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9

I assume that the group that spends 100% of their time studying real analysis and 0% of their time doing n-back training will do best in any subsequent real analysis course. Cognitive skill acquisition does not generalise all that much (for a review see VanLehn, 1996). Transfer is often limited. I'm sceptical of any claims that short term training can lead ...


7

Your question is very vague, and on a subject where a lot more research needs to be done, so forgive me but my answer is also going to probably be more vague and less definitive than you were hoping for. Provigil, as far as I can tell is just another brand name of modafinil, which has some very clear advantages when it comes to increasing your concentration ...


7

The conclusions drawn in Inoue & Matsuzawa's (2007) study, which seems to be available here, are suspect. First off, the sample sizes (6 chimp, 9 human subjects) are simply too small to draw good inferences about working memory, at least about human working memory, but as I imagine chimps are somewhat expensive subjects, c'est la vie. Secondly, and more ...


7

No. Different parts of the brain are responsible for different functions, and the brain would not spontaneously reorganize based only on a improved WM. Memory is a huge factor in intelligence, and improving WM would likely result in increased scores on intelligent tests, and in general is a good thing. References: Increased prefrontal and parietal ...


6

High working memory is associated with greater ability to learn meanings of abstract symbols, such as is required to do mathematics. I would be highly skeptical of a claim that there is a trade-off between WM and general intelligence. Ian M. Lyons, Sian L. Beilock, Beyond quantity: Individual differences in working memory and the ordinal understanding ...


6

General Review of Mindfulness Meditation on Cognitive Performance There is a review article Chiesa et al (2011) which would provide a good starting point. They review 23 studies looking at the effect of mindfulness meditation on performance on objective cognitive tests. Twenty three studies providing measures of attention, memory, executive ...


6

As Chuck pointed out in the comments, it's important not to take a metaphor too literally. Comparing our memory to a mailbox may have some validity, it is not true that our memory can "fill up"-- i.e., that we have a limited capacity for knowledge in general. No matter how old or how many facts you have learned, you will always be capable of learning new ...


5

I would like to add a bit of terminology to @what's answer. Of course memory is a pretty big topic with different and sometimes conflicting theories and I would not consider myself an expert. Having this said, the distinction between Long Term Memory (LTM) and Working Memory is widely used, so I will use it, too. The problem that you describe in your ...


5

Working memory and other aspects of executive function (attention, for instance) are linked. There is evidence that improving self control improves emotional outbursts (see article below). So, improving working memory should improve self control, which should prevent emotional outbursts. See: Denson, T. F., Capper, M. M., Oaten, M., Friese, M., & ...


5

I'm using your example, because another example would lead to a different interpretation. Using your example is not meant to help you, just to illustrate my answer. The normal situation is to forget things. There are people who dispute this, believing that you store any and all information you ever encountered (after all, what would the famous 90% unused ...


4

No program has been definitively proven to increase working memory in any generalizable way. The authors conclude that memory training programs appear to produce short-term, specific training effects that do not generalize. Possible limitations of the review (including age differences in the samples and the variety of different clinical conditions ...


4

There is a huge body of literature on emotion regulation. The main person to look up is James Gross. He's recently published a second edition of the Handbook of Emotion Regulation if you'd like a comprehensive review of the field. He also just published a target article in Psychological Inquiry about the present status of emotion regulation research and ...


3

The distinction between these terms is a matter of ongoing empirical research. They form part of a set of potential taxonomical categorizations of visual memory (VM). So far proposed sub-parts of VM include: Iconic (or sensory) memory, short-term (VSTM), fragile short-term (fVSTM), working memory (VWM), and long-term (VLTM) memory. The distinction between ...


3

No, the distinction is real, not arbitrary. Implicit and explicit memory show different hallmark behavioral characteristics. A good overview of the difference between explicit and implicit memory is available in the MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. The wikipedia page on implicit memory also has some useful information. Perhaps the most important ...


3

There's a huge amount of perspectives you could take in answering a question like this, but I would like to approach it from the perspective of dual process theories (see the Evans, 2008 Annual Review paper for an outline). I'm not going to reference this answer much beyond that, because almost all the information is adapted from this review, with some ...


3

Just a few words on mnemonics before answering your question. I have been practicing for two years. First because I was impressed how easy it was to remember items using these techniques. My personal best time for learning the order of 52 cards is 1min 40s, which is not really good compared to real competitors, but the point is that practicing 30min a day ...


2

There is strong evidence that suggests there are changes in neural pathways, synapses, and even birth of new neurons due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes. That is known as Neuroplasticity, which suggests that our brain's capacity can be "recycled" and even augmented in many cases. If I had to choose a metaphor to make an analogy of ...


2

Dual Task research In general, I think a lot depends on what is the secondary task and how it relates to the primary task (see human multitasking). In general, secondary tasks tend to lower performance on the primary task. A classic combinations where there may be facilitation is music with gross motor tasks, where the music is often experienced as ...


2

A very common test of working memory is the N-back. In the N-back, the subject needs to remember what happened some number (N) of steps earlier. For example, imagine seeing the following numbers one at a time on a computer screen. Your task is to press a key whenever the number on the screen is the same as the number that was there 3 steps earlier: 1 4 5 2 ...


1

Focused attention meditation practices improve focus in the long term. So the improvement is difficult to asses and could probably only be found in a standardized test setting. Physical exercise however has been demonstrated to improve mental abilities in the short term (after recovery of physical exercise) levels of circulating neurotransmitter stay ...


1

Working memory is a term introduced in 1960 in the context of cognitive planning. It is in one sense a short-term memory, a temporary storage for short-lived information. The distinction lies in "working", which implies that the contents in memory are being worked upon. (A physicist would define work as the act of a force that leads to displacement.) Thus, ...


1

Practice or forget, that is the rule. If you want to recall more words for your vocabulary then read more and write more texts with less common words. If you want to recall memories look at old photographs of your life and try to recall everything associated with those events. Memory improves when health improves, so work on that too.


1

It looks like there is a developmental relationship between WM and general IQ: Fry, A. F., & Hale, S. (1996). Processing speed, working memory, and fluid intelligence: Evidence for a developmental cascade. Psychological science, 7(4), 237-241. Cole, M. W., Yarkoni, T., Repovš, G., Anticevic, A., & Braver, T. S. (2012). Global Connectivity of ...


1

The answer hinges on the definition of working memory. If we look at synthetics, with their massive visual memory correlations to time, numbers, etc, definitely not. They are worse in mathematics, they are constantly bombarded by memories triggered by unrelated events, some synethesiacs with OCD revolving around their personal lives are constantly ...



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