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Darwin Quote on Living Well

In The Autobiography of Charles Darwin (Bookshop|Amazon), the great scientist writes, “If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.” This is part of...

Phonaesthesia Word Connotations

Why do words that begin with sn—sneer, snarl, snot, snide, snake, snooty—all have negative connotations? Phonaesthesia, a phenomenon whereby we associate certain sounds with particular meanings, may hold the answer. Linguist and cognitive scientist...

Uncanny Valley

What is it about lifelike robots and the humanoid characters in movies like The Polar Express that feels so disturbing? Robotics scientist Masahiro Mori dubbed this phenomenon the uncanny valley. There are lots of interesting articles explaining...

Word Birth

The question of how children acquire language has long intrigued parents and scholars. MIT cognitive scientist Deb Roy recently found a novel way to study what he calls “word birth.” He wired his home with cameras and microphones, and...