14
votes
3answers
918 views

Why does neuroplasticity decrease in adults?

Although adult brains are malleable and even undergo limited neuorgenesis, the extent of the neuroplasticiy is much lower than in children. This is most obvious in language acquisition, and recovery ...
12
votes
1answer
370 views

What stimulus features determine the psychophysical power law exponent?

Following the work of Stanley Stevens, psychophysical functions of stimulus intensity are commonly assumed to follow power laws, as illustrated below: This appears to be true for a wide variety of ...
12
votes
2answers
428 views

Does intelligence cause greater alcohol consumption?

I just stumbled on a blog post that asserts that more intelligent people drink more than less intelligent people. The author writes: Controlling for a large number of demographic variables, such ...
12
votes
1answer
280 views

What concepts of perception should designers be aware of when designing?

Visual perception is a huge topic, much of which is relevant to the work of a designer. I have identified topics in visual memory, visual cognition and colour perception that are relevant, and I'm ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Difference between parallel processing done by human brain and by computers

I am asking a question regarding parallel processing as done by billions of Neurons inside our brain and parallel processing done by our computers in a cluster for example or even on a Graphics ...
10
votes
1answer
113 views

What happens when a person “imagines” how food could taste like just from looking at it?

What processes are triggered by imagining the taste of food (let's assume it's sealed so that its smell doesn't reach the test subject's nose) only by looking at it, based on memories of food with ...
10
votes
3answers
362 views

What are the key examples of the use of computational methods in the study of biological neural networks?

In an upcoming postdoc, I'm going to be looking through biological neural network data in the hopes of finding some interesting "patterns". I'm coming at this field from a mathematics/computer ...
10
votes
2answers
216 views

How can the success of Bayesian models be reconciled with demonstrations of heuristic and biased reasoning?

In recent years, Bayesian models of cognition have been used - with considerable success - to explain human reasoning in a variety of inferential tasks (Chater, Tenenbaum, & Yuille, 2006). These ...
10
votes
2answers
142 views

Measuring the adoption of norms

I'm trying to make a survey and I'm having trouble to find a scale to measure the adoption of norms. The people who fill in the survey have to think about a situation in which they were ashamed. For ...
10
votes
3answers
195 views

Is there a random walk theory that can account for situations with more than two choices?

In the article "Two-stage Dynamic Signal Detection: A Theory of Choice, Decision Time, and Confidence" from 2010 by Pleskac and Busemeyer, a random walk model is presented for situations where a ...
10
votes
1answer
202 views

How do humans control saccades?

I've gathered the standard rational for a visual system utilizing saccades from perception textbooks: the neural cost of processing an entire scene at a high level of detail would be prohibitive, but ...
8
votes
1answer
166 views

How are people able to wake themselves up after a pre-specified amount of time?

Auto-suggestion seems to work. Several people I know seem to be able to tell themselves "I'll wake up after 'N' hours/minutes", and do so within a minute or two of that duration. I thought for a ...
8
votes
1answer
259 views

Are there sex differences in inter-rater consistency of attractiveness ratings of opposite-sex faces?

Is there any research that assesses whether males or females judge faces of the opposite sex with a greater internal consistency? That is, is the standard deviation of attraction ratings for a ...
7
votes
1answer
117 views

Is there evidence for a unique isolated internal representation of loved ones?

Some time ago, I've read that the most significant people in a person's life have their own internal representation/model of within the person's mind. For example: An internal representation of a ...
7
votes
1answer
126 views

Any attempts at testing or modeling the 'cognitive conception' of language?

For those unfamiliar, the 'cognitive conception of language' refers to a claim made by some theorists that, in the words of Carruthers: "besides its obvious communicative functions, language also ...
6
votes
3answers
666 views

Why have historically most inventors been men?

I noticed something strange when I looked at about.com's list of famous historical inventors. You can see that most of the inventors are men, and only a few are women. Can this be explained by ...
6
votes
2answers
285 views

Is procrastination greater when skill is low and rewards offer low status boost and does this lead to efficient task allocation in groups?

I am very interested in procrastination, because it is such a clear sign of lack of motivation. I have a hypothesis about why we procrastinate, which I would like to get tested by you. The assumption ...
5
votes
1answer
331 views

What positive writing exercises improve happiness?

Writing seems like a perfect medium for expressing ones problems but can it also be used to improve happiness somehow? Maybe through some sort of creative writing exercises that focus on positive ...
4
votes
1answer
724 views

Does IQ affect learning speed?

Supposedly, people of higher levels of intelligence do learn faster than people of lower levels of it. But this is an awfully coarse observation, and different people can learn at drastically ...
1
vote
2answers
158 views

How does cognitive science explain the origins of intuition and intelligence, that accurately describes the laws of nature?

What is the origin of non-incremental, revolutionary intuition and intelligence? For example, a human mind like Albert Einstein's can "come up" with revolutionary ideas and theories that correctly ...
12
votes
1answer
285 views

How to measure dominance and submissiveness?

Introduction Interpersonal dimensions of personality (Sullivan, 1953) have been described in a circular model, the interpersonal circumplex, since Leary (1957). The two dimensions that define this ...
12
votes
1answer
144 views

How is the size of a video related to its perceived quality?

Video is often presented at different sizes. On the Internet, many websites provide quite a few size settings. In the store, you can buy TVs of many different sizes. In both cases, it's the same ...
11
votes
1answer
167 views

What defines the easiest time to get out of bed in the morning for humans?

I'm interested in sleep research, and sometimes in conversations with people the following idea gets discussed: "A person becomes aware at a certain time in the morning and feel great(while still in ...
10
votes
2answers
321 views

Is it possible to quantify cognitive bias?

We know that bias exists, and that it affects our judgment and perception. This effect has to do with user's experience in life. That experience is taken care of by the brain, and if you counter a ...
10
votes
3answers
274 views

What is the term for a psychological effect which does not have a neurobiological/genetic basis?

When a psychological condition is the result of irregular brain structures or neurotransmitter imbalances we say the condition has a neurobiological basis; this is analogous to the classic Nature in ...
9
votes
3answers
280 views

Why do teenagers take the internet and cyberbullying so seriously?

Background: I saw this post on the daily Mirror: A girl committed suicide because some users bullied her on ask.fm. I signed up to see what that site is, and it was some Q&A site. So she committed ...
9
votes
1answer
218 views

Is religiousness a genetically heritable feature?

I know that parent beliefs have very strong influence on child, but is it possible that genetic factor also play a role? I doubt that the content of any religion could be heritable through genes nor ...
9
votes
1answer
460 views

Are there emotions that only some people can feel?

Presumably, there are emotions that almost any person can feel, such as happiness, sadness, guilt, and embarrassment. But are there emotions that only a small fraction of the population can feel? ...
8
votes
2answers
141 views

Does perception have a “frame rate”?

Are the objects of visual perception processes divisible into individual, still frames, like video is? If so: Are the perceptions from different senses synced to the same frequency? Are these ...
8
votes
1answer
253 views

How does the personality of a successful leader influence the development of his children?

Successful leadership appears to depend on the personality of the leader. Judge et al. (2002) found the following correlations with the "big five" personality factors in a meta-analysis: ...
8
votes
1answer
87 views

How do the correlations between Big 5 personality change in studies examining “faking bad”?

I have conducted several studies that get participants to complete the IPIP personality test while role play going for a job. A common finding is that the average correlation (i.e., $\bar{r}$ between ...
8
votes
0answers
343 views

How much sleep is required to restore maximum cognitive functioning? [closed]

Background: Recently I have really messed up my sleep schedule due to my procrastination. The internet points to some very basic conclusions but I would like to see actual experiments on effects of ...
8
votes
0answers
285 views

Modern treatments of Alan Turing's B-type neural networks

In the cognitive sciences Alan Turing is best known for launching AI with his Computing machinery and intelligence (1950). However, this was not his first contribution to the cognitive sciences, in ...
8
votes
3answers
371 views

Neurotransmitter based imaging techniques

All the brain imaging techniques I know fall into two categories: Tracking blood Either by looking at the magnetic (fMRI), or near-infared absorption (diffuse optical imaging, NIRS) properties of ...
8
votes
1answer
114 views

What is the role of traveling waves in circuit formation during cortical development?

Propagating waves of activity have been characterized in various regions of the brain such as the visual cortex (Nauhaus et al., 2012). Recently they have been reported for the first time to occur ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How is fasting related to insomnia?

Yesterday I started a new diet using intermittent fasting. For this reason I only ate one meal all day. I was pretty surprised how well I passed that day: I studied a lot, did some sports and ...
7
votes
1answer
328 views

What is the maximum number of objects an average human being can recognize at once?

I'm wondering, how many objects can the average human being can recognize? For example, most of us can't look at this and say how many boxes there are without counting them: But I think we can ...
7
votes
2answers
95 views

Does not consistently providing a reward strengthen operant conditioning?

When learning about Operant Conditioning, I remember being taught that not consistently rewarding the desired behavior could (seemingly counterintuitively) actually increase the strength of learning ...
7
votes
1answer
649 views

Do high heels increase female attractiveness in men only through indirect means?

It seems widely accepted that, overall, men tend to find women in high heels more attractive. (There will, of course, be many exceptions to this rule.) "High heels may well be the most potent ...
7
votes
1answer
236 views

Do characters in a dream have their own separate thoughts or identity?

I am very curious as to if any research has been done in this area, or if such a question even can be researched given the current tools and methods available to cognitive scientists. When one dreams, ...
6
votes
4answers
150 views

is it possible to think without language?

I'm trying to fathom what it might be like for a person with aphasia and for one with agnosia. For a person with a visual agnosia I wonder this: if two unrecognizable objects are shown to them, and ...
6
votes
3answers
209 views

What causes a person to be curious, inquisitive and explorative?

Why do humans (primates) tend to be curious, inquisitive and explorative? They want to know things that they do not. They explore stuff in an attempt to find something new which makes them ...
6
votes
1answer
63 views

Could neuroscientific knowledge and techiques be used to optimise peoples' education and learning?

Expanding upon this, I have two ideas behind this question - 1) that current knowledge of the brain and its workings (biochemically, biomechanically, physiologically etc) is in its infancy and that we ...
6
votes
1answer
316 views

Can hypomania be induced by just thinking quickly and variably?

Emily Pronin and Daniel Wegner have shown that fast and variable thinking induces positive affect. This is independent of thought content. Sheri Johnson has noted that the key things that might start ...
6
votes
1answer
171 views

How does fever affect time perception?

Many of my friends and I have noticed that at certain stages of fever, time is often perceived as being longer than usual. I'd like to know if this is caused by the disease itself, an immune reaction, ...
6
votes
2answers
282 views

What can cognitive psychology tell us about the results of the Stanford Prison Experiment?

One of the experiments that are always taught as prime examples of social psychology in action is the Stanford Prison Experiment In 1971, Zimbardo accepted a tenured position as professor of ...
5
votes
1answer
221 views

What are the mathematical models of memory?

Are there mathematical models of memory in humans or animals? I want to know how neuroscientists use mathematics to describe memory in living creatures. How do neuroscientists model memory and show ...
5
votes
3answers
189 views

Theoretical limit to the use of mental faculty of the brain

A lot of articles stress the importance of having to train the brain (By training the brain, I mean the cognitive faculty of the brain for learning things and not brain's normal functions) since the ...
5
votes
1answer
595 views

Is the decline of fluid IQ with age less severe for professors and scientists than it is for other people?

This article in Time magazine suggests that engaging in challenging mental tasks may be associated with lower rates of mental decline in older adults. The article states that: In one study, ...
4
votes
2answers
182 views

What is the scientific basis for long-term negative physiological effects of overstudying?

I am interested in long term negative physiological effects that some students experience following overstudying. What is the scientific basis for overstudying? Is over studying correlated with ...

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