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Cognitive Science

Cognitive science information and blogs.
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A specialized MRI sensor reveals the neurotransmitter’s influence on neural activity throughout the brain.

Source Feed: MIT News - Brain and cognitive sciences

We present results aggregated across all dependency types, as well as for specific verbal (objects, indirect objects, and adjuncts) and nonverbal (nominal, adjectival, and adverbial) dependencies. The results suggest that dependency distance in a language is determined by the default word order of a language, and crucially, the direction of a dependency (whether the head precedes the dependent or follows it; e.g., whether the noun precedes the verb or follows it). Particularly we show that in...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Rotaru AS, Vigliocco G Abstract A number of recent models of semantics combine linguistic information, derived from text corpora, and visual information, derived from image collections, demonstrating that the resulting multimodal models are better than either of their unimodal counterparts, in accounting for behavioral data. Empirical work on semantic processing has shown that emotion also plays an important role especially in abstract concepts; however, models integrating...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

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Authors: Chou YJ, Tversky B Abstract The search for new ideas often frustratingly cycles back to old ones, a phenomenon known as fixation. Recent research has shown ways to kick-start finding new uses for familiar objects, a prototypical creativity task: wandering in the mind or the world or working on a messy desk. Those techniques seem to succeed by helping break fixation, but do not guide the search for new ideas. The perspective-taking or human-centric or empathic mindset...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

'Virtual' Communication During Social Distancing: How We Change When We Know We're Being Seen Social distancing due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the threat of COVID-19 has meant online communication is more popular than ever, with even casual parenting groups discovering the previous enterprise video conferencing tool Zoom. But how will that affect communications? Have you ever met someone who is stiff in person but great on camera or the other way around? Neuroscientists study...

Source Feed: Brain and Behavior


Authors: Bonnasse-Gahot L Abstract Since its inception, Shannon's information theory has attracted interest for the study of language and music. Recently, a wide range of converging studies have shown how efficient communication pervades language, from phonetics to syntax. Efficient principles imply that more resources should be assigned to highly informative items. For instance, average information content was shown to be a better predictor of word length than frequency, revisiting...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Broomell SB Abstract A number of important decision domains, including decisions about hiring, global warming, and weather hazards, are characterized by a global-local incompatibility. These domains involve variables that cannot be observed by a single decision maker (DM) and require the integration of observations from locally available information cues. This paper presents a new bifocal lens model that describes how the structure of the environment can lead to a unique form...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

The Guardian recently published an article saying “People won’t get ‘tired’ of social distancing – and it’s unscientific to suggest otherwise”. “Behavioural fatigue” the piece said, “has no basis in science”. ‘Behavioural fatigue’ became a hot topic because it was part of the UK Government’s justification for delaying the introduction of stricter public health measures. … Continue reading "Do we suffer ‘behavioural fatigue’ for pandemic prevention measures?"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: togetherness





Computer model of face processing could reveal how the brain produces richly detailed visual representations so quickly.

Source Feed: MIT News - Brain and cognitive sciences



Authors: Qin N, Xue J, Chen C, Zhang M Abstract Studies have shown that performance-dependent monetary rewards facilitate visual perception. However, no study has examined whether such a positive effect is limited to the rewarded task or may be generalized to other tasks. In the current study, two groups of people were asked to perform two visual perception tasks, one being a reward-relevant task and the other being a reward-irrelevant task. For the reward-relevant task, the...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Heyman GD, Ding XP, Fu G, Xu F, Compton BJ, Lee K Abstract Starting in early childhood, children are socialized to be honest. However, they are also expected to avoid telling the truth in sensitive situations if doing so could be seen as inappropriate or impolite. Across two studies (total N = 358), the reasoning of 3- to 5-year-old children in such a scenario was investigated by manipulating whether the information in question would be helpful to the recipient. The studies...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Futrell R, Gibson E, Levy RP Abstract A key component of research on human sentence processing is to characterize the processing difficulty associated with the comprehension of words in context. Models that explain and predict this difficulty can be broadly divided into two kinds, expectation-based and memory-based. In this work, we present a new model of incremental sentence processing difficulty that unifies and extends key features of both kinds of models. Our model,...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Lascaux A Abstract When young children confront a vast array of adults' testimonial claims, they should decide which testimony to endorse. If they are unable to immediately verify the content of testimonial assertions, children adopt or reject their informants' statements on the basis of forming trust in the sources of testimony. This kind of trust needs to be based on some underlying reasons. The rational choice theory, which currently dominates the social, cognitive, and...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Rose D, Nichols S Abstract Natural/social kind essentialism is the view that natural kind categories, both living and non-living natural kinds, as well as social kinds (e.g., race, gender), are essentialized. On this view, artifactual kinds are not essentialized. Our view-teleological essentialism-is that a broad range of categories are essentialized in terms of teleology, including artifacts. Utilizing the same kinds of experiments typically used to provide evidence of...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

FHR4: Age-Related Macular Degeneration Breakthrough Almost 2 million Americans have age-related macular degeneration (AMD), where the cells in the retina, which is the layer of tissue in the back of the eye, break down, causing central vision to become blurry. Over time, 100,000 of those will become blind. An international team of scientists has identified a protein, FHR4, which is strongly linked to AMD when its levels are raised in the blood. The findings were confirmed in 484...

Source Feed: Brain and Behavior

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

#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

Two new studies shed light on the relationship between obesity and the use of prescription opioids in the United States.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily


You know that feeling in your gut? We think of it as an innate intuition that sparks deep in the belly and helps guide our actions, if we let it. It's also a metaphor for what scientists call the 'gut-brain axis,' a biological reality in which the gut and its microbial inhabitants send signals to the brain, and vice versa.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

Researchers have described different emotional facial expressions for mice. Similar to humans, the face of a mouse looks completely different when it tastes something sweet or bitter, or when it becomes anxious. With this new possibility to render the emotions of mice measurable, neurobiologists can now investigate the basic mechanisms of how emotions are generated and processed in the brain.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily




Female eggs exposed to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, have an impaired ability to produce viable embryos, and are significantly less likely to result in a viable pregnancy, according to an animal study.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

A new study led by paleoanthropologists reveals that Lucy's species Australopithecus afarensis had an ape-like brain. However, the protracted brain growth suggests that -- as is the case in humans -- infants may have had a long dependence on caregivers.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily


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