For questions regarding the study of the underlying neural substrates of cognition, especially those at the crossroads of psychology and neurobiology

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Practical ways to increase Mental alertness?

Are there any scientifically proven exercises which can improve mental alertness and awareness naturally? please share!
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Have any drugs been shown to increase the neuroplasticity of adult brains?

I read recently in the book "meet your happy chemicals" that the hormones of puberty are neurochemicals that cause your neurons to connect and myelinate more easily. If this is true have any studies ...
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38 views

Is there explanation of persistent laziness?

As we say when we feel happy there are some biological explanation of some feelings like happiness and sadness as they explain here. So I say whatever we feel can be explained in biological way, so ...
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28 views

reliability of fmri and pet [closed]

While I admit that pet/frmri scanning is possibly reliable when measuring physical aspects of the body, I would like to know how reliable it is when measuring cognitive aspects e.g. emotion. How ...
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2answers
93 views

Is it possible to erase problematic memories?

This question is inspired by a question I answered on Health. Can we erase problematic memories to aid recovery from depression? A depressed person asked how to erase specific unpleasant ...
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1answer
49 views

Is consciousness a sub product of the brain or is there a duality? [duplicate]

I am trying to understand what consciousness is, based on my basic knowledge of our senses, artificial intelligence (computer vision, specifically) and some philosophy. Here's my reasoning: As far as ...
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90 views

What are the underlying mechanisms for optimism bias?

I have asked a question before about how does smoker's decision react to new personal health information. Link here. How do people estimate smoking's impact on their mortality? Now I have a ...
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51 views

Biologically plausible cognitive model of Wisconsin card sorting task

As discussed previously, there are a wide range of models that have been applied to the Wisconsin card sorting task. However, which one is most biologically plausible? That is, uses a realistic model ...
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83 views

How does the group that is not stressed and not reactivated act as a control for time in Schwabe & Wolf 2010?

Schwabe and Wolf (2010) Rodent studies suggest that memory reconsolidating is impaired by stress. Here we examined in healthy humans the effect of stress on the reconsolidation of ...
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118 views

Why is it easier to fall asleep in the dark?

I'm curious if there is any neurological mechanism that explains why falling asleep is easier in the dark. I recognize that this isn't true universally -- a phobia of darkness might make it easier to ...
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1answer
38 views

Does knowledge of tests like Iowa Gambling and Wisconsin Card-Sorting task enable a person to fake the test?

I am interested in tests like the Iowa gambling test and the Wisconsin card-sorting test. If a patient understands how such a test works and the goals of the test, does this bias the measure obtained? ...
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Neurobiology of addiction recovery

While addiction is one of the most studied topics in neurobiology, I don't see very much info on recovery. The information I have found is confusing. This one says striatal DAT bindings return to ...
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46 views

What is the neurobiological difference between Jungian Judging and Perceiving individual?

Jungian or Myers Briggs type indicator reserves the last letter of a 4 letter archetype to stand for Judging or Perceiving. Part of being a Judging type is punctuality - being on time, keeping ...
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116 views

How to set up a binocular rivalry experiment which splits a single image in two separately controlled ones?

The question is about the actual physical setup and steps needed to take in order to experiment with the phenomena. I found a tutorial on jove.com, "How to Create and Use Binocular Rivalry", and it ...
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83 views

How are humans able to read scrambled text/characters (e.g., CAPTCHA)?

So I'm doing a research on developing a new text-based CAPTCHA system. I've devised a scheme where characters in a text are broken/split individually and randomly, making it difficult for OCR machines ...
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55 views

How is brain processing different for situation-less emotional faces vs. situated emotional faces?

In traditional emotional face perception paradigms, participants are shown circle cut-outs of emotional faces. All context has been removed. Participants only see the face. However, it's well ...
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34 views

Reading words without pronunciation

I have been trying to practice speed reading, and found the removal of subvocalization technique, but it seems almost impossible to understand words without pronouncing them in my head. I think our ...
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236 views

What cognitive processes occur during a mental exhaustion or 'burnout'?

Mental burnout - or mental exhaustion is not very pleasant, when one feels completely overwhelmed, something 'snaps' and it is hard to concentrate and maintain motivation. What are the cognitive ...
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61 views

What makes disengaged participants tired / exhausted after corporate meetings?

Why do disengaged people feel tired, fatigued or unfocused after long, "boring" corporate style meetings? (there is an agenda, but not everyone participates?) Over the years I've observed dozens of ...
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103 views

Do different methods of testing memory for character sequences result in different brain activation?

Assume a certain sequence of N characters, displayed on a screen one by one, that should be memorized. The speed of the display is such that it doesn't produce much extra stress. You may assume that ...
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1answer
117 views

Why do con artists like Frank Abagnale Jr. not feel guilt?

I just finished watching a video of Frank Abagnale Jr discuss his life history. Who knows if its true, but it is an amazing story. For those who don't know, Frank Abagnale is one of the most infamous ...
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100 views

The “Backwards Bike” and implications for how we think

Here's a video of a guy learning to ride a "backwards bike", if you turn the handles left, then the wheel goes right. It took the guy forever to learn to ride a backward bike. He kept remarking that ...
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63 views

Is there a part of the human brain responsible for triggering imagination, fantasy and coming up with unusual stories?

I'm trying to understand if there's a specific process or part of the human brain which, when activated, causes the person to daydream, engage in fantasy or come up with ideas that are far from common ...
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Continuous Basic EEG analysis [closed]

So, I have continuous EEG data from a control group and a test group. The recording was done while the participants were at rest, so no task was performed. I want to start with some basic analysis, ...
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31 views

What are there neuroanatomical mappings of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task?

I know that the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task is used to diagnose various mental disfunctions such as schizophrenia and drug addiction. However, has it been specified what brain regions or structures ...
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38 views

Are there any studies (fMRI scans, etc) showing why some people (supposedly) are more open to hypnotism?

In this article published in Harper's magazine back in 1996, journalist David Foster Wallace described his experience with hypnotist Nigel Ellery (see the last section of the article, titled "THE ...
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What salient features of a {conditioned stimulus,unconditioned stimulus} pair are represented in the lateral amygdala?

In classical conditioning, a conditioned stimulus (CS, e.g., a tone) is presented just before an unconditioned stimulus (UCS, e.g., a mild toe pinch) in repeated trials, such that the CS will ...
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What cognitively interesting event-related potentials at FP1, FP2, TP9 or TP10 can be measured with consumer-grade EEG hardware?

I'm looking for cognitively interesting event-related potentials at places like FP1, FP2, TP9 or TP10 that can be measured with consumer-grade EEG hardware. Right now I have an Interaxon Muse EEG and ...
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108 views

How does masking work?

Masking occurs when the delay between the target and the mask is less than a threshhold (say 50 milliseconds). If sensory data passes from lower to higher visual cortices/processing regions as in a ...
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163 views

What is the neurobiological basis of the “inner voice” used for thought or reading?

I've recently experienced a number of hypnogogic near sleep states characterized by change in thinking (stage 1-2 sleep). I noticed that if I let go and get absorbed in the state, I can follow it. I ...
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86 views

What are the neural substrates of retrieval induced forgetting?

Retrieval-induced effects It is well known that practicing retrieval of remembered items increases the probability of correctly recalling that item in future tests: the testing effect. ...
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129 views
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192 views

How does the brain physically get tired?

When engaging in physical work-outs, people often research how regular muscles store energy, how to eat and exercise cleverly so that the exercises actually make them stronger and more healthy instead ...
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61 views

What's the difference between executive functions and cognitive control?

I suspect that the difference between these terms may vary from researcher to researcher, since the wikipedia page treats them as synonymous. What's the difference between executive functioning and ...
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Are there cognitive models that distinguish semantic and episodic memory?

From various amnesia cases it has been shown that semantic and episodic memories reside in different parts of the brain. Are there any cognitive models that distinguish these two types of memories? If ...
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261 views

Information sampling task

There is a lot of research done on impulsivity trait. Here is detailed wikipedia article and here is one interestiing video of biological and psychosocial causes of impulsivity. In wikipedia article ...
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65 views

What is the difference between “double dissociation” and simply having control and experimental groups?

According to my textbook Cognitive Psychology by E. Bruce Goldstein, a double dissociation occurs if damage to one area of the brain causes a function A to be absent while function B is present, ...
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1answer
128 views

Universal Mind? Nature or Nurture? [closed]

I have been reading a book entitled "The Geography of Thought" by Richard Nisbett. He talks about how easterners and westerners think differently. I am not all the way through it, but I agree with a ...
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Is it possible to design a visual and auditory oddball paradigm in Android?

I want to design an oddball paradigm to record event-related potential. Is it possible to design a visual and auditory oddball paradigm in "Android"?
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How does this illusion - that I just inadvertently created - work?

As I was working on a basic chess application for Android, I loaded some chess clip art into my imageviews. Then this happened. Look closely at the top two rows. At first I was startled. My ...
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171 views

Is there scientific evidence on the benefits of binaural beats?

When two coherent sounds with nearly similar frequencies are presented to each ear respectively with stereo headphones, the brain integrates the two signals and produces a sensation of a third sound ...
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74 views

Difference in frequencies of mistakes between use of left-right vs. up-down

I have no hard data, but from my personal experience in people specifying right or left directions (similarly east or west) and up or down (north or south, top or bottom), people frequently make ...
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1answer
46 views

How does Parkinson's disease result in tremors?

From what I understand, Parkinson's disease is caused by the death of dopamine producing cells in the substantia nigra, however I don't understand how that causses the symptoms of Parkinson's. I am ...
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93 views

What's the difference between repetition suppression and habituation?

Neural repetition suppression seems to be describing behavioral habituation on a neuronal level. What's the difference between these two terms?
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107 views

Where do you get your news? [closed]

I'm a software developer. Many of us get our news from http://news.ycombinator.com Where do cogsci people get their news from? I'd like to read the latest trends and discoveries in cogsci research. ...
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97 views

Is there a difference between hearing and decoding the sound?

I presume that deafness is the inability of hearing any sounds. And I presume that it's also possible to be less able to decode (and translate to a meaningful message) what others speak [happens a lot ...
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What's the difference between simultanagnosia and neurological extinction?

Both of these terms describe the inability to perceive more than one object at a time. I'm not too sure what the big difference is between them. Note that I'm referring to 'extinction' as used in ...
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1answer
95 views

Is meaning-seeking behavior a biological optimization problem?

In short, I'm interested in cognitive, neuroscientific, biological and/or computational perspectives on what we vaguely refer to as meaning seeking. Of course, this is a large topic, but any ...
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1answer
105 views

How does the brain know whether or not it comprehends a novel concept?

There seem to be at least two kinds of confusion regarding novel concepts. In one, the brain simply can't form an abstract model from whatever information is being presented. It's where you can't ...
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59 views

Are there mental reflexes?

Similar to knee-jerk or withdrawal, are there any innate reflexes in cognition? Are they based on personality, or are there any that are universal?