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location Cumberland, MD
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visits member for 2 years, 10 months
seen Nov 28 '12 at 22:29

2d
awarded  Nice Answer
Apr
24
awarded  Nice Answer
Feb
5
awarded  Yearling
Feb
5
awarded  Yearling
Dec
25
awarded  Quorum
Sep
10
awarded  Commentator
Sep
10
comment Why do humans prefer symmetrical arrangement of objects?
I worked in architectural and landscape design when I was younger. Symmetry isn't really the point, "order" or "evenness" is more important; symmetry is just one (relatively easy) way of achieving them. Smooth, clean curves, even wildly asymmetric ones, are actually much more effective in landscaping. And balanced, but asymmetric, forms in architecture. In many ways, asymmetric forms are more attractive than simple symmetries. The one place symmetry is extremely important for perception of beauty is in human faces and, to a somewhat lesser extent, bodies.
Jul
7
comment What are the key examples of the use of computational methods in the study of biological neural networks?
This is rather tangential, but you might find it helpful, or at least interesting, openworm -- A simulation platform to build digital in silico living systems -- starting with a c. elegans worm virtual organism simulation
Jun
18
awarded  Editor
Jun
18
revised What cognitive strategies diminish bias in decision-making beyond those outlined by Larrick?
[rewrote to improve readability]
Jun
18
answered What cognitive strategies diminish bias in decision-making beyond those outlined by Larrick?
Jun
9
comment Compared efficiency of different spaced-repetition memorisation techniques
From the abstract of the first paper: >> However, there was no evidence that a particular relative spacing schedule (expanding, equal, or contracting) was inherently superior to another. Although expanding schedules afforded a pattern of increasing retrieval difficulty across repeated tests, this did not translate into gains in long-term retention. Repeated spaced retrieval had powerful effects on retention, but the relative schedule of repeated tests had no discernible impact.
Mar
4
answered Running on autopilot
Mar
2
comment Why is it common for people to default to a single causal source to explain new phenomena?
I think it is mostly a result of "hyperactive agency detection"; this results in "single-cause" reasoning as part of the search for an "agent".
Feb
22
answered What is the term for when too many choices results in inability to decide?
Feb
20
comment Any attempts at testing or modeling the 'cognitive conception' of language?
While language is not needed for all thinking, besides Dennett's serialization, you need language to think about abstractions and generalizations other than vaguely. Third, one of our major limitations is in working memory and language helps in "chunking" ideas so we can think about more things at one time.
Feb
17
answered Is it possible to create a false memory by trying to remember something that eludes you?
Feb
16
comment Is it possible to create a false memory by trying to remember something that eludes you?
I don't know of any specific studies, but that was the take-away I had from Elizabeth Loftus's books, Witness for the Defense and The Myth of Repressed Memory. Apparently, when people try to remember things they "self-cue" similarly to how police, lawyers, and psychologists (from those books) can lead a witness to remember things that never happened by how they question them.
Feb
15
comment Is it easier for people to remember longer words than words mixed with symbols?
This answer is mostly right, but it doesn't adequately emphasize the importance of semantic meaning in the chunking for memory. Strawberryhouse is one or two meaningful words, "$tr@wb3rr!" is the word plus the changes which need to be registered and remembered separately.
Feb
14
awarded  Critic