How Bread Makes You Better and Florida Makes You Slower

According to a new(ish) study, nice smells make us nice people.

I caught wind of this story (excuse the pun) on the radio the other day and thought I’d do a bit of background to find out what the research is about. I found this article in the Daily Mail, an infamously crap source of science news, but more importantly I located the paper(1).

OK so first off, this has nothing to do with bread! Every news article, radio spot or anything makes mention of bread. The paper only uses it as an example, preferring the phrase ‘ambient odour’ or ‘pleasant scent’. Many would say bread is included in this category, the primary investigator agrees. However this could also include perfumes and many other forms of cooking.

The second point I would like to make is that this paper focuses on what some people would call ‘priming’. This is where your subconscious mind takes in information which then affects your future choices without you realising. This is more or less the way subliminal advertising and product placement works. To be fair, the papers may as well have (more…)

Believing is Not Seeing: Visual Science and Reality part 2

Let’s get this straight from the off. You don’t see nearly as much as you think you do. In fact you barely see anything. You may think this is an exaggeration but I’m being serious. And I’ll explain why.

Before we start you should read the first post in this series.

Firstly you don’t see smooth motions in the world around you. The neurons in your eyes can’t work that fast (more…)

Believing is Not Seeing: Visual Science and Reality part 1

I’ve had to break this post down into two posts as it got a bit long.

So before I start on this bit I want everyone reading to take part in a very small experiment:

Put a hand over your left eye so you can’t see anything with it. Now lean back from the computer screen and stare at the cross on the left in the image below.

As you stare at the cross, move closer to the image (you can get pretty close).


Sight: The Science of Vision

Before I start I’m going to give you a couple of references to some relevant posts I have already made/reblogged:

The basics of sensory science

The causes of sensation – very relevant to this post

A reblogged think on colours and some other issues

If anyone still wants to they can vote in the poll on the sidebar!

OK let’s get started. (more…)

The Skin is Also a Map

I was originally going to start posting on the actual senses with vision, but this is a far better way to go about it!

I’ve had a couple comments on patterns of activity defining the senses. I’m going to use our sense of touch to point out that it isn’t really the patterns of activity that define a sense, but where that activity comes from, and where it goes to.

He's not a freak! He's a Homunculus...


The Importance Of Change

How would you define time?

Google defines it as (more…)