Recent progress in Peppa Pig® studies

Given the worldwide success of the Peppa Pig® TV series (and subsequent spinoffs), it’s perhaps not surprising that the character has attracted attention in academic circles. Here are some recent examples of scholarly publications on the subject.   Does Peppa Pig encourage inappropriate use of primary care resources? British Medical Journal, 2017; 359 Peppa Pig and Friends International […]

Innovative Scientists Talk About Their Childhood (11): Suzana Herculano-Houzel and the Ink

Here’s Suzana Herculano-Houzel, talking about watching some ink have inky adventures in water, when she was a child. That jumping excited Suzana in a way that led to her eventual unusual career. Suzana studies how brains do some of the astounding things brains do. ABOUT THIS LITTLE VIDEO SERIES—This is part of a series of […]

Toy-Car-Ride Versus Drugging [Medical Experiment on Children]

What’s the least-worst way to prevent young kids from becoming jittery as they are about to have surgery? This new experiment plays with that question: “The Effectiveness of Transport in a Toy Car for Reducing Preoperative Anxiety in Preschool Children: A Randomised Controlled Prospective Trial,” P.P. Liu, Y. Sun, C. Wu, W.H. Xu, R.D. Zhang, […]

Podcast 87: How kids learn to say “Trick or Treat!”

Jean Berko Gleason explains how kids learn to say “Trick or Treat!” —and how it helps them stride down the road to adulthood. That’s the story in this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams discusses “Trick or treat!” with Boston University psychology professor emerita Jean Berko Gleason. Early in her career, Gleason gained fame for […]

Another, post-Ig-Nobel-Prize, multi-self-donational fertility doctor, reportedly

“Fertility doctor impregnated several patients, affidavit says” says the headline on an Associated Press report. If reported affidavit is correct, this case reepeats, on a smaller scale, the achievement that won an Ig Nobel Prize for Dr. Cecil Jacobson. The 1992 Ig Nobel Prize for biology was awarded to Dr. Cecil Jacobson, relentlessly generous sperm donor, […]

High quality literature production and mating success

“We hypothesized that the quantitative and qualitative literary output of famous writers would correlate with their number of mates, children, and grandchildren. We further assumed that writing lyric poetry would be more beneficial for mating success than nonpoetry because the former consists of more verbal handicaps (e.g., rhymes) than the latter and thus requires special […]