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Cognitive Science

Cognitive science information and blogs.
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A fascination with storytelling led K. Guadalupe Cruz to graduate studies in neuroscience and shapes her work to promote inclusivity at MIT.

Source Feed: MIT News - Brain and cognitive sciences










Authors: Amon MJ, Vrzakova H, D'Mello SK Abstract We hypothesize that effective collaboration is facilitated when individuals and environmental components form a synergy where they work together and regulate one another to produce stable patterns of behavior, or regularity, as well as adaptively reorganize to form new behaviors, or irregularity. We tested this hypothesis in a study with 32 triads who collaboratively solved a challenging visual computer programming task for 20 min...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

This study demonstrates that vowel production is systematically influenced by grasp-related size of a viewed object, supporting the account that sensory-motor processes related to grasp planning and representing grasp-related properties of viewed objects interact with articulation processes. The paper discusses these findings in the context of size-sound symbolism, suggesting that mechanisms that transform size-grasp affordances into corresponding grasp- and articulation-related motor programs...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Children's (and Adults') Production Adjustments to Generic and Particular Listener Needs. Cogn Sci. 2019 Oct;43(10):e12790 Authors: Grigoroglou M, Papafragou A Abstract Adults design utterances to match listeners' informational needs by making both "generic" adjustments (e.g., mentioning atypical more often than typical information) and "particular" adjustments tailored to their specific interlocutor (e.g., including things that their addressee cannot see). For children,...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Casasanto D, Pitt B Abstract Do people represent space, time, number, and other conceptual domains using a generalized magnitude system (GMS)? To answer this question, numerous studies have used the spatial-numerical association of response codes (SNARC) task and its variants. Yet, for a combination of reasons, SNARC-like effects cannot provide evidence for a GMS, even in principle. Rather, these effects support a broader theory of how people use space metaphorically to...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Simms NK, Richland LE Abstract Relational reasoning is a hallmark of human higher cognition and creativity, yet it is notoriously difficult to encourage in abstract tasks, even in adults. Generally, young children initially focus more on objects, but with age become more focused on relations. While prerequisite knowledge and cognitive resource maturation partially explains this pattern, here we propose a new facet important for children's relational reasoning development: a...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

This article has been awarded Open Materials and Open Data badges. All materials and data are publicly accessible via the Open Science Framework at https://osf.io/8juyc/. Learn more about the Open Practices badges from the Center for Open Science: https://osf.io/tvyxz/wiki. PMID: 31621119 [PubMed - in process] (Source: Cognitive Science)

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Dufour S, Grainger J Abstract In three experiments, we examined priming effects where primes were formed by transposing the first and last phoneme of tri-phonemic target words (e.g., /byt/ as a prime for /tyb/). Auditory lexical decisions were found not to be sensitive to this transposed-phoneme priming manipulation in long-term priming (Experiment 1), with primes and targets presented in two separated blocks of stimuli and with unrelated primes used as control condition...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Drijvers L, Vaitonytė J, Özyürek A Abstract Visual information conveyed by iconic hand gestures and visible speech can enhance speech comprehension under adverse listening conditions for both native and non-native listeners. However, how a listener allocates visual attention to these articulators during speech comprehension is unknown. We used eye-tracking to investigate whether and how native and highly proficient non-native listeners of Dutch allocated overt eye gaze to...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

We report on a critical test of these contrasting hypotheses. Prior research found that among adult Christian religious adherents, intuitions about person psychology coexist and interfere with theological conceptualizations of God (e.g., infallibility). Here, we use a sentence verification paradigm where participants are asked to evaluate as true or false statements on which core knowledge intuitions about person physicality and psychology and Christian theology about God are inconsistent...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

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Authors: Mason B, Rau MA, Nowak R Abstract Visual representations are prevalent in STEM instruction. To benefit from visuals, students need representational competencies that enable them to see meaningful information. Most research has focused on explicit conceptual representational competencies, but implicit perceptual competencies might also allow students to efficiently see meaningful information in visuals. Most common methods to assess students' representational competencies rely...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology Entries Accepted Until June 15, 2019 Researchers 35 years and younger, the annual Eppendorf &Science Prize for Neurobiology, which is awarded for contributions to neurobiological research based on methods of molecular and cell biology, is now open for entries. Applying requires a 1,000-word essay and tell the prize committee about your work. The prize is $25,000 plus Science magazine will publish an essay about your work. You'll have...

Source Feed: Brain and Behavior

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

#5: Competition horses calmed by lavender 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 reducing stress in veterinary medicine. Horses can develop elevated heart...

Source Feed: Brain and Behavior

Cheap Science Books Two science books cheap (Kindle version, two bucks): The Male Brain: A Breakthrough Understanding of How Men and Boys Think Dr. Louann Brizendine, the founder of the first clinic in the country to study gender differences in brain, behavior, and hormones, turns her attention to the male brain, showing how, through every phase of life, the "male reality" is fundamentally different from the female one. Exploring the latest breakthroughs in male psychology and...

Source Feed: Brain and Behavior

Pigeons outperform humans when it comes to multitasking Sara Letzner had humans compete against pigeons in a behavioural experiment. Photo from: Ruhr-Universitat at Bochum 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...

Source Feed: Brain and Behavior

Torturing more mice in the name of antivaccine pseudoscience: PubPeer versus antivaxers Last week, an antivaxer "challenged" me to look over a paper purporting to show that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines cause inflammation of the brain and therefore contribute to autism, a paper that she would be "citing frequently." Being someone who lives by the motto, "be careful what you wish for," I looked it over in detail. Not surprisingly, my conclusion was that the experiments were poorly...

Source Feed: Brain and Behavior

Torturing more mice in the name of antivaccine pseudoscience, 2017 aluminum edition   "Why, oh, why do I have to die in the cause of such crappy science?" For antivaxers, aluminum is the new mercury. Let me explain, for the benefit of those not familiar with the antivaccine movement. For antivaxers, it is, first and foremost, always about the vaccines. Always. Whatever the chronic health issue in children, vaccines must have done it. Autism? It’s the vaccines. Sudden infant death...

Source Feed: Brain and Behavior

Comments of the Week #173: From quantum uncertainty to Earth's final total solar eclipse “It will shine still brighter when night is about you. May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” ―Galadriel, LOTR, J.R.R. Tolkien The scientific stories we've covered this week have been out-of-this-world here at Starts With A Bang! But the greatest show is still to come. Right now, I'm on my way down to the path of totality in Oregon, along with millions of...

Source Feed: Brain and Behavior

Trump touts racial segregation, antisemitism, lewd behavior, at Boy Scout rally If you give your children over to the Boy Scouts for a day or two, they may do something to them akin to abuse. This happened. The Boy Scouts knew what they were getting into when they invited Donald Trump to speak at their national event. They even posted warnings for the troop leaders and scouts, on their blog. As a unit leader or staff member, you can help make the president’s visit a success by...

Source Feed: Brain and Behavior

An antivaxer starts a WhiteHouse.gov petition for a five year moratorium on childhood vaccines. Hilarity ensues. I've been writing about antivaccine loons for a long time, and during that time I've seen them propose some crazy ideas. The other day, I came across one proposing what might well be the craziest, most irresponsible idea I've ever seen from an antivaccine activist. It comes from our old friend Kent Heckenlively. Heckenlively, as you might recall, started out over at the...

Source Feed: Brain and Behavior

Yawn. Another study tries to convince us that mind-body interventions can "reprogram our DNA." It fails. One of the most persistent narratives latched on to by advocates of "integrative medicine" is that the "mind" can somehow "heal" the body. Sometimes, the claim is that such interventions work through "powerful placebo" effects. Sometimes it involves the abuse of emerging science, such overblown claims about what can be accomplished through epigenetic modifications of DNA and...

Source Feed: Brain and Behavior



Repairing faulty genes to prevent and cure disease is something researchers have been working towards for many years. While Class 2 CRISPR systems show great promise as gene editing tools in human cells, a research team has now demonstrated that a Cas3-based Class 1 CRISPR system may provide a more efficient and safer alternative, carrying out successful repair of a gene mutation responsible for Duchenne muscular dystrophy in patient-derived cells.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

New findings reveal the prevalence of cannabis, or marijuana, use in the United States increased from 2005 to 2017 among persons with and without depression and was approximately twice as common among those with depression in 2017.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

People who play drums regularly for years differ from unmusical people in their brain structure and function. The results of a new study suggest that they have fewer, but thicker fibers in the main connecting tract between the two halves of the brain. In addition, their motor brain areas are organized more efficiently.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily




There have been many headlines in recent years about the potentially negative impacts contact sports can have on athletes' brains. But a new study shows that, in the absence of injury, athletes across a variety of sports -- including football, soccer and hockey -- have healthier brains than non-athletes.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

Along with partisan news outlets and political blogs, there's another surprising source of misinformation on controversial topics -- it's you. A new study found that people given accurate statistics on a controversial issue tended to misremember those numbers to fit commonly held beliefs.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

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