language

Kohler in the 1920s explored connotations of the words maluma and takete (later researchers replaced these with bouba and kiki). Most readers will readily associate maluma and bouba sounds with a rounded shape – takete and kiki with a cornered shape. A 2011 David Robson...

The Crucible at the Cheltenham Science Festival hosted Marie Rogers from the Sussex Colour Group, who gave a fascinating introduction into the psychology of colour.

Delving into whether the colours we see can be affected by the language we use...

I've known you since we were postgrads, and I’ve always found you fascinating. You’re now one of the most interesting and interested people I follow on Twitter. Would you say you’re a curious person?
There is a lot to be curious about! I’m just glad I...

We live in a loud and colourful world, with our visual and auditory systems bombarded with information. But what of the lower sense of smell? Can we learn anything by studying olfaction?

Think about your experience with vision. Viewing a beautiful scene we can pick out...

It is nearly 20 years since Martin Seligman used his American Psychological Association presidential address to inaugurate the notion of ‘positive psychology’. The rationale for its creation was Seligman’s contention that psychology had tended to focus mainly on what is wrong...

Longing for Sehnsucht?

I have long been interested in how language carves up the flux of our phenomenological world. For instance, I often wonder whether the limits of my linguistic resources define my experiential horizons. If I lack a label for a...

‘This is a book about the power of language – strong style, single words – to shape our sense of place.’ So begins this field guide to the literature Macfarlane loves, which doubles as a word hoard of wood, water and earth. There are thousands of terms from dozens of...