12
votes
4answers
1k views

Why are most people not persuaded by rational arguments?

The sentence could look as a provocation for many people, but the thoughts are not always rational and linear. But why this happens? Is it possible to give a short answer? "Counter to what you might ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Running on autopilot

Sometimes, people say that they are "running on autopilot", meaning that they are doing the things that they normally do, without any real conscious involvement. I have read that it is not uncommon ...
12
votes
2answers
265 views

References for biologically plausible models of knowledge representation?

I'm looking for references that deal with the issue of how various kinds of semantic knowledge are (or might be) represented neurally. Most of the discussion of this topic seems skewed by social ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the effect of motherese on development?

Most cultures (Falk, 2009) have a special type of language that is used to talk to children: infant-directed-speech (IDL; or informally, motherese, baby talk). For instance, Fernald (1992) argues that ...
12
votes
3answers
264 views

What is the status of evolutionary psychology in academia today?

Having an interest in human psychology (but no formal training) I decided to take Coursera's Introduction to Psychology as a Science. Here's a snippet from an introductory lecture (it requires ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Why might a stutterer not stutter when talking to themselves, whispering, or singing?

Background: I'm a stutterer myself and have always wondered what caused my stuttering. There have been reports of the effects of certain genes and environmental factors that causes stuttering. But ...
12
votes
2answers
466 views

Is “brain training” effective?

We've had quite a few questions about "brain training" on this site (see questions tagged brain-training). And the effectiveness of "brain training" has been touched on in several questions (this ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Game-theory strategies to overcome holdout problem?

The hold-out problem often occurs in debt-restructuring or in urban development. The hold-out problem is defined where an agent, for example a land developer, must negotiate with many lot owners and ...
12
votes
1answer
277 views

Is Behaviorism incompatible with Cognitive Psychology?

Both disciplines have historically been at each other's throats, and Radical Behaviorists like B.F. Skinner often completely reject cognitive psychology at a philosophical level. It seems that today ...
12
votes
1answer
690 views

What are the benefits of dyslexia?

Reading the Wikipedia article on Dyslexia, it sounds very negative. The article defines Dyslexia as a learning disability, which I understand it is classified as. However, knowing individuals with ...
12
votes
2answers
429 views

What causes short-term dysphoria following intense pleasure?

I'm interested in the phenomenon of short term Dysphoria: Dysphoria is a state of feeling unwell or unhappy; a feeling of emotional and mental discomfort as a symptom of discontentment, ...
12
votes
2answers
663 views

What is the optimal repetition pattern to maximize long term memory?

Which is the appropriate repetition pattern to aid long term memory, in terms of time between study sessions? I have been reading about Ebbinghaus and doing some related research, but I can't find a ...
12
votes
1answer
439 views

Modern replacement for Panksepp's “Affective Neuroscience” book?

Jaak Panksepp's book (Amazon link here) is a phenomenal and highly readable systems-based introduction to not only affective neuroscience, but the neuroscience of motivation in general. The problem ...
12
votes
1answer
93 views

Has an upper-limit on the physical spacing represented by grid cells in Entorhinal cortex been probed?

There is considerable research reporting activity of unit recordings from grid cells in the Entorhinal cortex (e.g. [1]) - typically of rats running around in enclosed spaces. Is there any ...
12
votes
1answer
314 views

Does cognitive training enhance dopamine release?

Joe Hardy reports on a study by Backman et al (2011) in Science, where from the authors report: Updating of working memory has been associated with striato-frontal brain regions and phasic ...
12
votes
1answer
288 views

Compared efficiency of different spaced-repetition memorisation techniques

Spaced repetition is a memorization technique that works by reviewing question/answer pairs according to a schedule that depends on performance. Be it software or paper flashcards, there are various ...
12
votes
1answer
433 views

What is the current status of tetrachromacy in humans?

Tetrachromacy is a condition of having four colour channels. There is a hypothesis that some women posses 4 different types of cone cells (each with different opsin responsible for different ...
12
votes
1answer
192 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
4k views

How to get rid of subvocalization?

When I read a text written in latin alphabet and I want to understand what it means I usually transform each word into spoken word (internal speech) and then I transform it into meaning. I can't ...
12
votes
1answer
217 views

What explains variability in the mean firing rate across biological neurons?

Biological neurons have a trade-off between high information transfer (high firing rate) and energy conservation (low firing rate). One would suspect that the maximization of this function has a ...
12
votes
2answers
468 views

Is the theory of Information Metabolism a reasonable scientific theory?

Background I have been checking out various personality typing assessments lately when I came across a Personality typing system known as Socionics which aims at explaining relationships between ...
12
votes
1answer
204 views

How does the brain calculate velocity?

How does the human brain calculate velocities? For example, when crossing a road and seeing a car coming towards you, how does the brain actually compute the rough velocity of the vehicle and your own ...
12
votes
2answers
218 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the effect of viewing pornography on children?

It is generally accepted that porn shouldn't be seen by children, and we even sometimes punish parents who fail to stop their children from finding porn. How much are these laws based in science? Can ...
12
votes
1answer
102 views

How does displaying existing votes to a poll influence subsequent voting behaviour?

Some polls involve a question where the existing votes received for each response option are displayed. I have heard that on such polls the existing votes influence the answers provided by subsequent ...
12
votes
1answer
129 views

Learning of new concepts being impeded by an error in previous work

Note: I'm framing this question in terms of tutoring math since that's what I tutor most, though it applies to a wide range of subject matters. I do a decent amount of tutoring, and this is one ...
12
votes
1answer
149 views

How does daily amount of sleep vary within and between healthy adults?

I'm interested in research that has employed the following or similar research design: Measure the daily amount of sleep every day for an for an extended period (e.g., more than a month) in a ...
12
votes
0answers
211 views

Human behaviour in one-shot perfect information games

Background A one-shot game is one where two participants have some set of actions $\{1, ... , n\}$, they make their decision on which option to take (without knowing the decision of their partner, or ...
12
votes
0answers
116 views

What do anatomical substrates of conditioned taste aversion tell us about treatment?

Conditioned taste aversions (CTAs) or Garcia effect are a byproduct of feeling ill after we've consumed a certain food. These aversions is present even if the illness is not related to ingestion and ...
11
votes
5answers
456 views

Have humans always had problems with motivation and laziness?

I originally wanted to ask a question "Is there a drug for motivation or laziness", but google search revealed that people have been asking this question for years and there's no drug that is ...
11
votes
4answers
384 views

Is the mathematician's activity psychologically healthy?

I am a professional mathematician, and I regularly meet other mathematicians. I have come to wonder if there is something like a slight neurosis, specific to this activity. To be more precise, let ...
11
votes
2answers
787 views

What can we learn from the neural networks of C.elegans to understand human brains?

Recently I am reading some works about Caenorhabditis Elegans. A C.elegans has 302 neurons and we already know the function and connection of every one of their neurons so that we can exactly ...
11
votes
4answers
398 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
483 views

Folding (wrinkles) in cortex: Why is surface area more important than volume?

When we look at the cortex of the brain, it has a folded structure. It is said that this is because this enables a greater number of neurons to exist, which is obviously advantageous. However, we ...
11
votes
4answers
22k views

Why do people laugh in serious situations?

I've seen people (including myself) that laugh for no apparent reason in really serious situations, such as in an argument or when receiving bad news. Although the other party is clearly very upset, ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there an accurate online IQ test for measuring 160+ IQs?

Is there some (preferably free) online and accurate IQ test? One which does not give me an genius IQ and then tries to sell me a diploma. I need one which measures upto 160 sd15 (or higher). Such a ...
11
votes
3answers
7k views

Can we smell in dreams?

I'm interested in whether people can smell in their dreams. Do people really experience smell in their dreams? For example, if I dream of smelling a flower, will I feel the smell, too? Is there any ...
11
votes
3answers
241 views

How can I find open access journals for cognitive science research?

What open access journals that publish research in cognitive science/psychology exist? Apart from PLOS ONE, are there any other open access journals that publish research in cognitive ...
11
votes
5answers
10k views

What causes some people to unconsciously imitate the accents of others?

Background: I often notice that when I talk with someone with an accent that I often unconsciously start to imitate their accent. Similarly, you see some people that very quickly after moving to a ...
11
votes
2answers
141 views

Which are the multisensory brain areas?

What would be an example of a multisensory brain area, where multiple senses (e.g. smell and taste) are combined to decode the corresponding stimuli from more than one sensory organ? I was thinking ...
11
votes
2answers
338 views

Why do we not remember things from the first couple of years of childhood?

As parents of a soon-to-be three-year-old, my wife and I spend a lot of time planning activities and trips for our son. However, my wife wanted to hold off on some of the big ones (i.e. Disney ...
11
votes
2answers
488 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
231 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it possible to improve reading speed and visual comprehension by doing exercises?

Background I'm trying to capture detailed information from the images in my visual memory, mainly text. My daily life requires reading many documents on varying topics. I want to increase my reading ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

What was the experiment where you pour liquid from a tall container to a short one and ask a child which has more?

From Developmental psychology 101 I remember an experiment where the person conducting the experiment would pour liquid from a tall, narrow container into a short, narrow container and ask a child if ...
11
votes
2answers
616 views

What is the “static” in human vision called?

Sort of like a cheap digital Camera, the human eye has certain feedback that's perceived but doesn't actually exist in the real world; a little layer of Static that's especially noticeable in pitch ...
11
votes
3answers
234 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

What transient factors affect performance on IQ tests?

While performance on intelligence tests aim to measure an underlying relatively stable trait, there are presumably a range of transient factors that could temporarily lower or possibly even raise ...
11
votes
1answer
273 views

Is there a practical limit to the amount of knowledge a human can learn?

There's definitely progressive interference and retroactive interference, which are basically two ways that old memories and new memories can interfere with each other. But on the other hand, do ...
11
votes
1answer
515 views

To what extent are correlations of father's age with birth defects and autism causal?

I read the following in the paper today: Dr Karin Hammarberg ... said that while most children are born healthy, large studies of parental age were starting to show higher rates of birth ...

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