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
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
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.
Continue reading Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland
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.
Continue reading New Mathematical Model Shows How Our Brains Make Complex Decisions
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.
Continue reading 3D-printed Mars habitat could be a perfect fit for early SpaceX Starship colonies
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.
Continue reading Our Milky Way is warped
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.
Continue reading To Make Sense of the Present, Brains May Predict the Future
by Helen Briggs, BBC News – Science & Environment
Scientists have discovered when the kangaroo learned to hop – and it’s a lot earlier than previously thought.
According to new fossils, the origin of the famous kangaroo gait goes back 20 million years.
Continue reading When did the kangaroo hop? Scientists have the answer
by Paul Rincon, BBC News – Science & Environment
The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2 will attempt to collect a sample of rock from an asteroid on 22 February, the country’s space agency (Jaxa) says.
Continue reading Japan sets date for asteroid ‘rock grab’
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.
Continue reading Retreating Snow Line Reveals Organic Molecules around Young Star