6,254 reputation
23199
bio website cs.mcgill.ca/~akazna
location Montreal, Canada
age 24
visits member for 2 years, 3 months
seen 17 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.


Sep
26
comment Why do women feel odd when males stare at them?
@Jeromy I would be interested to see some cross-cultural examples of staring. Are there cultures where it is interpreted in a drastically different way?
Sep
26
comment Why do women feel odd when males stare at them?
@user95509 your question was ill-posed, kind of like asking "can you explain how the boiling point of water affects flight characteristics of airplanes?" Sure, there are connections (both boiling point of water and flight characteristics vary with air density and thus altitude), but the boiling point of water is a coincidental, not central factor in understanding how airplanes fly. Similar in your question, Jeromy pointed out that worrying about the neurodynamics and hormones is not the appropriate level of description for the question, and it is actually an artifact of social norms.
Sep
9
comment What is the neurobiological basis of Spearman general factor of intelligence?
Intelligence is ill-defined in the sense you are using it in, and the genetic correlate of general fitness or mutation load.
Jul
8
comment Transsexuality in animals other than humans?
In your second paragraph, do you mean 'sex' instead of 'gender'? I feel like this is an important distinction to keep track of for this sort of question.
Jun
12
comment What makes someone attractive psychologically?
High symmetry means that your body was under good conditions during development and probably has high fitness, this is because symmetry is hard to maintain. Your brain is tuned to detecting very subtle features of faces for other social interaction reasons, and so you hijack that mechanism to check for symmetry instead of developing a new system for looking carefully for symmetry in non-facial features. That being said, faces aren't the end of the game, you also have classic metric like waist-hip, etc.
Jun
4
comment Name of the bias where someone really needs something after they find out it exists
Sounds alot like the hedonic treadmill.
May
12
comment Math or Physics: Which is the more relevant background to enter Cognitive Sciences and Psychology?
Note, however, if you do opt for physics OR math, make sure to remain connected to people who actually work on psychology and cognitive science, especially experimenters. Otherwise, it is too easy to sucumb to interdisciplinitis and promote completely silly ideas.
May
12
comment Math or Physics: Which is the more relevant background to enter Cognitive Sciences and Psychology?
I agree with @OfriRaviv in that a physics (or a math background even, since the schools I've been at usually separate math and stats) does not give you adequate background in statistics. However, I think statisticians are much better represented in psychology than physicists or mathematicians, so if you are coming from a multi-disciplinary background, I think it is easier to be noticed as a physicist/mathematician since there are fewer of them working on psychology.
May
12
comment Math or Physics: Which is the more relevant background to enter Cognitive Sciences and Psychology?
The question wasn't about what you think good foundations for studying cognitive science is, but if the student should pursue physics or mathematics. You barely touch on this question, and hence I downvoted your answer because it is off-topic, although the text of it is insightful.
May
12
comment Math or Physics: Which is the more relevant background to enter Cognitive Sciences and Psychology?
@Ana the over-representation of physicists (versus mathematicians) is more of a sociological thing then a relevance of the field. Physicists are much more over produces than mathematicians and tend to have a hard time finding positions in their own field, this was especially prominent in the 70s when the largest waves of them moved into adjacent fields.
May
12
comment Math or Physics: Which is the more relevant background to enter Cognitive Sciences and Psychology?
Take a look at this question on dynamics systems for some connections. Also, pick computer science ;). @JoshGitlin I don't understand why this question was closed :(. I have a background in physics, math, and theoretical computer science and would have wanted to contribute an answer. I find this perfectly on-topic for this forum and much better and more genuine than a lot of our other recent questions.
May
9
comment Are there “6 degrees of separation” for ideas?
@AlexStone I don't think "6 degrees of seperation" is related to your question, unfortunately. I think that what you are looking for is the more general "intermediate ideas" or "intermediate links" or "network structure". I tried to explain that in my answer.
May
9
comment Picture of eye promotes good behaviour
exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!
Apr
22
comment Is there experimental support for John Perry's “Theory of Structured Procrastination”?
@PiotrMigdal yes, you would need a cute experiment to measure it. Alternatively, you might have to come up with a "creativity-task" instead of studying creativity in the wild.
Apr
18
comment Is there a variance in acceptance of conspiracy theories by occupation?
A related question: What makes people easily subscribe to pseudoscientific theories?
Apr
7
comment What is a good textbook for an undergrad Cognitive Neuroscience course?
Do we really need a cognitive-neuroscience tag? Why not just tag it as cognitive-psychology and neurobiology? Does their intersection not cover this? You can add theoretical-neuroscience if you want a theory focus.
Apr
4
comment Intelligence and marriage satisfaction
I would be careful with this question, it is very easy to step on some toes. In particular, it is important to be gender sensitive when asking or answering such a question seriously. The linked Susan Patton opinion article for instance, is filled with what many would considered very sexist sentiments (to point out obvious transgressions: it suggests women can't marry younger men; there is other sexism there that is less clear cut).
Mar
30
comment Development of social cognition as an alternative to the obstetrical dilemma
@ChristianHummeluhr most of the information richness comes from social-interactions. In the end, since you want to use this hypothesis to distinguish between humans and say crocodiles, you need to account for some part of the environment that is salient to humans but not crocodiles. Hence the stress on the social part (although obviously non-social environmental learning also plays a role, but the proponents of SBH would say a lesser one). See this post for a nice discussion.
Mar
15
comment What is the standard error of measurement for teacher made multiple choice tests?
Solid answer, maybe teachers would use this if you made a plug-and-play version of this that directly takes the results from scantron sheets (are those still in use?) and does the statistics for them?
Mar
14
comment What is the standard error of measurement for teacher made multiple choice tests?
interesting, but this seems to assume that each question is independent of the others. However, in an actual test there is extremely high correlations between questions. In particular, a valid measure should at least account for questions coming from some fixed number of relatively-independent units (i.e. chapters or topics) with high question-question correlation within the units. You could also give teachers a software tool to infer typical question-question correlations by doing statistics on student results on their previous exams.