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Cognitive Science

Cognitive science information and blogs.
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MIT hosts a summit on transformative artificial intelligence technologies in biomedical sciences and health care.

Source Feed: MIT News - Brain and cognitive sciences


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


Authors: Edmunds CER, Milton F, Wills AJ Abstract Behavioral evidence for the COVIS dual-process model of category learning has been widely reported in over a hundred publications (Ashby & Valentin, ). It is generally accepted that the validity of such evidence depends on the accurate identification of individual participants' categorization strategies, a task that usually falls to Decision Bound analysis (Maddox & Ashby, ). Here, we examine the accuracy of this analysis in a series of...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Cheng PC, van Genuchten E Abstract Individual differences in the strategies that control sequential behavior were investigated in an experiment in which participants memorized sentences and then wrote them by hand, in a non-cursive style. Thirty-two participants each wrote eight sentences, which had hierarchical structures with five levels. The dataset included over 31,000 letters. Despite the deliberately constrained nature of the task and stimuli, 23 patterns of behavior...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

We present a new computational implementation of self-teaching within the dual-route cascaded (DRC) model of reading aloud, and we explore how decoding and contextual cues can work together to enable accurate self-teaching under a variety of circumstances. The new model (ST-DRC) uses DRC's sublexical route and the interactivity between the lexical and sublexical routes to simulate phonological recoding. Known spoken words are activated in response to novel printed words, triggering an...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com


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Senior Isabella Pecorari is building supportive communities at MIT and beyond.

Source Feed: MIT News - Brain and cognitive sciences

Authors: Wood JN, Wood SMW Abstract How do newborns learn to recognize objects? According to temporal learning models in computational neuroscience, the brain constructs object representations by extracting smoothly changing features from the environment. To date, however, it is unknown whether newborns depend on smoothly changing features to build invariant object representations. Here, we used an automated controlled-rearing method to examine whether visual experience with smoothly...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com


We examined the effects of three different training conditions, all of which involve the motor system, on kindergarteners' mental transformation skill. We focused on three main questions. First, we asked whether training that involves making a motor movement that is relevant to the mental transformation-either concretely through action (action training) or more abstractly through gestural movements that represent the action (move-gesture training)-resulted in greater gains than training using...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Chekaf M, Gauvrit N, Guida A, Mathy F Abstract Working memory has been shown to be strongly related to fluid intelligence; however, our goal is to shed further light on the process of information compression in working memory as a determining factor of fluid intelligence. Our main hypothesis was that compression in working memory is an excellent indicator for studying the relationship between working-memory capacity and fluid intelligence because both depend on the...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

This study aims to further address the role of sociocognitive factors in language use by investigating how individual differences in social perception and tendency to align with others (i.e., social monitoring) modulate same-verb structural priming. In particular, we investigate how likely students are to repeat a sentence structure of a teacher depending on their perception of the teacher and their social monitoring tendency. Our results demonstrate that students' tendency to imitate a...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com



Authors: Walsh MM, Gluck KA, Gunzelmann G, Jastrzembski T, Krusmark M Abstract The spacing effect is among the most widely replicated empirical phenomena in the learning sciences, and its relevance to education and training is readily apparent. Yet successful applications of spacing effect research to education and training is rare. Computational modeling can provide the crucial link between a century of accumulated experimental data on the spacing effect and the emerging interest in...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: de Kleijn R, Kachergis G, Hommel B Abstract Sequential action makes up the bulk of human daily activity, and yet much remains unknown about how people learn such actions. In one motor learning paradigm, the serial reaction time (SRT) task, people are taught a consistent sequence of button presses by cueing them with the next target response. However, the SRT task only records keypress response times to a cued target, and thus it cannot reveal the full time-course of motion,...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

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

In conclusion, inter-individual social coordinative learning is important to the evolution of effective, efficient, and shared symbols. PMID: 29457653 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] (Source: Cognitive Science)

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

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

The backfire effect is when correcting misinformation hardens, rather than corrects, someone’s mistaken belief. It’s a relative of so called ‘attitude polarisation’ whereby people’s views on politically controversial topics can get more, not less, extreme when they are exposed to counter-arguments. The finding that misperception are hard to correct is not new – it fits … Continue reading "The backfire effect is elusive"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: reasoning

Open science essentials in 2 minutes, part 3 Let’s define it this way: reproducibility is when your experiment or data analysis can be reliably repeated. It isn’t replicability, which we can define as reproducing an experiment and subsequent analysis and getting qualitatively similar results with the new data. (These aren’t universally accepted definitions, but they … Continue reading "Open Science Essentials: Reproducibility"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: theory

In ‘The Human Advantage: How Our Brains Became Remarkable’, Suzana Herculano-Houzel weaves together two stories: the story of her scientific career, based on her invention of a new technique for counting the number of brain cells in an entire brain, and the story of human brain evolution. Previously counts of neurons in brains of humans … Continue reading "The Human Advantage"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: books

A review called ‘The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories‘ sets out a theory of why individuals end up believing Elvis is alive, NASA faked the moon landings or 9/11 was an inside job. Karen Douglas and colleagues suggest: Belief in conspiracy theories appears to be driven by motives that can be characterized as epistemic (understanding one’s … Continue reading "Conspiracy theories as maladaptive coping"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: reasoning

While lavender aromatherapy has been documented to reduce stress in humans, little is known about its potential for reducing stress in veterinary medicine. Horses can develop elevated heart rates and stress hormone levels when they are confined to horse trailers and transported to new competition venues. Therapies to reduce stress in competition horses are regulated…

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

Researchers at the University of Cambridge in Britain recently studied ‘willpower’ in pet Labrador retrievers. After allowing each dog to smell a hot dog, the researchers placed the hot dog in a hamster cage and sealed it shut with duct tape. While some dogs showed only mild interest in the sealed-up hot dog, others were fixated on…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, deus, diaspora, eel, jornalismo cientã­fico

Dr. Kenneth Catania from Vanderbilt University presented his work with star-nosed moles at the Experimental Biology meeting last month in Chicago. These animals are really cool. Here are some facts from Dr. Catania about these crazy-looking creatures you may not know: If participating in a bug-eating contest, they would win hands down every time because they are the…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, alan ball

Protecting babies and children against dangerous — sometimes fatal — diseases is a core mission of public health. Everyday, in health departments across the nation, someone is working on maintaining and improving childhood vaccination rates and keeping diseases like measles and mumps from regaining a foothold in the U.S.

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: conference chatter, drugs, geekalicious, the loony bin called academia, web 2.0, new media, and gadgets, what did they say about "balance," again?, open science, parents, regulamentacao, science festival, subdisciplines

Here are the highlights from the final day of the meeting: Carbon monoxide (CO) is not all that bad: Michael Tift, graduate student at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, described how the body naturally produces CO when red blood cells are broken down and CO can actually be protective against inflammation at low doses. His research was…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, 42, douglas adams, estrelas, italy, ke$hia, mouse ova

The August Krogh Distinguished lecture was awarded to Dr. Warren Burggren, who gave a fantastic lecture on epigenetics, or modifications to gene expression. He discussed how epigenetic changes to our genes are reversible. So when a stimulus like hypoxia changes our genes, these epigenetic changes to the genes go away rather quickly when the hypoxic insult…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, beauty, blog behavior

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 in the brain of zebra finches do in fact decrease dopamine signals when the birds hear an…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, medicina baseada em evidãªncias, science popularization, tel aviv

A new article published in Physiological Reviews compared some remarkable similarities and differences between naked mole rats and humans. Both are relatively long-lived, highly social and have low natural selection pressures. But, this is about all they have in common. While humans are prone to developing age-related cancer, diabetes, heart disease and dementias, naked mole rats…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, adipocytes, epidemic intelligence service, science in college

Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind is a new book on cultural evolution in humans from a biological perspective. This is an interesting book and a good book, and I recommend it, but I need to add a strong caveat. The author could have made a more compelling argument had he more…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: in other news, baldwin effect, brain evolution, evolution of culture

via GIPHY A new article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences presents the discovery of a species of frog with fluorescence. The South American polka dot tree frog, aka Hypsiboas punctatus is already rather cute under normal light. But when exposed to UV light, this frog really shines. It gets its glowing personality from…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, tents in unusual places

Teens who admit to texting while driving may be convinced to reduce risky cellphone use behind the wheel when presented with financial incentives such as auto-insurance apps that monitor driving behavior, according to a new survey. However, while more than 90 percent of teens surveyed said they were willing to give up sending or reading text messages, almost half indicated that they would want to retain some control over phone functions such as music and navigation.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

Mindfulness meditation programs have shown promise for the treatment of anxiety, one of the most common mental health disorders in the US. New research suggests people can begin to derive psychological and physiological benefits from the practice after a single introductory session.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

Recalling traumatic memories enhances the rewarding effects of morphine in male rats, finds new research. These findings may help to explain the co-occurrence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily


Researchers surveyed 2,664 young adults who were current users, never users, or past users of little cigars and cigarillos, finding cigarillo packs with colors and containing a flavor descriptor were rated more positively for taste and smell, and health warnings didn't fully mitigate the draw of the packaging.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

The rate at which the protein beta-amyloid accumulates into the sticky plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) is already slowing by the time a patient would be considered to have preclinical AD, according to a longitudinal study of healthy adults.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

Results from some of the first studies to examine hemp's ability to fight cancer show that it might one day be useful as plant-based treatment for ovarian cancer. Hemp is part of the same cannabis family as marijuana but doesn't have any psychoactive properties or cause addiction.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily


The more failing grades students have during eighth grade, the more likely they are to experience social-emotional learning problems, academic difficulties and behavioral problems during their freshman year in high school, researchers found in a new study. And despite the gender stereotype that boys are more likely to be the problem children in school, the researchers found that girls constitute the majority of youths who struggled the most academically, socially and behaviorally.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

Researchers have engineered a new compound that animal tests suggest could offer the pain-relieving properties of opioids such as morphine and oxycodone without the risk of addiction.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

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