Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Introduction to the next few posts.

Over the next few months almost all of my intellectual effort is going to be focused on the writing of my dissertation.

This is the first time that I have ever "done genuine science", that is, the first time that I have designed and run an experiment and so I thought it might be interesting to post regular updates about the various stages of composing the final text that documents the empirical and analytical work I've done and any of my findings (or failures to find).

My background is in philosophy, and so moving to a more empirical mode of thinking has been a difficult transition. It's quite different, indeed, the most unexpectedly different and difficult part of doing empirical work has been realising just how much work - sweat and greasy elbows work - is required to actually design and run an experiment.

Some of the topics I want to deal with in the next 6 months are:
  • Mental Rotation (what it is, neurobiologicial evidence for it, training it)
  • Tetris (Expertise, training, any cognitive benefits)
  • Situated/Embodied/Embedded Cognition
  • Statistics (R, techniques, nightmares etc.)
  • The software/typesetting system I'm using to compose the document (LyX and LaTeX)
By this time next week I will have posted my first piece on Mental Rotation - specifically, covering just what it is and describing Shepard and Metzler's seminal 1971 paper. I'm hoping at least some of this will make it into the final dissertation.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

First stab at Maze Generation

This is a quick and dirty first stab at Maze generation using recursive backtracking and the HTML5 Canvas element. It's the first in what I hope will be a series of experiments with Canvas.