The replication crisis is killing psychologists’ theory of how the body influences the mind

by Olivia Goldhill, Quartz

We don’t just think with our minds, we think with our bodies, too.

Intuitively, this makes sense: We know we’re hungry, for example, or tired, because of bodily sensations. The mind doesn’t think in a vacuum. This notion is at the heart of a psychological theory called “embodied cognition,” which explores how the body influences thinking. But, in recent years, psychology’s replication crisis, where recreations of major studies failed to produce the same results as the originals, has shown that several crucial findings in the field of embodied cognition fail to hold up. Continue reading The replication crisis is killing psychologists’ theory of how the body influences the mind

Sun and Earth Aligned: Ancient Andean Calendar is Illuminated on the Atacama Desert

by Ashley Cowie, Ancient Origins

On the winter solstice of 2017 a dedicated historian at Chile’s Pre-Columbian Art Museum in Santiago, Dr. Cecilia Sanhueza, was following a hunch in the Atacama Desert, Chile. She observed “a row of three cairns… and two square piles of stones, each about 1.2 meters (four feet) high” to see how they coordinated with the rising sun on the winter solstice. Her discovery that night is being heralded as big news, according to an article in The Economist. Continue reading Sun and Earth Aligned: Ancient Andean Calendar is Illuminated on the Atacama Desert

Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland

by University of Copenhagen

The crater measures more than 31 km in diameter, corresponding to an area bigger than Paris, and placing it among the 25 largest impact craters on Earth. The crater formed when a kilometer-wide iron meteorite smashed into northern Greenland, but has since been hidden under nearly a kilometer of ice.

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New Mathematical Model Shows How Our Brains Make Complex Decisions

by David Nield, Science Alert

Getting to the bottom of understanding how our brains work is a fascinating challenge for scientists, and new research promises to shed more light on the inner workings of our minds – through a complex mathematics model. Scientists in the UK say they’ve constructed “the first biologically realistic mathematical model” that matches the way the brain makes complex decisions.

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3D-printed Mars habitat could be a perfect fit for early SpaceX Starship colonies

by Eric Ralph, TESLARATI

Space architecture startup AI SpaceFactory achieved second place in the latest phase of a NASA-led competition, pitting several groups against each other in pursuit of designing a 3D-printed Mars habitat and physically demonstrating some of the technologies needed to build them.

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Our Milky Way is warped

by Deborah Byrd, EarthSky

A team of astronomers has produced a 3D map of our galaxy, the 1st accurate one, they say. It reveals our galaxy’s true shape as warped and twisted.

We think of spiral galaxies as being flat. You often hear the disk of our galaxy described as “flat as a pancake.” The large spiral galaxy next door – the Andromeda galaxy – looks flat through a telescope. But nature can be intricate, and, this week (February 4, 2019), astronomers made a surprising announcement. They said our home galaxy, the Milky Way, isn’t flat. Instead it’s warped and twisted.

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To Make Sense of the Present, Brains May Predict the Future

by Jordana Cepelewicz, Quanta Magazine

A controversial theory suggests that perception, motor control, memory and other brain functions all depend on comparisons between ongoing actual experiences and the brain’s modeled expectations.

Last month, the artificial intelligence company DeepMind introduced new software that can take a single image of a few objects in a virtual room and, without human guidance, infer what the three-dimensional scene looks like from entirely new vantage points. Given just a handful of such pictures, the system, dubbed the Generative Query Network, or GQN, can successfully model the layout of a simple, video game-style maze.

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Retreating Snow Line Reveals Organic Molecules around Young Star

by ALMA

Astronomers using ALMA have detected various complex organic molecules around the young star V883 Ori. A sudden outburst from this star is releasing molecules from the icy compounds in the planet forming disk. The chemical composition of the disk is similar to that of comets in the modern Solar System. Sensitive ALMA observations enable astronomers to reconstruct the evolution of organic molecules from the birth of the Solar System to the objects we see today.

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