Category Archives: Architecture

Architecture as subject

Beau Geste Hypothesis

In the 1924 book Beau Geste, and the many film versions that followed it, the climax of the action takes place in the desert at Fort Zinderneuf where members of the French Foreign Legion are attempting to hold off an Arab  attack. … Continue reading

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Counting Cormorants

As a small child I have a vivid memory of a picture in a Wonder Book that showed cormorants  being used by Chinese fishermen. Each bird having a ring round its neck that prevented it eating the fish it caught. … Continue reading

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Otto Koehler

Numerical Competence in Animals The German zoologist Otto Koehler (1889-1974) was the first scientist to convincingly demonstrate numerical competence in animals. The first part of this post is based upon a panel from Counting on neurons: the neurobiology of numerical competence” (Nieder … Continue reading

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Primed Number Lines

As noted in the previous post, there is a right brain hemisphere dominance in attending to visuospatial and numerical information. (Rogers et al 2013) So when patients with a right parietal lesion and therefore a spatial deficit for left side stimuli, … Continue reading

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Even 3-day-old Chicks Do It

An interesting series of experiments has recently been reported in Science.  (Regani et al 2015). These strongly support the idea that many animals and humans represent numbers by a mental number line where smaller values are located on the left … Continue reading

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Seriation

This is Archie, our then 3 year old grandson, after spontaneously reassembling a sawn up branch and being asked to pose with it for his delighted grandfather. Seriation is defined as “the forming of an orderly sequence” and was apparently first used in this sense in the 1650s. … Continue reading

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Emergent Images

This is a short post on emergent images, still or moving images where objects at first only appear with effort and concentration, but once recognised are very easy to see again even after several months or years. In effect once you have recognised … Continue reading

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Number Names and Words

Number Names George Lakoff has pointed out that we do not normally distinguish numbers from what might be more properly be called number names. (Lakoff 1989)  The most common number naming systems adopt base-10 and use ten single-digit number names, … Continue reading

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What Counts

Numerical Abilities As well as being able to roughly compare continuous quantities, humans and animals of various sorts share a method of recognising small numbers of objects or sequences of events that is independent of language.  See Subitising and  Counting Ants Both … Continue reading

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Counting Ants

Counting Ants This is not about how to count ants but how ants count. The post follows research by Zhanna Reznikova and Boris Ryabko that investigates the numerical capacities of ants using ideas from Information Theory such as Shannon entropy and Kolmogorov complexity. … Continue reading

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