Bringing you news and information about psychological
science and scientists throughout the world

September 2014

All memories of pain are not created equal, say international researchers who measured mothers’ ratings of pain during and after childbirthMore>> 

Workers are not only happier but also more productive when they have more control over certain aspects of their jobs, according to a team of international researchers. More>>

An integrative science approach can help researchers, clinicians, and professors explore previously unknown intersections of topics and research questions. More>>

The benefits of writing by hand may outweigh the ease and neatness of taking notes on an electronic device, according to research on retention and understanding. More>>

Cyclists and Drivers See
Danger Differently

Though cyclists and drivers perceive some risks of the road similarly, they differ on other aspects that may affect how likely they are to crash, French researchers have discovered. More>>

Individuals who share painful experiences form stronger group bonds than those who don’t, researchers from the University of Queensland have found. More>>


DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2014.01.013

Selected by Sergio Della Sala and Jordan Grafman

Jiangang Liu, Jun Li, Lu Feng, Ling Li, Jie Tian, and Kang Lee

We often see images or words even where none actually exist — that is, some part of our brains convinces us there is a pattern even when there is not. In a recent study, Jiangang Liu, Jun Li, Lu Feng, Ling Li, Jie Tian, and APS Fellow Kang Lee examined this phenomenon, called pareidolia, to see whether there were neural differences between face-specific and letter-specific pareidolia. They found that a certain brain area was partially responsible for identifying patterns that participants perceived as faces rather than words. The researchers hypothesized that the right fusiform face area (rFFA) may help integrate information from the primary visual cortex and top-down signals from the prefrontal cortex. Such findings, they say, could lead to more discoveries about human face processing, both real and perceived. More>>


Each Global Observer features an article from a distinguished international journal. See past selections in the Editor’s Choice archive. 


Multiple Academic
Positions in Psychology

Assistant Professor

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor
The Obedience to Authority Conference will be held December 9-11, 2014, in Kolomna, Russia. The conference will focus on discussion of research in the field of Stanley Milgram’s experimental obedience paradigm. Russian and international researchers with diverse academic backgrounds and career levels are encouraged to register. For more information, visit