10
votes
3answers
968 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
2answers
675 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
420 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
1answer
217 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
225 views

What neural mechanism explains the tendency to visually attend to the whole scene before attending to details?

I have the intuition that human vision first attends to large-scale objects and then small-scale details. Is there any mechanism in the visual cortex that will explain this phenomenon? Is there a ...
10
votes
1answer
190 views

Are there additional animal studies about superstitions?

In one particular case, Skinner decided to go random on his hungry pigeons. He dropped food into the box at completely random times, independent of any behavior on the part of the pigeons. But ...
10
votes
3answers
218 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
3answers
318 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
480 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

How to temporarily induce low latent inhibition?

As the Wikipedia article says, High levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine (or its agonists) in the ventral tegmental area of the brain have been shown to decrease latent inhibition. Certain ...
10
votes
2answers
696 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
104 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
127 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
224 views

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, ...
10
votes
1answer
947 views

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. ...
10
votes
1answer
257 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
252 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
44 views

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? ...
10
votes
1answer
125 views

Are there any studies that examine the phenomenon of songs stuck in the head?

Frequently I hear people say (and myself included) "darn it, I can't get that song out of my head!". Are there any studies that examine this phenomenon of songs getting stuck in people's heads? ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
456 views

Is there a cognitive bias for ascribing agency to inanimate objects?

I am curious to know if any research might have been done on this topic or if it is any way even described in scientific literature. It's not uncommon for people to ascribe agency to inanimate ...
10
votes
3answers
198 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
125 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
1answer
546 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
3answers
419 views

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 ...
10
votes
2answers
165 views

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 ...
10
votes
2answers
245 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
244 views

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 ...
10
votes
2answers
302 views

What are different ways to determine centroids of fMRI activation, their drawbacks and perks?

I'm reading an older article on bilingualism (Kim, Relkin, Lee, & Hirsch, 1997) for a seminar. They were interested in the spatial separation of two languages in early and late bilinguals. They ...
10
votes
2answers
136 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
74 views

Why do long range axons in mammals travel in white matter tracts?

I am curious to know as to why long range, myelinated axons prefer to convene and form white matter tracts, rather than simply reach its target in an arbitrary fashion. Is there some kind of ...
10
votes
2answers
128 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
126 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
120 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
216 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
184 views

Are some methods of teaching reading “bad”?

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Are there benefits to learning to write with your non-dominant hand?

There are some articles on the web that recommend learning to write with your non-dominant hand to get in touch with your inner child or a higher power, increase your creativity and be more ...
10
votes
3answers
137 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
165 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
152 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
748 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
308 views

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." ...
10
votes
1answer
147 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
125 views

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. ...
10
votes
2answers
150 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
1answer
264 views

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 ...
10
votes
2answers
958 views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
190 views

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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