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Daily Rounds: The Fragility Of Memory; Dukakis Trash Talks ACO's; Tricking The Eye To Diet; Supreme Court Politics

This article is more than 11 years old.

The Certainty of Memory Has Its Day in Court - "Rather than the centerpiece of prosecution, witness testimony should be viewed more like trace evidence, scientists say, with the same fragility and vulnerability to contamination...Why is a witness’s account so often unreliable? Partly because the brain does not have a knack for retaining many specifics and is highly susceptible to suggestion. “Memory is weak in eyewitness situations because it’s overloaded,” said Barbara Tversky, a psychology professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York. “An event happens so fast, and when the police question you, you probably weren’t concentrating on the details they’re asking about.” (

Michael Dukakis on ACOs: "We tried that, folks. It didn't work." - Boston Medical News - White Coat Notes - ( "What do we do? Come up with this ACO, global payment thing... We’ve done it. ACOs and global payments. What did we used to call them? HMOs and capitation. We tried that, folks. It didn’t work. Why are we doing it again? Now don’t get me wrong. Nobody loves having to regulate. We had something called the rate-setting commission when I was governor... We treated hospitals as public utilities. They couldn’t raise their rates a nickel unless they went to the rate-setting commission. We certainly didn’t have these huge disparities between what Partners gets and what the BI gets. Wouldn’t allow it. So, we’ve got to get on with the business of regulating costs."

The Research Report: Tricking the Eye to Keep From Heaping Plates - "A series of experiments by two U.S. researchers found participants served themselves significantly more food if the color contrast between the dinnerware and the food was low—for example, cream-colored pasta on a white plate. Overserving was reduced, however, when the contrast was more pronounced, for instance, by offering pasta with red tomato sauce on a white plate, the study found. The opposite occurred when dinnerware was contrasted with an underlying tablecloth." (Wall Street Journal)

Health-care case brings fight over which Supreme Court justices should decide it - The Washington Post "Just a little more than an hour after some House Democrats recently demanded an inquiry into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s ethics, Senate Republicans stepped up the pressure on Justice Elena Kagan to take herself out of the court’s decision on the health-care reform act. The process repeated itself a few days later. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) called for the release of more documents about Kagan’s role as President Obama’s solicitor general; the liberal group People for the American Way came out with another broadside against Thomas." (The Washington Post)

This program aired on November 29, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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