6,503 reputation
233105
bio website cs.mcgill.ca/~akazna
location Montreal, Canada
age 25
visits member for 2 years, 7 months
seen 4 hours ago

From the School of Computer Science and Department of Psychology at McGill University, I marvel at the world through algorithmic lenses. My specific interests are in quantum computing, evolutionary game theory, modern evolutionary synthesis, and theoretical cognitive science. Previously I was at the Institute for Quantum Computing and Department of Combinatorics & Optimization at the University of Waterloo and a visitor to the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore.


Mar
5
comment Overview of Pitts & McCullough (1943) “A logical calculus of the ideas immanent in nervous activity”
Their paper is cited by many as the first introduction of deterministic finite state automata into computer science (although in my opinion some work in idustrial engineering preceeds this). Thus it is very important for the history of CS; I don't think it is nearly as important for neuroscience, unfortunately :(.
Mar
4
comment Does explaining a visual guidance system affect visual attention distribution?
When this leaves testing, and is used with (I assume) student drivers, will it be explained to them? Or are you just trying to use this in a study to learn how people scan normally and giving the cues as an "aha! I gotcha! There was danger here!"?
Mar
3
comment How does human brain pick out the most likely representation of object when an object is ambiguous?
How is feature recognition any different from voting of different networks? What do you think recognizes the features? Or do you literally believe that there is a "potato" and a "grenade" neural network in your brain that is somehow distinct from the "networks for other objects"? Finally, is it possible to remove the images? They don't add anything to the question except length.
Mar
3
comment What is relationship between being a good person and functioning in society?
Welcome to CogSci @DavidBasanta, that seems like an interesting question that is too long for comments. You should consider making it a separate self-contained question on the site.
Mar
3
comment Are words and ideas written in a distinctive font easier to remember?
If something is less legible then it takes more effort to read and since you devote more effort, you are more likely to engage in more active reading which tends to promote retention. I would explore this route.
Feb
14
comment When was it recognized that thinking occurs in the brain and not in the heart?
I think this is historic cherry-picking; if you dig enough among the Greeks you will find almost any belief (most prominent example of this is saying that the Greeks predicted atomic theory because of Democritus). The question becomes (as you point out in the comments), did any large body subscribe to this belief beyond a few disciples? I would argue that they didn't, because in the 3rd century BC, Aristotle was still promoting the brain as refrigerator and had much more historic significance than Alcmaeon.
Feb
14
comment What does a cortical column do?
Here's an example of a much better focused question on bio.SE.
Feb
14
comment What does a cortical column do?
@H.Muster I was actually going to make the same comment, but I was surprised by how uninformative that wikipedia article and the discussion here were. In general, a quick Google search doesn't reveal an obvious definitive resource, either. Hence, it might be good to provide a canonical answer here if jonsca has time. Of course, I do wish that the OP would focus the question more, since it is pretty vague.
Feb
12
comment Cosyne vs CNS conferences for Computational Neuroscience?
@ChuckSherrington I don't think your characterization of NIPS is accurate, it doesn't 'mix in some ML and AI' it is one of the two premier ML conferences, which might mix in a little bit of comp neuro. In reality, I think the typical comp neuro lab would have a very difficult time trying to publish there. For instance, take a look at the 2013 proceedings.
Feb
6
comment Is there a scientific term for when you fall asleep because you can't handle something?
@SamWhited you should consider taking a look at this article and the answers on this question and then use them to frame a new more specific question about the relationship between sleep and depression. I think that would be interesting.
Feb
6
comment Is there a scientific term for when you fall asleep because you can't handle something?
I am not 100% sure how what you describe is different from a combination of fainting on one hand (if it is an instantaneous encounter) and a common side-effect of depression (to "avoid facing the day") on the other hand (if it is one of break-up, lose job, etc cases). Both are looked at by abnormal-psych. (Edit: After typing this comment, I see that @Monacraft's answer describes exactly this)
Feb
6
comment Is there a scientific term for when you fall asleep because you can't handle something?
@NickStauner I guess I use abnormal-psychology more widely than most, I would consider it for things like psychological responses to extreme conditions not typically experiences by people. An (potentially incorrect) example I would give is: many people who experience trench warfare come-back with shell-shock, so that could be seen as a normal response, however studying shell-shock would still be under abnormal-psych. Of course, I am by no means an authority on this, and if you guys think my edit is wrong you can reverse it or add some other tags.
Feb
6
comment How has geometry been applied in cognitive science?
Do you consider general applications of linear algebra as geometry? Or must some specific geometric insights beyond that be used?
Feb
6
comment Does the time required to read a word grow linearly with the number of characters?
I think this is a duplicate of How long does it take to read X number of characters?. That question specifically discusses linear, versus sub-linear, versus super-linear growth.
Feb
6
comment Why is storytelling an effective way to transmit information between people?
Not only is it an important part of advertising and marketing, but also of science (see also here) and (unfortunately) pseudoscience.
Feb
1
comment What is the term for a psychological effect which does not have a neurobiological/genetic basis?
@caseyr547 read the answer, 'the idea' is using multiple realizability as a way to categorize certain properties as nature vs nurture. That is not google-able, although if you could find a reference to people looking at nature vs. nurture from that perspective, I would be interested.
Jan
31
comment Is paraphilia a disorder?
Thanks, this is a useful reference. I hope you are linking to it from the relevant question.
Jan
29
comment Can the daily use of two or more languages impact cognitive capacity?
@icosamuel I am not sure if it is reasonable to draw conclusions from programming language to natural languages (or vice versa). Even the best programmer is far from fluent in their programming language of choice, at least in the sense of a natural language fluency.
Jan
28
comment Can the daily use of two or more languages impact cognitive capacity?
Although Canada is officially a bilingual country, in most provinces outside of Quebec and the maritimes, French is not used or known by most people. In Quebec there are some 'truly bilingual' cities like Montreal, but away from these hubs people speak French and little English. Hence, I am not sure if you can qualify Canada as a 'bilingual society' for the purpose of this question. Any Canada-wide statistic will be dominated by monolinguals.
Jan
27
comment Does data support Domhoff's neurocognitive theory of dreams?
@caseyr547 I didn't make up rules, I asked you to be scientific on a science site and linked you to an explanation of why subconscious is not used in scientific discussions.