Most people talk to themselves at least every few days, and many report talking to themselves on an hourly basis. What purpose is served by this seemingly irrational behavior? Previous research has suggested that such self-directed speech in children can help guide their behavior. For example, children often talk themselves step-by-step through tying their shoelaces, as if reminding themselves to focus on the job in hand.
In the first experiment, participants were shown 20 pictures of various objects and asked to find a particular one. In some trials, participants saw a text label telling them what object they should find ("Please search for the teapot.") In other trials, the same subjects were asked to search again while actually say the word to themselves. It was found that speaking to themselves helped people find the objects more quickly.
What would it be like to fly a space shuttle? Although the last of NASA's space shuttles has now been retired, it is still fun to contemplate sitting at the controls of one of the humanity's most sophisticated machines. Pictured is the flight deck of Space Shuttle Endeavour, the youngest shuttle and the second to last ever launched. The numerous panels and displays allowed the computer-controlled orbiter to enter the top of Earth's atmosphere at greater than the speed of sound and -- just thirty minutes later -- land on a runway like an airplane. The retired space shuttles are now being sent to museums, with Endeavour being sent to California Space Center in Los Angeles, California, Atlantis to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Merritt Island, Florida, and Discovery to the Udvar-Hazy Annex of the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia. Therefore sitting in a shuttle pilot's chair and personally contemplating the thrill of human space flight may actually be in your future.
Image Credit & Copyright: Ben Cooper (Launch Photography), Spaceflight Now
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