“We’ve known for a while that we use gestures to add information to a conversation even when we’re not entirely clear how that information relates to what we’re saying,” (…) “We asked if the reverse could be true; if actively [...]
Why Barbie feels heavier than Ken: The influence of size-based expectancies and social cues on the illusory perception of weight (doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2007.05.009):
In order to examine the relative influence of size-based expectancies and social cues on the perceived weight of objects, two studies were performed, using equally weighing dolls differing in sex-related and age-related vulnerability [...]
One of the big debates in evolution has been about the diversification of life on earth and how rapidly this occured. Around 580 million years ago, organisms tended to be quite simple and single-celled. However, shortly afterwards, we start to see a rapid burst of diversification leading to precursors of all the complex organisms we [...]
Just because a component of an extinct animal resembles that of a living one does not necessarily imply that both were used for the same task. The lifestyles of pterosaurs, long-extinct flying reptiles that soared ancient skies above the dinosaurs, have long been the subject of debate among [...]
The long-range linguists have a promo piece in the Christian Science Monitor, where they argue for all sorts of deep linguistic history stuff, including the “Borean” language family:
Very tentatively, EHL has grouped the world’s languages into three super-superfamilies corresponding to these migrations: those that correspond with the coastal route, which include Papuan languages; [...]
Recent studies of developmental biology have shown that the genes controlling phenotypic characters expressed in the early stage of development are highly conserved and that recent evolutionary changes [...]
National Geographic reeports that:
One of the world’s rarest creatures, Attenborough’s long-beaked echidna, appears to be alive and well, conservationists say. It is also reportedly quite delicious.
Languages have often been used to judge people, and a series of experiments by Kinzler et al, the native language of social cognition (doi:10.1073/pnas.0705345104), shows that this prejudice emerges early in development.
To start with, the authors showed a group of 5-6 month old infants two videos of adult females speaking American English. [...]
Altruism is another one of those things that people have used to pretend that humans are unique. However, a brand spanking new paper in PLoS Biology today shows experimental evidence that chimpanzees spontaneously and repeatedly perform altruistic acts towards both humans and other chimps. The authors argue that:
Taken together, the current results indicate that [...]