6,581 reputation
233107
bio website cs.mcgill.ca/~akazna
location Montreal, Canada
age 25
visits member for 2 years, 9 months
seen yesterday

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
13
comment Name needed for psychological practice which uses objects that represent humans [dolls/pictures/etc.] during patient treatment
Could you please edit your title to be more reflective of the body of your question? "Psychological practice" is an extremely vague title, while the body of your post is solid.
Jan
13
comment Neural Microfilaments for Computation?
@JoshF if you want a discussion of your "free-will" question from someone who is a leading research in quantum computing/information and has thought carefully about philosophy then take a look at Scott Aaronson's essay.
Jan
13
comment Neural Microfilaments for Computation?
I've answered this question before on biology.SE, take a look. If I have some time, I will adapt that answer to supplement Keegan's.
Jan
10
comment Mulitiple partners: macho man vs. easy woman?
@caseyr547 you are assuming a lot about what Nick and Keegan meant, just because a social answer can be given (as my comment and your answer demonstrate), doesn't mean that biological considerations are completely irrelevant or uninteresting. Of course, for a clear-headed discussion of the biology without all the social-norms baggage, it is better to go to the biology stackexchange and ask about variability in non-human mating strategies; fun example would be to contrast the classic Chimp to Bonobo to Gorrilla to Orangutans.
Jan
10
comment Mulitiple partners: macho man vs. easy woman?
Before you take people's answers, make sure to read the article on examples of polyandry (settings where it is not socially atypical for one woman to have many husbands) so that the social and not-cross-cultural nature of your observation is clear.
Jan
9
comment How does cognitive science explain the origins of intuition and intelligence, that accurately describes the laws of nature?
Please don't link to university press releases as sources, but to the original papers. Especially for controversial claims since the press release people tend to misrepresent results.
Jan
9
comment How does cognitive science explain the origins of intuition and intelligence, that accurately describes the laws of nature?
Please read tag wikis, theory-of-the-mind is about how we come to believe hat others have minds and has nothing to do with this question.
Jan
4
comment How can machine possibly possess consciousness if computation is a human idea?
@what philosophy-of-mind is perfectly on topic here, in any form. The cognitive sciences have many approaches and the philosophical approach might not be the most popular one right now, but if undertaken seriously it is of interest. As for computational definitions of consciousness in neuroscience, we already have a good question about that.
Jan
4
comment How can machine possibly possess consciousness if computation is a human idea?
This question might be of interest for a more nuanced definition of consciousness.
Dec
30
comment Is there a psychological basis for getting hiccups?
This question appears to be off-topic and better suited for biology.SE and lacks initial research like consulting wikipedia.
Dec
30
comment Can a biological entity be thought as a simple algorithm? Case-study with the concept of randomness
Although I agree with your comment on randomness vs. non-randomness in the context of biology, keep in mind that in general your comment is rather controversial. In fact, a lot of people working on foundations of quantum mechanics would disagree, as would many philosophers.
Dec
17
comment What is the scientific definition of “brain training”?
I don't think it makes sense for us to have a 'brain-training' tag if the term is mostly associated with pseudoscience and gimmicky marketing.
Dec
17
comment What does Lumosity's Flexibility measure?
possible duplicate of How valid is Lumosity's Brain Performance Index and what normative information is available? which covers much of the same stuff but with a much more precise question.
Dec
13
comment How much information does the somatosensory system produce?
@KeeganKeplinger I think you are misinterpreting the discussion in that scholarpedia article. Bits is just the name of the units used to measure Shannon entropy (which can be defined between any two random variables), sure in the case of a binary variable bits correspond to something very intuitive (i.e. yes/no questions), but the variable need not be binary to be measured in bits. Similarly, you could choose another set of units like nats (i.e. using ln instead of base-2 log in your calculation) and that would be perfectly reasonable (like measuring in meters or feet) but not relate to binary
Dec
8
comment What is the psychology behind male pornographic actors having larger than average penises?
@John I agree with you, I've been meaning to add an answer that stresses this aspect (as well as discussing in passing some dangers of evo-psych), but it might make more sense as an edit to your answer if you wanted.
Dec
5
comment What is the psychology behind male pornographic actors having larger than average penises?
There is one problem with this answer for me and that is in this line: "but because we evolved to prefer larger values of these for fitness reasons we suffer from a supernormal stimulus effect when they are exaggerated." Why would men evolve a preference for large penises in other men? If women have such a preference, that is irrelevant, since the pornography in question is filmed to appeal to men and not women. In other words, I believe this as an answer for breasts and buttocks, but I feel there is an extra something missing when it comes to penises.
Dec
4
comment How much information does the somatosensory system produce?
@KeeganKeplinger what units do you measure information content in? Bits are a pretty good all around measure, and information theory is well enough developed to let you convert most statistical measures to information theoretic ones.
Dec
4
comment What happens neurobiologically when people “think fast”?
@Jeff I think that your comments are effectively an answer along the lines of: "Here is some background on dual-process theory, which is what people usually associate with 'thinking fast'. Based on this, there is no reason to believe that there is a single area or pathway responsible for this, here are some examples." It would be a good addition to the site, and I would upvote it.
Dec
4
comment Are we to a point in research that we can correlate measurable phenomena with brain changes?
I think the title should be edited to better reflect the body of the question. As it stands the title suggests a question similar to this one but the body suggests something completely different.
Dec
4
comment Can lucid dreaming detract from the recuperative effect of REM sleep?
@Jeff can you use the resources in the quora answers to inform an answer suitable to this site?