallowing a pill-shaped candy. Such cases point to the importance of people’s mental states — … Continue reading