1
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1answer
82 views

How is information stored in the brain

I believe information in computer is physically stored as a lattice of "boxes". Each box is either magnetized or de-magnetized. The computer reads this to retrieve and consolidate useful information. ...
1
vote
1answer
402 views

Can a strong lack of empathy be considered a disorder?

Premise from Wikipedia: More recently, popular science writer and Psychologist Daniel Goleman has drawn on social neuroscience research to propose that social intelligence is made up of social ...
1
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1answer
109 views

What are ways to explore metamathematics from a cognitive science/neuroscience lens?

What are ways to explore metamathematics from a cognitive science/neuroscience lens to understand the evolution of mathematics based on structural and perceptual processing biases introduced due to ...
1
vote
1answer
269 views

Does neuroticism cause people to hurt others?

Is neuroticism related to harming others? Is neuroticism related to increased criminal behaviour? And in this case, would it be useful to coach / help a neurotic person through psychotherapy?
51
votes
4answers
8k views

Does writing something down help memorize it?

This is a question inspired by this recent question on the Chinese Language & Usage website. Someone asked why they needed to learn how to write Chinese characters, since today we mostly use ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there evidence that listening to music can aid/hinder concentration or performance?

I, like many computer programmers, love to listen to music while I work. I have always believed that music helps me stay focused and motivated, and improves my performance on many types of tasks, ...
48
votes
1answer
9k views

Is leg jiggling a focus aid?

This is slightly left-field, but I am interested in the Cognitive Science implications of this question: Many people, myself included, are "leg jigglers", meaning we often sit jiggling or bouncing a ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do higher incentives lead to lower performance for non-rudimentary tasks?

I have watched a number of times this excellent video where Dan Pink discusses the science of motivation. The video states that the higher incentives, the lower performance for non-rudimentary (not ...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

Is The magical number 7 still valid?

George A. Miller published "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information" in 1956 and is one of the most highly cited papers in psychology. It ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the psychology behind trolling?

For those new to the internet, trolling is an activity where one person intentionally tries to upset other members of the same community, presumably for entertainment. This has been informally ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there experimental support for John Perry's “Theory of Structured Procrastination”?

John Perry's theory of structured procrastination can be summed up as follows: Some people are inherently predisposed to be procrastinators across a wide range of domains Such procrastinators are ...
16
votes
1answer
290 views

How can I use gamification to encourage people to complete workplace training?

I am looking for ways to improve the likelihood people will perform mundane but required workplace training. I am looking into gamification techniques. My organisation requires that employees ...
20
votes
2answers
416 views

How are newly created neurons recruited into existing networks?

As far as I understand, the basics of neurogenesis (abstracted down to the level that makes sense to a computer scientist) is as follows: Neural progenitor cells differentiate into new neurons that ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Effect of words highlighting on reading comprehension

I'm interested if there are studies dealing with text understanding and POS (part of speech) coloring, or coloring syntactic/semantic information. The studies should solve the questions like: Which ...
15
votes
5answers
764 views

Why is storytelling an effective way to transmit information between people?

Parables, fables, myths, whatever you might call them, stories have always been part of human consciousness. Within recent decades, storytelling is recognized as a big component of advertising and ...
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
497 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 ...
26
votes
2answers
2k views

What color is this dress? — And why do some see it as white and gold and others see it as black and blue?

Here's the dress (and keep reading, this is actually a serious question): This question about this image has apparently become quite a rapidly spreading meme on the internet. And after conducting ...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the most effective maximum work duration per day?

A related question asks about the best work-break schedule for an effective eight hour work day. This question presupposes that eight hours of work per day is a good duration and that all you need is ...
20
votes
1answer
611 views

Medium-term effects of polyphasic sleep on performance

Typical sleep patterns of one big block of 6 to 9 hours with no naps is usually referred to as monophasic sleep. A second natural sleep pattern is biphasic sleep which breaks up your sleep into two ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

How long does it take to read a sentence with X number of characters?

How does the time needed to read a sentence scale with the number of characters? Or does this time scaling depend on something more than just character count? For example, let $X$ be the number of ...
16
votes
3answers
368 views

Why does being in a natural environment induce some kind of “peace” state while mecha/tech ones induce the opposite?

Usually, natural environments (being out in "nature") tend to induce a happy and peaceful state, while mechanical and technological ones tend to induce stress and sadness. Why does this happen? Are ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Is the Neanderthal Theory of Autistic brain a reasonable scientific theory?

I've recently learned about The Neanderthal Theory, that explains autistic (and especially Asperger's) brain functioning as the effect of genetical similarity with Neanderthals. The author gives a ...
13
votes
11answers
2k views

Are there any cognitive test (or test suites) available on the iPad?

I find the IPad to be a great piece of hardware that is easy to bring along and that has an intuitive touch interface. This would make it an ideal platform for many cognitive tests such as n-back. As ...
18
votes
5answers
923 views

Can response time be incorporated into signal detection theory?

In signal detection theory, one typically uses "signal" and "no signal" responses to analyze the data (that is, the analysis is based on a discrete choice for each trial, effectively generating the ...
13
votes
2answers
346 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
190 views

To what extent do individuals vary in their ability to mentally visualise?

Background: Yesterday I was shocked when a friend of mine told me that he can see only "completely black darkness" when he closes he eyes. When I close my eyes, I can see some images or "movies" of ...
11
votes
1answer
789 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
808 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
509 views

How to predict romantic attraction

Dating websites and psychological researchers attempt to find those factors that predict the fit between potential romantic partners. Examples for factors taken into consideration are the "big five" ...
17
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
532 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
380 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
875 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
489 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
563 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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
1answer
1k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
674 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
0answers
303 views

Does dream recall interfere with “reverse learning”? (Crick and Mitchison's theory of REM sleep)

I've recently became aware of the idea of "reverse learning" that might happen during REM sleep - the brain's attempt to eliminate pathological attractors that might appear in neural networks. The ...
14
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
790 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
3answers
720 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
394 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
250 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
2answers
2k views

How long does it take to refocus after context switching?

Context switching has been highlighted for the toll it takes on productivity at great length, particularly by people who work in software and project management. Are there any ...

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