cognition

Pepi Nana stirs, and sits up in bed. “Tiddle toddle, tiddle toddle,” she says, flapping her arms, and blinking a pair of enormous round eyes. She walks over to the desk, sits down, and, using the oversized pencil in her front pocket, scribbles a letter to the Moon. “Tiddle toddle, please come to tea, and… Read more

It’s not something most Harvard faculty spend much time contemplating, but Tomer Ullman likes to think about magic. In particular, he likes to think about whether it would be harder to levitate a frog or turn it to stone. And if you’re thinking the answer is obvious (turning it to stone, right?), Ullman says that’s… Read more

Suppose I give you the name of a body part, and ask you to list its main uses: I say legs, you say walking and running; I say ears, you say hearing. And if I say the brain? Well, that’s a no-brainer (so to speak); obviously the brain is for thinking. Of course, it does… Read more

Humans can perform a vast array of mental operations and adjust their behavioral responses based on external instructions and internal beliefs. For example, to tap your feet to a musical beat, your brain has to process the incoming sound and also use your internal knowledge of how the song goes. MIT neuroscientists have now identified… Read more

Brain functions that give you confidence that you did see what you just saw are described in a new study from psychologists at the Georgia Institute of Technology. There’s a long way to go before neuroscience can fathom the vastness of human consciousness, but these researchers were fascinated to observe how two regions of the… Read more