6,614 reputation
233108
bio website cs.mcgill.ca/~akazna
location Montreal, Canada
age 25
visits member for 2 years, 10 months
seen 16 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.


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.
Jan
27
comment Does data support Domhoff's neurocognitive theory of dreams?
I agree with @NickStauner that this is a duplicate. Also, please use the scientific unconscious or preconscious instead of the vernacular subconscious.
Jan
23
comment Split Brain Experiments on Animals
If you want the links then here is the ref for Levy & Trevarthen and a pdf
Jan
23
comment Is it truly necessary to upgrade Tononi's criteria of consciousness in the Integrated Information theory?
@caseyr547 putting pre-prints on the arXiv is not for attention, but a standard practice in physics, theoretical computer science, and most of mathematics. Now, I am not saying you should treat Tegmark's work seriously (I am not yet familiar with this preprint), but you should not misrepresent the arXiv. The preprint in question came out less than a month ago and could easily be under review somewhere. Not that this even matters, since it is just as easy to publish in 3rd rate journals as upload to the arXiv; papers should be judged on their own quality not based on where they appear.
Jan
23
comment Does law of attraction have psychological basis?
@NickStauner I am not opposed to your use of wikipedia in this answer! Especially with the bolding and expansion in the rest of the answer, it shows that you are taking time to provide a good answer. However, I would have voted to close this question as answerable by wikipedia and being better fit for skeptics than here.
Jan
23
comment Does law of attraction have psychological basis?
@GregMcNulty it has absolutely nothing to do with quantum mechanics, don't subscribe to such hokum. See the last two sections of my answer here since they apply to pretty much every use of the word quantum near anything to do with humans.
Jan
20
comment Neural Microfilaments for Computation?
@JoshF I am glad you liked it. I've been meaning to write more on this for a while now, and your question prompted me to finally get around to doing it. If you are interested in some of the history behind this hokum then I've started presenting it as a series of posts on my blog.
Jan
19
comment Is dominance a hypothetical construct or is it based in neurobiology?
@GaëlLaurans I think your series of comments provides a good "question the assumptions" answer, you should consider submitting it as an answer. Alternatively, we could create a general "Is X a hypothetical construct or is it based in neurobiology?" to use as a reference to many similar questions we get on the site, with your answer as a good starting point for people.
Jan
19
comment Does writing something on computer help memorize it?
it is better to not give an answer than to give a bad or misleading answer. I don't know what the answer to this question is, but I know that your conclusion does not follow from your own premises. If you think that the study suggests that typing offered benefits that are similar then you should stress them in your answer.
Jan
19
comment Does writing something on computer help memorize it?
How does your conclusion "Given this research" follow from the research you cite? You cite research in children where writing does give advantage over typing, cite an example that writing can interfere with reading and then conclude something completely unrelated (maybe even opposite) about typing in adults. Given the scant evidence you provide, the only thing that can be concluded is that we (or at least you) don't know the difference between writing and typing in this context.
Jan
18
comment Have IQ-type measures been tried for other animals?
"Many types of animals are less generalized thinking machines." what does that mean?
Jan
17
comment What is the current state of knowledge on the roles and mechanisms of top-down information flow in the brain?
Why is this question tagged with reproducible-research? It has nothing to do with that tag.
Jan
16
comment Definitions of consciousness
@Klik please don't talk about quantum mechanics and consciousness or free will, especially if you don't have a deep grapsp of both (I know I don't, although I have a research level grasp of quantum mechanics). If you are interested in this seriously, then I recommend looking at Scott Aaronson's essay since he is one of the few people qualified enough in quantum info and yet careful on the philosophical aspects of the question.
Jan
16
comment Definitions of consciousness
@Klik that question has been asked and answered here already. In my opinion that question (as with most questions on consciousness) presupposes the naive idea of a Cartesian ego.
Jan
16
comment Definitions of consciousness
I think this question might be of interest you.
Jan
15
comment What's the percentage of people that are mental calculator prodigies?
Your first link contradicts the assertion in your first sentence that "someone can become a mental calculator via high IQ" (and thus makes the last two paragraphs, that are already complete speculation totally irrelevant). Your second sentence is contradicted by that link as well, where it is written: "Outstanding calculating ability can occur in people with very low, with average, or with very high IQ." Finally, your 2nd paragraph only provides a very loose upper bound, since there is nothing to suggest that a large fraction of savants are mental calculator prodigies.
Jan
15
comment Does the effect of naturalistic exposure on second language acquisition vary with age?
This does not answer the question. The question is "does immersion help make significant progress even for people past their critical acquisition period" or "can a person past their critical age still acquire language fluency quickly if immersed"