13
votes
5answers
24k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What do the super-large brains of whales and elephants map to?

Elephants and whales have brains that are much larger than those of humans. It is presumed that much of their brain is used up for their larger bodies (after all, there is a allometric scaling between ...
13
votes
2answers
348 views

What factors improve mood and increase cognitive functioning when people wake up?

I'm a software engineer doing some research in order to figure out if developing some applications are worth the effort. This work is applied to computational devices including mobile devices and even ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Public domain scientific intelligence test available for use in research

The IPIP is an example of a public domain scientific personality inventory that can be used for research. Are there any good public domain scientific measures of intelligence? Requirements Do ...
13
votes
2answers
546 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
664 views

Does the transcription method used (e.g., printing, handwriting, typing, voice recording, etc.) affect memory retention?

When I was in high school, one of my teachers used to make us hand print copies of materials from transparencies on an overhead projector (I may be showing my age), with the reasoning that re-writing ...
13
votes
2answers
341 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
140 views

What are the IQ correlations between relatives?

Bouchard and McGue (1981) wrote a review article (linked here) that summarized the correlations between relatives. McGue asserted in a recent talk (that I'm not able to link) that he's not aware of ...
13
votes
2answers
631 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
408 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
544 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
233 views

What does cognitive science say about whether to learn mathematics top-down from research papers?

There is currently a popular question on math.SE on whether it is effective to learn math top-down. By top-down I mean finding a paper that interests you which is obviously way over your head, ...
13
votes
1answer
264 views

What causes laughter?

I was looking at this video from VSauce: "Why did the chicken cross the road?", where several facts about this old joke are exposed and explained. At some point, (6:59) Michael explains that there is ...
13
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 ...
13
votes
1answer
139 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

432 Hz vs. 440 Hz frequencies: health and psychological effects?

Search for “432 Hz” in YouTube and you’ll find plenty of examples where people have applied a pitch shifter to alter music ranging from a Mozart Requiem to Oasis’ Wonderwall. But some claim that ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Do the Jungian Cognitive Functions/ Processes really exist?

Background Many of us must have come across personality theories like MBTI which use part of Carl Jung's concepts to make a theoretical system used to divide people into types. For example, MBTI ...
13
votes
1answer
404 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
169 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
593 views

PTSD based on false memories

Memory is not just static snapshots or video on a harddrive, but an active process. As such, it is possible to construct false memories (Brainerd & Reyna, 2005). Some of these false memories can ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

How can we scientifically measure love?

I want to understand the psychology of love, and I found the Triangular Theory of Love on Wikipedia from this question, which I think is very believable. However, there is a big section on mixed ...
12
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
414 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
442 views

Why don't people listen to smart people?

Generally speaking, I feel like there are two things everyone can agree on when it comes to intellectuals: They don't know everything. They know more than me (at least about a particular topic). ...
12
votes
2answers
281 views

Which schools of psychotherapy are most credible to a hard scientist?

There is a problem in all therapies that if the client doesn't have faith or trust in the therapist then it is unlikely that anything can be achieved. Therefore effective therapy for an extreme ...
12
votes
3answers
279 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 science/...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Simulate colorblindness in non-colorblind individuals

Is there any way by which individuals with normal color vision could "see" the effects of Deuteranopia or any of the common colorblindness types, say by using special lenses or anything? Color ...
12
votes
3answers
654 views

Why do people avoid taking the last “donut”?

In many contexts (family, colleagues, etc), say there is a box of donuts for people to take (or any kind of treat or snack). A lot of the times we can observe that there will be only one left and ...
12
votes
2answers
382 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 World),...
12
votes
3answers
307 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 signup,...
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
2answers
360 views

What is the support for a global personality factor?

The Big 5 is a popular framework for describing major factors of individual differences in personality. More recently, I've been hearing people talking about the utility of conceptualising personality ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it possible to run multiple thought processes concurrently?

For example, let's say I have a friend sprinting a 50m distance and that friend wants me to time the race, but I don't have a stopwatch so I have to count "manually". Can I count while simultaneously ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Which equation is Ebbinghaus's forgetting curve and what do the constants represent?

First off, I've come across two different forgetting curve equations. $$R = e^{-\large \frac{t}{s}}$$ where $R$ is retention, $t$ is time and $s$ is strength can be found on Wikipedia. And $$b = \...
12
votes
2answers
879 views

What form might Jungian archetypes take in the brain?

Modern psychology and psychiatry are very well grounded in scientific principles. Both, however, have a history in various analytical philosophies. Jung had the notion of an archetype, a universally ...
12
votes
2answers
2k 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
302 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
378 views

How does neural spiking begin in the fetus?

I'm interested in modeling human brain spiking activity. How does the very first spiking activity begin in the fetus? I imagine all spiking activity is initiated by the senses and internal ...
12
votes
1answer
722 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
600 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
891 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
483 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
94 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
147 views

Have there been any studies which report a positive correlation between eating certain foods and reported sleep disturbances?

This Skeptics question touched on the subject, but I'm more focused on studies that have been conducted under highly controlled circumstances, like a university sleep lab. We've all heard these old ...
12
votes
1answer
323 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
318 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
449 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
235 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 ...

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