6,454 reputation
233103
bio website cs.mcgill.ca/~akazna
location Montreal, Canada
age 25
visits member for 2 years, 6 months
seen 7 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.


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
Oct
3
comment If time travel were possible, would travelling back in time result in memory loss?
@ThinksALot there is definitely a basis to discuss this sort of thing on a physics forum in the context of closed timelike curves, and there is non-trivial things that can be proved about the computational consequences of CTCs. However, the person asking the question is obviously not aware of this sort of work, and so the question ask asked does not belong here since it is not framed by any actual physical or psychological theory.
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.