6,847 reputation
235112
bio website cs.mcgill.ca/~akazna
location Montreal, Canada
age 25
visits member for 3 years
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.


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?
Dec
4
comment What are some known roles or correlations of glucocorticoid receptor function to behaviour?
@Joshua I think you should change this comment (along with the expansion you mentioned) into an answer, since nobody has tried to give one so far.
Nov
30
comment What is the effect of motherese on development?
@what that is very interesting. You should write it up as an answer if you have some time.
Nov
16
comment Can general intelligence be understood as pattern analysis?
I don't think this question suggests a g-factorist context as much as an AGI and singularity movement context.
Nov
13
comment How does the brain compute sound localisation without the equations?
I am still skeptical of the "without equations" bit, but I changed my downvote to an upvote since this is a focused question now.
Nov
13
comment How does the brain compute sound localisation without the equations?
I would focus the question more, and split it into two different ones. Since there is already an answer on sound localisation, I would suggest focusing this question on sound localisation (and making the title obviously reflect that). If you are still interested in velocity then I would ask that as a separate question on estimating velocity with a title that reflects the particulars.
Nov
13
comment What is the status of evolutionary psychology in academia today?
Not sure if Nowak is the most relevant source for psychologists, especially not that book. I think Pinker might be more relevant.
Oct
31
comment Do we negatively perceive people who wear glasses?
Moral of the story: wear rimless glasses even if you don't need them.
Oct
23
comment What areas of mathematics support the study of cognitive science?
If you are in a place that has research based masters programs (like Canada or the UK) then I would recommend getting a masters in math or computer science, and then doing your PhD in theoretical cognitive science after. It will let you experience math, get some good skills, and then decide if you still like it. Feel free to email me (my address should be easy to find with a few clicks), and we can chat about it.
Oct
3
comment If time travel were possible, would travelling back in time result in memory loss?
Voting to close because the question shows no initial research, no basis in existing physical or psychological theory. Even if it was properly grounded in physical theory, it would belong on physics.SE, not here. As a generally 'fluffy' question, it belongs on scifi.SE