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Cognitive Science

Cognitive science information and blogs.
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Authors: Kamide Y, Kukona A Abstract We investigated the influence of globally ungrammatical local syntactic constraints on sentence comprehension, as well as the corresponding activation of global and local representations. In Experiment 1, participants viewed visual scenes with objects like a carousel and motorbike while hearing sentences with noun phrase (NP) or verb phrase (VP) modifiers like "The girl who likes the man (from London/very much) will ride the carousel." In both...

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Authors: Hendricks RK, Bergen BK, Marghetis T Abstract Languages around the world use a recurring strategy to discuss abstract concepts: describe them metaphorically, borrowing language from more concrete domains. We "plan ahead" to the future, "count up" to higher numbers, and "warm" to new friends. Past work has found that these ways of talking have implications for how we think, so that shared systems of linguistic metaphors can produce shared conceptualizations. On the other hand,...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com


Authors: Atkinson M, Smith K, Kirby S Abstract Languages spoken in larger populations are relatively simple. A possible explanation for this is that languages with a greater number of speakers tend to also be those with higher proportions of non-native speakers, who may simplify language during learning. We assess this explanation for the negative correlation between population size and linguistic complexity in three experiments, using artificial language learning techniques to...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

This study investigated visual statistical learning (VSL) in 24 deaf signers and 24 hearing non-signers. Previous research with hearing individuals suggests that SL mechanisms support literacy. Our first goal was to assess whether VSL was associated with reading ability in deaf individuals, and whether this relation was sustained by a link between VSL and sign language skill. Our second goal was to test the Auditory Scaffolding Hypothesis, which makes the prediction that deaf people should be...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Sulutvedt U, Mannix TK, Laeng B Abstract Pupillary responses and associated vergence eye movements were monitored during imagery of objects of differing sizes ("large" or "small") from varying distances ("near" or "far"). Objects' imagined size and distance affected oculomotor behavior. Objects visualized as "far" resulted in the larger pupil dilations and smaller visual angle, while small objects imagined "near" were associated with smaller pupils in contrast to relatively...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Mahowald K, Dautriche I, Gibson E, Piantadosi ST Abstract Zipf famously stated that, if natural language lexicons are structured for efficient communication, the words that are used the most frequently should require the least effort. This observation explains the famous finding that the most frequent words in a language tend to be short. A related prediction is that, even within words of the same length, the most frequent word forms should be the ones that are easiest to...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

We present a game-theoretic model of the competition between types of language users, each endowed with certain lexical representations and a particular pragmatic disposition to act on them. Our model traces two evolutionary forces and their interaction: (i) pressure toward communicative efficiency and (ii) transmission perturbations during the acquisition of linguistic knowledge. We illustrate the model based on a case study on scalar implicatures, which suggests that the relationship between...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

We report evidence from three visual-world eye-tracking experiments, showing that referential gaze leads to a shift in visual attention toward the cued object, which consequently lowers the effort required for processing the linguistic reference. Importantly, perceiving and following the gaze cue did not prove costly in terms of cognitive effort, unless the cued object did not fit the verb selectional preferences. PMID: 30294808 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Cognitive Science)

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

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Authors: Ziegler J, Snedeker J, Wittenberg E Abstract What are the semantic representations that underlie language production? We use structural priming to distinguish between two competing theories. Thematic roles define semantic structure in terms of atomic units that specify event participants and are ordered with respect to each other through a hierarchy of roles. Event structures instead instantiate semantic structure as embedded sub-predicates that impose an order on verbal...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Rotaru AS, Vigliocco G, Frank SL Abstract The contents and structure of semantic memory have been the focus of much recent research, with major advances in the development of distributional models, which use word co-occurrence information as a window into the semantics of language. In parallel, connectionist modeling has extended our knowledge of the processes engaged in semantic activation. However, these two lines of investigation have rarely been brought together. Here, we...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com


Community event generates ideas for sparking innovative and ambitious plans to advance research in human and machine intelligence.

Source Feed: MIT News - Brain and cognitive sciences


Advances in computer vision inspired by human physiological and anatomical constraints are improving pattern completion in machines.

Source Feed: MIT News - Brain and cognitive sciences

New faculty join the departments of Biology, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.

Source Feed: MIT News - Brain and cognitive sciences

McGovern Institute scientist is recognized with award for outstanding and creative achievements made in the life and medical sciences.

Source Feed: MIT News - Brain and cognitive sciences


A project I’ve been working on a for a long time has just launched: The Choice Engine is an interactive essay about the psychology, neuroscience and philosophy of free will. To begin, follow and reply START — ChoiceEngine (@ChoiceEngine) September 20, 2018 By talking to the @ChoiceEngine twitter-bot you can navigate an essay about choice, … Continue reading "The Choice Engine"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: nonsense

This thread started by Ekaterina Damer has prompted many recommendations from psychologists on twitter. Can anyone recommend an (ideally brief) introductory paper or post or book explaining what makes for a good theory? For example, how to construct a good psychological theory, what are key things to consider?@psforscher @lakens @talyarkoni @chrisdc77 @tomstafford @kurtjgray — Ekaterina … Continue reading "After the methods crisis, the theory crisis"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: theory

Open science essentials in 2 minutes, part 4 Before a research article is published in a journal you can make it freely available for anyone to read. You could do this on your own website, but you can also do it on a preprint server, such as psyarxiv.com, where other researchers also share their preprints, … Continue reading "Open Science Essentials: Preprints"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: theory

I have a guest post for the Research Digest, snappily titled ‘People who think their opinions are superior to others are most prone to overestimating their relevant knowledge and ignoring chances to learn more‘. The paper I review is about the so-called “belief superiority” effect, which is defined by thinking that your views are better … Continue reading "Believing everyone else is wrong is a danger sign"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: reasoning

I have a review of John Bargh’s new book “Before You Know It: The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do” in this month’s Psychologist magazine. You can read the review in print (or online here) but the magazine could only fit in 250 words, and I originally wrote closer to 700. I’ll put the … Continue reading "Review: John Bargh’s “Before You Know It”"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: books

Psychologists have been measuring reaction times since before psychology existed, and they are still a staple of cognitive psychology experiments today. Typically psychologists look for a difference in the time it takes participants to respond to stimuli under different conditions as evidence of differences in how cognitive processing occurs in those conditions. Galton, the famous … Continue reading "Did the Victorians have faster reactions?"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: nonsense

Spaced repetition is a memory hack. We know that spacing out your study is more effective than cramming, but using an app you can tailor your own spaced repetition schedule, allowing you to efficiently create reliable memories for any material you like. Michael Nielsen, has a nice thread on his use of spaced repetition on … Continue reading "spaced repetition & Darwin’s golden rule"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: learning

The contrast sensitivity function shows how our sensitivity to contrasts is affected by spatial frequency. You can test it using gratings of alternating light and darker shade. Ian Goodfellow has this neat observation: By looking at this image, you can see how sensitive your own eyes are to contrast at different frequencies (taller apparent peaks=more … Continue reading "A graph that is made by perceiving it"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: seeing

Nicky Case (of Explorable Explanations and Parable of the Polygons internet fame) has a fantastic essay which picks up on the theme of my last Cyberselves post – technology as companion, not competitor. In How To Become A Centaur Case gives blitz history of AI, and of its lesser known cousin IA – Intelligence Augmentation. … Continue reading "How To Become A Centaur"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: reasoning

A talk I gave titled “Debating Sex Differences in Cognition: We Can Do Better” now has a home on the web. The pages align a rough transcript of the talk with the slides, for your browsing pleasure. Mindhacks.com readers will recognise many of the slides, which started their lives as blog posts. The full series … Continue reading "Debating Sex Differences: Talk transcript"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: gender

You may be wondering why I have been so sentimental even though the year is not over yet. I am happy to inform you that it is not because I am retiring. On the contrary, I am packing up my virtual bags and moving this blog to a new site! Pardon the dust while we get…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, journalism, mark pendergrast

And the #1 blog entry published thus far in 2017 discussed whether there was an evolutionary advantage to being stupid: —- As I was looking through the scientific literature the other day, I came across an article published in 1973, “The Evolutionary Advantages of Being Stupid.” With a title like that, how could I not…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, counsyl, epidemics

Who could forget the second most popular blog post so far this year. Seeing an octopus walk never gets old! ——- I came across this amazing video on YouTube showing a species of octopus found in Northern Australia that is adapted to walk on land:

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, drugs, hela cells

A celebrity chef has joined Harvey Weinstein in news headlines about sexual harassment in the workplace. A work environment that tolerates sexual harassment makes workers ill. It's worker safety issue in need of much more attention.

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: journalism, sciwo says..., child abuse, physics, roger jones, scientific illiteracy, what the heck is this

The #3 post so far this year explored how zebra finches reward themselves for singing well: Dopamine is an important hormone released from neurons involved in reward pathways. Researchers at Cornell University wanted to know if dopamine signaling was involved in how birds learn songs. Their findings, recently published in Science, present evidence that neurons…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, evoluã§ã£o, food frontiers, tel aviv

In looking back over the history of the blog, I thought it would be fun to take another glimpse at the top 5 most popular posts in 2017 thus far… Image of lavender from GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=322384 While lavender aromatherapy has been documented to reduce stress in humans, little is known about its potential for…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, biotecnologia

A new study conducted by Drs. Sara Letzner and Onur Gunturkun (Ruhr-Universitat at Bochum) as well as Dr. Christian Beste (Technische Univeritat at Dresden) shows that pigeons are better than humans when it comes to multitasking. Their findings were published in Current Biology. The findings from the study show that the mammalian cerebral cortex, with all…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, clitoroplasty, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, counsyl

This is not my favorite book, because I think the subtitle should be “No, it doesn’t Steve” … but How the Mind Works is not without merit, and Steve Pinker is a great writer. Anyway, I thought you’s like to know that it is now available on Kindle for two bucks.

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, discharge tube, mitochondria, mussels

This is such a beautiful award-winning image of the complex vascular networks in a pigeon. The image was captured using  CT scan technology and a novel contrasting agent called BriteVu that allows visualization of even tiny capillaries. This image was captured by Scott Echols who is a member of the Grey Parrot Anatomy Project, whose…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, clitoroplasty, creationism

Wow. This is a very interesting bit of history on how the CIA tried to use cats as spies. But as any cat owner knows, cats do not always do what you want them to do when you want them to do it. Source: YouTube

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, conferences, openhardware openscience openaccess

Single neurons in the brain's primary visual cortex can reliably detect straight lines, even though the cellular makeup of the neurons is constantly changing, according to a new study. The study's findings lay the groundwork for future studies into how the sensory system reacts and adapts to changes.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

Identifying meaningful information is a key challenge to disciplines from biology to artificial intelligence. Researchers now propose a broadly applicable, fully formal definition for this kind of semantic information.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily





A developmental psychologist has completed a study that is the first to measure how often infants spend time in different body positions over the first year of life. The study aims to understand how the physical context of infants' everyday experiences - in particular, how much time they spend in different body positions - changes over the course of the first year and how these changes are predicted by infants' developing motor skills.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily


When faced with ambiguous information we apparently trust our fingertips more than our eyes. Philosophers are investigating the special status of touch.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

While outrage is often generally considered a hurdle in the path to civil discourse, a team of psychologists suggest outrage -- specifically, moral outrage -- may have beneficial outcomes, such as inspiring people to take part in long-term collective action.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

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