9
votes
1answer
472 views

What is the effect of imagining doing an exercise on muscle growth?

I recently read a study by Yue, G et al. (1992) which I found incredibly interesting. I have no background in physiology and I was hoping that someone who does can clear things up. If I understood it ...
8
votes
3answers
428 views

Introductory resources on bayesian modeling for cognitive sciences

On Cross Validated there is a great question about best introductory books for bayesian statistics. Also, Jeromy Anglim blogged recently about use of JAGS, rjags, and Bayesian Modelling, with some ...
4
votes
2answers
561 views

Where is the visual “image” that we “see” finally assembled?

David Hubel's online book, Eye, Brain and Vision describes in great detail our early visual system. The image that we are conscious of when we open our eyes goes through a complex path: The final ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

Is multitasking a myth?

Often, the term 'multitasking' is applied to very busy and 'wired' people. There is an adage that women multitask better than men. My question is, do we actually multitask? If so, what are the ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Do people wake up faster with inconsistent alarm sounds?

Many people have one alarm clock sound that wakes them up every morning. Is having this consistent sound the optimal way to wake someone up? Or can you startle someone faster by changing to a ...
12
votes
2answers
185 views

Have the core CBT “Thinking Errors” been found to NOT be effective in evidence-based clinical practice?

This is his chart of the ten "thinking errors." It's taken from The Feeling Good Handbook. Table 3–1. Definitions of Cognitive Distortions ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING: You see things in black-and-white ...
11
votes
4answers
340 views

Why is training better when following an easy-to-difficult schedule?

As suggested in the answer to this question, experimental results show that training is most effective when it follows an easy-to-difficult schedule. What theories and specifically computational ...
10
votes
1answer
532 views

What is the most complex artificial neural network created to date?

A few years ago I wrote a research paper for college on neural networks. At the time IBM's Blue Brain was the clear winner. Some rumor went around that they were close to emulating a brain the ...
8
votes
2answers
465 views

What part of the brain locks up when a man is in the presence of an extremely attractive female?

This question is specifically about the male brain and its lack of cognition in the presence of a highly attractive female. This is in contrast to regaining cognitive ability in the presence of an ...
7
votes
3answers
493 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
377 views

What makes some things more fun than others universally?

Recently I have been presented with the question, "What makes something addictive, and why are some activities more addicting than others?" This question intrigues me, as logically, the answer would ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

How is intelligence correlated to beauty?

Recently, I read several interesting questions on the web about the relationship between IQ and general intelligence and physiological symmetry. But more importantly, what explains the correlation? Or ...
19
votes
5answers
497 views

Why do we prefer visually aligned objects?

We all know visual alignment is one of the foundations of design. Everything must be aligned with everything else. We also know that when things are aligned it is easier to process information. My ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Does super-intelligence necessary lead to consciousness, self awareness, freewill or emotion

After seeing this talk, the question popped in my mind. The idea is that as soon as a system is complex enough or intelligent enough, it able to act on its own. It seems to be a common belief. For ...
13
votes
3answers
476 views

Longitudinal mobile mood tracking app with random reminders

The goal is to take simple measurements of mood using Likert scale over an extended period of time (e.g. two months). I know there is a large number of mobile apps for tracking mood on every ...
13
votes
1answer
313 views

What are the minimal requirements for successful gamification?

I am very interested in the concept of Gamification, the idea (used here on Stack Exchange) that by making mundane tasks into a game, you can elicit desired behavior from users of software. (For ...
13
votes
1answer
315 views

Does dream recall disturb the processes of memory consolidation?

Psychology in the time of Freud was occupied with dreams. Relaying these to one's analyst was an important part of treatment. Fast-forward to less than 100 years later, and we know so much about the ...
7
votes
0answers
553 views

How does goal-tracking and sign-tracking behaviour vary across species?

In Pavlonian (Classical) Conditioning, conditioned responses of an animal may vary. Some animals focus on the unconditioned stimulus (ie. food / location of food) while others may focus on the ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
8answers
1k views

What's the major difference between mind and brain?

I am preparing a presentation on "Mind Reading Computer", and all articles that I came across were focused on reading interpretations from brain through sensors. Articles like this clearly show a ...
16
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
486 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
311 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
185 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
455 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
2answers
465 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
121 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
417 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
244 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
148 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
213 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
216 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
573 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? ...
9
votes
2answers
642 views

In what ways can neurons fire randomly?

When developing a model of a biologically-plausible neural network, it is important to know all the circumstances under which neurons can fire. But, I am limiting this question to random firing. In ...
9
votes
1answer
291 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
206 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
98 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
131 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
306 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
2answers
321 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
2answers
112 views

What correlation is there between breath control and personal self confidence?

In yoga, the instructor mentioned that controlled deep breathing can increase self-confidence. (Next time, I will ask him why he believes that but I doubt he has any references...) Furthermore, ...
5
votes
1answer
471 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
976 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
231 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
153 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
229 views

Is dissociative identity disorder a medical condition or artifact of psychotherapy?

The popular media has offered such examples as "Eve" (based on Chris Costner-Sizemore) and "Sybil" (based on Shirley Ardell Mason) as sufferers of dissociative identity disorder (at one point known as ...
10
votes
2answers
411 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
313 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
0answers
123 views

Food sharing and mutual aid among the homeless

Since the time of Peter Kropotkin, it's been observed and theorized that cooperation and mutual aid are more common in austere environments. A classic biological example would be slime mold ...

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