Experiments with inflatable & other life-size dolls

A generic life-size doll, with no modifications, was the key element in at least one unplanned experiment — the experiment documented in a 1993 monograph called Transmission of Gonorrhoea Through an Inflatable Doll, published in the journal Genitourinary Medicine. But generally, scientists who conduct planned experiments that rely on life-size dolls prefer to carefully optimise, or […]

Self-stimulation on the brain, plus Maggie Gyllenhaal

“In this Curiosity video we follow Maggie Gyllenhaal in exploring how female brain activity changes as a woman reaches orgasm,” say the makers of the video. The investigation recalls the one personally documented (as the test subject) by Mary Roach in her stimulating book Bonk. (Thanks to investigator David Holzman for bringing the video to […]

Off-With-Their-Heads Research News

Today’s Icky Research Item award (with echoes from earlier French and British work—see below) goes to this new Dutch study: “Decapitation in Rats: Latency to Unconsciousness and the ‘Wave of Death’“, Clementina M. van. Rijn, Hans Krijnen, Saskia Menting-Hermeling, Anton M. L. Coenen, PLoS ONE 6(1): e16514. (Thanks to investigator and LFHCfS member Holly Brothers […]

Why companies don’t do experiments

Dan Ariely (who won an Ig Nobel Prize for showing that expensive fake medicine works better than inexpensive fake medicine) explains how corporations sometimes prefer to make decisions: Companies pay amazing amounts of money to get answers from consultants with overdeveloped confidence in their own intuition. Managers rely on focus groups—a dozen people riffing on […]