# All Questions

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### 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 ...
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### Do safety features cause drivers to engage in more risky behavior than they otherwise would?

It seems to be generally assumed that making cars safer for the occupants will reduce death, injury, and damage from traffic accidents. What are some examples of significant empirical research on ...
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### Does teaching a bird an artificial task like eating from a feeder hurt its performance in the wild?

Can training a wild animal through operant conditioning somehow cause the animal to forget or be unable to perform tasks which it had perviously learned? Is it likely that training wild animals ...
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### What is a reliable physiological measure (e.g., serotonin levels) of positive affect?

Is there a reliable physiological measure or correlate to positive affect? What does research say on this? I thought that serotonin levels are correlated with self-reported happiness levels, but, ...
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### What does “veridicality” mean in terms of psychology?

I'm reading the paper "Visual Space Perception and Visually Directed Action" by Loomis, Da Silva, Fujita and Fukusima (1992; pdf). In this paper, the word 'veridicality' is used in several sentences. ...
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### Are there any modern mechanistic theories of motivation?

I remember hearing about the old 'drive' theory of motivation in Psych 101, and despite continuing my cognitive science education for another 4 years, that's the last theory of motivation I've heard ...
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### Has there been any research done that contrasts point-based and achievement-based gamification methods?

Stack Exchange is a good example of these two methods of gamification: Reputation Badges I am curious as to whether there has ever been any research done that defines and contrasts these methods? ...
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### Motivation vs Goal Oriented Behavior

What's the difference between these two terms when used in the context of cognitive psychology? To the best of my knowledge, research on 'Goal Oriented Behavior' refers to the subset of motivation ...
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### Why do people talk fast in presentations when nervous?

I was at a professional development seminar today, and the presenter, while being interesting and knowing his subject admitted to being nervous and was speaking very fast. I know I do this when I am ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Why is an image of a face without features disturbing?

Below is a snapshot of an article linked from LinkedIn today. What I find more disturbing than the topic at hand is the featured image used to head up the article. Clearly it's important to provide ...
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### Is there any recent work on modeling how we rapidly acquire new knowledge?

I work with neural network models of human cognition a lot, and one thing that bugs me about them is the timescale: they learn over thousands of trials whereas humans seem to learn after a couple ...
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### Computational Model Linking Neural Activity to Behavior

A big question in neuroscience is how neural activity represents knowledge. We can use modelling to explore how different levels of neural activity- subthreshold currents, action potentials, local ...
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### 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 ...
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### What causes people to feel depressed without there being a problem?

I have noticed that some people have lives that appear perfectly fine, yet they feel depressed. In my specific case the feeling typically lasts for a few days and then magically disappears, only to ...
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### How distantly related are research in computational neuroscience and neural networks/machine learning?

If one is more interested in understanding how algorithms in the biological brain solve problems (theoretically, particularly the mathematical aspect), and possibly in building brain-inspired ...
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### Are there specific game mechanics that correlate with addictions?

Are there specific game mechanics that have a high correlation with addictions or with the characteristics of addictive behavior? Should such mechanics be avoided or can they be used with other ...
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### Are the incidents of autism spectrum disorder on the rise, or is there an increase due to better definition of diagnostic criteria?

Statistics offered by the CDC indicate that the prevalance of autism spectrum disorder in the U.S. went from 1-in-150 children in 2002, up to 1-in-88 by 2008: A new report released in 2013 shows ...
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### What forms of the travelling salesman problem are difficult for humans to solve?

In the traveling salesman problem (TSP) we are given a set of nodes, where one node is the starting node. The task is to find the shortest tour starting at the start node visiting every node exactly ...
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### Can psychosomatic reactions be completely unconcious?

I had always considered that psychosomatic reactions, such as Psychogenic pain, while "real" to the person experiencing them, would be a concious reaction at some level. That is to say, if the person ...
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I have a young daughter who I am teaching to read, and I was given a "Your Baby Can Read" DVD set by a friend. When discussing it with friends, several of my teacher friends frowned upon the use of ...
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### Sensory Immersion Research?

Sensory deprivation is a relatively common technique for medititation and general consciousness-exploration. However, I'm more interested in sensory immersion. That is, deliberate overstimulation as ...
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### Images on personal computers - Which aspect of size to keep constant?

For various reasons we're doing a reaction time study involving images that runs on unstandardized equipment: patients' personal computers (unless they don't meet certain requirements). It's not about ...
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### Is a Hopfield network with a continuous activation variable and a discrete time variable possible?

I've found plenty of resources on Hopfield networks that use either discrete variables for both activation level and time or continuous variables for both activation level and time. Is it possible to ...
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### What constructs help explain limited cognitive processing and the cognitive effects of rules that limit decision making choices?

Supposed that I'm a married man, and my wife asks me to pick out a paint color for our new house. It's not terribly mentally taxing. However, my wife starts to add rules. The color can't be too ...
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### 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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### 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 ...
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### What is the effect of studying logic or mathematics on general thinking skills?

I frequently hear comments from people to the effect that "Studies have shown that students who take (intro) logic courses don't show any signs of improvement in logical/rational/critical thinking." ...
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### Predicting how long a task will take

As a software engineer I have always struggled with predicting how long a project would take by underestimating and I have noticed that all of my colleagues have the same problem. In this video at ...
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### What is the effect of not sub-vocalizing on reading comprehension?

Sometimes when reading, text segments are not so important or relevant, when that happens I tend to read between lines in a visual manner, without sub-vocalizing or pronouncing the words in my mind. ...
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### 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 ...
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### Evidence-based best practices for writing a gratitude journal

I was intrigued to read (in the question "What positive writing exercises improve happiness?") the idea of a gratitude diary suggested as an intervention that "causes psychological well-being levels ...
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### Is remembering a list of words an example of semantic or episodic memory?

I'm having a hard time making a clear distinction between semantic and episodic memory. When presented with idealized examples, I find the breakdown clear; describing a trip to Paris is an example of ...
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### At what point does a complex become pathological?

I've a first question so I apologize if the format is completely awry. I'm reading Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature and I came across this passage by Edward C. ...
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### 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 ...
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### What structures in the brain are called upon to strengthen coupling between bilateral movements?

It is very difficult for the normally-coordinated person to be able to pat his/her head and rub his/her stomach at the same time (or pick a similar activity). It seems to be possible to maintain the ...
508 views

### Why do humans like being touched?

I wonder why people like to be touched so much, why would it make sense from a evolutionary perspective. I know people enjoy hugs and company of opposite sex but even people from the same sex hug and ...
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### Why do we become bored of stimuli after multiple exposures to it?

Why do we become bored of songs, films, stories, jokes, food after being exposed to them or experiencing them multiple times? Why is it when our cortex becomes adequate at predicting the outcomes of ...
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### Why a person may have a temptation to do something unrelated when doing especially important thing?

I would like to know, why a person may have a temptation to do something unrelated (or slightly related to his current task) when doing particularly important job? Like, when preparing for an ...
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### How similar are human brains within the same haplogroup?

I've read about neuroscience and listen to talks like this one Juan Enriquez: Will our kids be a different species, I'm starting to realize that humans are not all the same, and are instead quite ...
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### What is the effect of Social Proof on Conversion Rate?

I'm wondering to what extent Social Proof helps the Conversion Rate of websites and marketing. Specifically I'm wondering what effect Social Proof would have on Conversion Rate for a sample task in ...
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### Are there any connectionist models that integrate reinforcement and fully supervised learning?

I've been working on modeling some phenomena involving real-time control in an environment with inherent rewards (specifically, playing a 'pong'-like game), and it's increasingly looking like ...
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### What kinds of information can (and cannot) be extracted from connectome?

Several scientific projects are trying to map the connectome, such as The Human Connectome Project. The connectomes of other organisms, such as C. elegans, have been mapped already. Having an ...
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### What types of sounds do young infants prefer?

I've learned through course lectures that infants can recognize faces shortly after birth (Slater & Quinn, 2001), and have a visual preference for human features as young as 1-month-old (Sanefuji ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Does self-directed speech help or hurt a blind subject's auditory recognition?

Recently, it was found that self-directed speech was helpful to sighted subjects engaging in a visual search task: Participants searched for common objects, while being sometimes [sic] asked to ...