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Cognitive Science

Cognitive science information and blogs.
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The Enigma of Reason: A New Theory of Human Understanding, by Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber was published in April, and I have a review in this week’s Times Higher Education. The books follows on and expands on their landmark ‘Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory‘, published in 2011 in Behavioral and … Continue reading "The Enigma of Reason (review)"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: books

Authors: Kominsky JF, Zamm AP, Keil FC Abstract Research on the division of cognitive labor has found that adults and children as young as age 5 are able to find appropriate experts for different causal systems. However, little work has explored how children and adults decide when to seek out expert knowledge in the first place. We propose that children and adults rely (in part) on "mechanism metadata," information about mechanism information. We argue that mechanism metadata is...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Altmann EM Abstract Veksler and Gunzelmann (2017) make an extraordinary claim, which is that sleep deprivation effects and the vigilance decrement are functionally equivalent. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, which is missing from Veksler and Gunzelmann's study. Their behavioral data offer only weak theoretical constraint, and to the extent their modeling exercise supports any position, it is that these two performance impairments involve functionally...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Cialone C, Tenbrink T, Spiers HJ Abstract Sculptors, architects, and painters are three professional groups that require a comprehensive understanding of how to manipulate spatial structures. While it has been speculated that they may differ in the way they conceive of space due to the different professional demands, this has not been empirically tested. To achieve this, we asked architects, painters, sculptors, and a control group questions about spatially complex pictures....

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Farmer GD, Janssen CP, Nguyen AT, Brumby DP Abstract We test people's ability to optimize performance across two concurrent tasks. Participants performed a number entry task while controlling a randomly moving cursor with a joystick. Participants received explicit feedback on their performance on these tasks in the form of a single combined score. This payoff function was varied between conditions to change the value of one task relative to the other. We found that...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com


Authors: Elsner M, Clarke A, Rohde H Abstract Speakers' perception of a visual scene influences the language they use to describe it-which objects they choose to mention and how they characterize the relationships between them. We show that visual complexity can either delay or facilitate description generation, depending on how much disambiguating information is required and how useful the scene's complexity can be in providing, for example, helpful landmarks. To do so, we measure...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

In this study, we use a Bayesian model to determine how rational learners should incorporate the effects of shared information when learning from other people, conducting three experiments that examine whether human learners behave similarly. We find that people are sensitive to a number of different patterns of dependency, supporting the use of a sophisticated strategy for social learning that goes beyond copying the majority, and broadening the situations in which social learning is likely...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com


Authors: Stocco A Abstract Several attempts have been made previously to provide a biological grounding for cognitive architectures by relating their components to the computations of specific brain circuits. Often, the architecture's action selection system is identified with the basal ganglia. However, this identification overlooks one of the most important features of the basal ganglia-the existence of a direct and an indirect pathway that compete against each other. This...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: De Freitas J, Sarkissian H, Newman GE, Grossmann I, De Brigard F, Luco A, Knobe J Abstract People sometimes explain behavior by appealing to an essentialist concept of the self, often referred to as the true self. Existing studies suggest that people tend to believe that the true self is morally virtuous; that is deep inside, every person is motivated to behave in morally good ways. Is this belief particular to individuals with optimistic beliefs or people from Western...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Discussion of REM Sleep Dreaming as a Virtual Laboratory for the Rehearsal of Embodied Cognition. Cogn Sci. 2017 Jun 06;: Authors: Speth C, Speth J Abstract Hallucinatory states are experienced not only in connection with drugs and psychopathologies but occur naturally and spontaneously across the human circadian cycle: Our nightly dreams bring multimodal experiences in the absence of adequate external stimuli. The current study proposes a new, tighter measure of these...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

GelSight technology lets robots gauge objects’ hardness and manipulate small tools.

Source Feed: MIT News - Brain and cognitive sciences

Naïve and Robust: Class-Conditional Independence in Human Classification Learning. Cogn Sci. 2017 Jun 02;: Authors: Jarecki JB, Meder B, Nelson JD Abstract Humans excel in categorization. Yet from a computational standpoint, learning a novel probabilistic classification task involves severe computational challenges. The present paper investigates one way to address these challenges: assuming class-conditional independence of features. This feature independence assumption...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com


News reports have been covering a fascinating study on the moral reasoning of ‘terrorists’ published in Nature Human Behaviour but it’s worth being aware of the wider context to understand what it means. Firstly, it’s important to highlight how impressive this study is. The researchers, led by Sandra Baez, managed to complete the remarkably difficult … Continue reading "Not the psychology of Joe average terrorist"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: uncategorized

You feel somebody is looking at you, but you don’t know why. The explanation lies in some intriguing neuroscience and the study of a strange form of brain injury. Something makes you turn and see someone watching you. Perhaps on a busy train, or at night, or when you’re strolling through the park. How did … Continue reading "What triggers that feeling of being watched?"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: seeing

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

This new map shows how easily white Europeans associate black faces with negative ideas. Since 2002, hundreds of thousands of people around the world have logged onto a website run by Harvard University called Project Implicit and taken an “implicit association test” (IAT), a rapid-response task which measures how easily you can pair items from … Continue reading "This map shows what white Europeans associate with race – and it makes for uncomfortable reading"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: other people

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



Vela has an amazing essay by a mother of a child with a rare chromosomal deletion. Put aside all your expectations about what this article will be like: it is about the hopes and reality of having a child, but it’s also about so much more. It’s an insightful commentary on the social expectations foisted … Continue reading "An alternative beauty in parenthood"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: uncategorized

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

A graph of scientific articles published per year which mention four major neurotransmitters in their title: What I take from this is Dopamine is king! And with great popularity, comes great misrepresentation. What happened to glutamate research in the mid 1990s? The recent hype about oxytocin doesn’t seem to be driven by a spike in … Continue reading "neurotransmitter fashion"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: inside the brain

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

There’s a simple story about sex differences in cognition, which traces these back to sex differences in early brain development, which are in turn due to hormone differences. Diagrammatically, it looks something like this: Cordelia Fine’s “Delusions of Gender” (2010) accuses both scientists and popularisers of science with being too ready to believe overly simple, … Continue reading "hormones, brain and behaviour, a not-so-simple story"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: gender

There’s a great ongoing podcast series called A Neuroscientist Explains that looks at some of the most important points of contact between neuroscience and the wider world. It’s a project of The Guardian Science Weekly podcast and is hosted by brain scientist Daniel Glaser who has an interesting profile – having been a cognitive neuroscientist … Continue reading "A neuroscientist podcaster explains…"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: inside the brain, linkage

Julie A. Woodzicka (Washington and Lee University) and Marianne LaFrance (Yale) report an experiment reminiscent of Milgram’s famous studies of obedience to authority. Reminiscent both because it highlights the gap between how we imagine we’ll respond under pressure and how we actually do respond, and because it’s hard to imagine an ethics review board allowing … Continue reading "Why women don’t report sexual harassment"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: gender, other people

In Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow” he introduces research on social priming – the idea that subtle cues in the environment may have significant, reliable effects on behaviour. In that book, published in 2011, Kahneman writes “disbelief is not an option” about these results. Since then, the evidence against the reliability of social priming … Continue reading "The Social Priming Studies in “Thinking Fast and Slow” are not very replicable"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: other people, reasoning

Emotional well-being and mood are profoundly influenced by diet and lifestyle. Gratefully, the science supports a host of “therapeutic lifestyle changes” – TLC for short – that can improve your mood and lower your risk of depression. Here’s the complete list based on my most recent scientific review. (Please note these strategies are in no [...]

Source Feed: mind360.com
Categories: brain health, emotional well-being mood brain health food

Of all organs of the body, the brain is perhaps the pickiest and most demanding when it comes to the foods and nutrients that suit it best. To boost your focus and concentration, include the following foods in your life regularly: Beans– canned, fresh, frozen, or dried, beans provide the brain a steady and robust [...]

Source Feed: mind360.com
Categories: brain health, brain food productivity

10/21/2013
MIND360 has been purchased by Intelligent Living Inc. www.intelligentlivinginc.com and will be relaunched in a few weeks with the same great content and some new things in the works. Please email us at mind360@intelligentlivinginc.com with any questions or suggestions.

Source Feed: mind360.com
Categories: brain health, intelligent living, mind360

An article by: Thomas K. Pedigo,Ed.D. MSCP.,ABMP What can Attention-Memory Testing tell me about my attention and working memory that my Brain Training program can’t? Attention-Memory Testing Batteries will give you clear and comprehensive information about how your attention and working memory skills stack up to your peers on a national level. This real world [...]

Source Feed: mind360.com
Categories: brain health

- a guest post by Aileen Pablo, part of the team behind Open Colleges and InformED “Think positive!” If you’re like me, having someone say this to you mostly makes you want to roll your eyes and groan. After all, what’s the point of thinking positive? Are rosy thoughts full of unicorns and sunshine really [...]

Source Feed: mind360.com
Categories: brain health

As mentioned in previous posts, education and learning are great for having a fit brain. On the other side, brain training is a great supplement for memory and concentration improvement. We are glad to reveal our collaboration with the BrainMass site. BrainMass is a global community of graduate-level students, teachers and professionals, collected in a [...]

Source Feed: mind360.com
Categories: brain health, brain training

As we grow older natural changes happen in our memory capabilities. Experts in the Education and Health department of the Health Services recommend external measures for memory improving and some basic rules to improve memory function. An important principle that helps memory is placing objects in specific permanent places. For example: 1. Using a Key [...]

Source Feed: mind360.com
Categories: brain health

Did you ever feel that you remember the material for the test better after taking it? You were probably right! After taking a memory test, we know what we remember, but the test itself also enhances later retention. This phenomenon is also known as “the testing effect” In a research by Henry L. Roediger, III, [...]

Source Feed: mind360.com
Categories: brain health

Mind360 is proud to announce our new initiative, ADHD Therapy by ADHDtherapy360.com. Our new site is coming soon but in the meantime; we have created a Facebook Page as a source of timely news and resources for children and parents of those living with ADHD. The Facebook Page is there to serve as a forum [...]

Source Feed: mind360.com
Categories: attention, brain games, brain health, brain teasers, brain training, cognitive science news, cognitive training, in the classroom, memory

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Mind360 is proud to announce our new initiative, ADHD Therapy by ADHDtherapy360.com. Our new site is coming soon but in the meantime; we have created a Facebook Page as a source of timely news and resources for children and parents of those living with ADHD. The Facebook Page is there to serve as a forum [...]

Source Feed: mind360.com
Categories: brain health

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