Cognitive Science RSS Feed

Cognitive Science

Cognitive science information and blogs.
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Ballyhooed artificial-intelligence technique known as “deep learning” revives 70-year-old idea.

Source Feed: MIT News - Brain and cognitive sciences




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


A new study of the words “a” and “the” sheds light on language acquisition.

Source Feed: MIT News - Brain and cognitive sciences

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

Authors: Quelhas AC, Rasga C, Johnson-Laird PN Abstract The theory of mental models postulates that meaning and knowledge can modulate the interpretation of conditionals. The theory's computer implementation implied that certain conditionals should be true or false without the need for evidence. Three experiments corroborated this prediction. In Experiment 1, nearly 500 participants evaluated 24 conditionals as true or false, and they justified their judgments by completing sentences...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

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

This study investigated whether and how a person's varied series of lexical categories corresponding to different discriminatory characteristics of the same colors affect his or her perception of colors. In three experiments, Chinese participants were primed to categorize four graduated colors-specifically dark green, light green, light blue, and dark blue-into green and blue; light color and dark color; and dark green, light green, light blue, and dark blue. The participants were then...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Ueda Y, Chen L, Kopecky J, Cramer ES, Rensink RA, Meyer DE, Kitayama S, Saiki J Abstract While some studies suggest cultural differences in visual processing, others do not, possibly because the complexity of their tasks draws upon high-level factors that could obscure such effects. To control for this, we examined cultural differences in visual search for geometric figures, a relatively simple task for which the underlying mechanisms are reasonably well known. We replicated...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com


Authors: Veksler BZ, Gunzelmann G Abstract Research on sleep loss and vigilance both focus on declines in cognitive performance, but theoretical accounts have developed largely in parallel in these two areas. In addition, computational instantiations of theoretical accounts are rare. The current work uses computational modeling to explore whether the same mechanisms can account for the effects of both sleep loss and time on task on performance. A classic task used in the sleep...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

MIT senior in brain and cognitive sciences and women's and gender studies honored for community work supporting mental health and women in STEM.

Source Feed: MIT News - Brain and cognitive sciences

In this study, we run a set of experiments investigating whether minimal distributional evidence from very short passages suffices to trigger successful word learning in subjects, testing their linguistic and visual intuitions about the concepts associated with new words. After confirming that subjects are indeed very efficient distributional learners even from small amounts of evidence, we test a DSM on the same multimodal task, finding that it behaves in a remarkable human-like way. We...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

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

Kids ask tough questions; MIT students, staff, and faculty answer. This episode of "#AskMIT" describes how much of our brains we really use.

Source Feed: MIT News - Brain and cognitive sciences

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

Authors: DeScioli P, Karpoff R, De Freitas J Abstract People sometimes disagree about who owns which objects, and these ownership dilemmas can lead to costly disputes. We investigate the cognitive mechanisms underlying people's judgments about finder versus landowner cases, in which a person finds an object on someone else's land. We test psychological hypotheses motivated directly by three major principles that govern these cases in the law. The results show that people are more...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

I had a bunch of quarters in my pocket. About six dollars worth, along with a couple of one dollar coins. I pulled all the change out of my pocket and placed it on a desktop. I walked away. A few minutes later, I went to grab the coins so I could bring them to…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, glutamate, protein, public transit, transportation

Authors: van Wermeskerken M, Litchfield D, van Gog T Abstract Displays of eye movements may convey information about cognitive processes but require interpretation. We investigated whether participants were able to interpret displays of their own or others' eye movements. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants observed an image under three different viewing instructions. Then they were shown static or dynamic gaze displays and had to judge whether it was their own or someone else's eye...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Authors: Gershman SJ, Pouncy HT, Gweon H Abstract We routinely observe others' choices and use them to guide our own. Whose choices influence us more, and why? Prior work has focused on the effect of perceived similarity between two individuals (self and others), such as the degree of overlap in past choices or explicitly recognizable group affiliations. In the real world, however, any dyadic relationship is part of a more complex social structure involving multiple social groups that...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

This article reports an eye-movement experiment supporting the latter hypothesis by demonstrating that the slope of the relationship between the saccade launch site on word N and the subsequent fixation landing site on word N + 1 is > 1, suggesting that saccades are lengthened from launch sites that afford more parafoveal processing. This conclusion is then evaluated and confirmed via simulations using implementations of both hypotheses (Liu, Reichle, & Li, 2016), with a discussion of these...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

Maternal Socioeconomic Status Influences the Range of Expectations During Language Comprehension in Adulthood. Cogn Sci. 2017 Mar 13;: Authors: Troyer M, Borovsky A Abstract In infancy, maternal socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with real-time language processing skills, but whether or not (and if so, how) this relationship carries into adulthood is unknown. We explored the effects of maternal SES in college-aged adults on eye-tracked, spoken sentence comprehension...

Source Feed: Cognitive Science via MedWorm.com

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

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 read it? In this article Dr. Eugene D. Robin discussed how larger and more complex brains are associated with greater intelligence, which…

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

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

Happy Valentine’s Day! Inotocin is the insect form of the so-called “love” hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin, as you may know, is responsible for inducing labor in pregnant women. A recent study published in Scientific Reports describes the work of a team of researchers that created a synthetic version of inotocin which could bind to both oxytocin and vasopressin receptors in human tissues.…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized

Lately I’ve been thinking about sex differences in brain and cognition. There are undeniable differences in the physical size of the brain, and different brain areas, even if there are no ‘female’ and ‘male’ brains categorically. These physical differences do not translate directly into commensurate differences in cognition. Indeed, there is support for a ‘gender … Continue reading "Sex differences in cognition are small"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: gender

There is a popular notion that men and women are very different in their cognitive abilities. The evidence for this may be weaker than you expect. Janet Hyde advances what she calls the ‘gender similarities hypothesis‘, ‘which holds that males and females are similar on most, but not all, psychological variables’. In a 2016 review … Continue reading "The gender similarities hypothesis"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: gender

What would it mean for there to be a “male brain” or a “female brain”? Human genitals are mostly easy to categorise just by sight as either male or female. It makes sense to talk about there being different male and female types of genitals. What would it mean for the same to be true … Continue reading "no male and female brain types"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: gender

Next time someone asks you “Are men and women’s brains different?”, you can answer, without hesitation, “Yes”. Not only do they tend to be found in different types of bodies, but they are different sizes. Men’s are typically larger by something like 130 cubic centimeters. Not only are they actually larger, but they are larger … Continue reading "Sex differences in brain size"

Source Feed: Mind Hacks
Categories: gender

The story begins in 1999 when Leonie, a zebra shark (aka a leopard shark in Australia), was captured from the wild. In 2006 she was transferred to Reef HQ Aquarium in Queensland, Australia where she met her mate. By 2008, she had started laying eggs and the pair had multiple litters of offspring through sexual reproduction. After her…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, biothermodynamics, cartography, gender, rede ecoblogs

Liver failure or congenital defects can lead to a build-up of ammonia in the brain of mammals resulting in life-threatening swelling, convulsions and comas. For goldfish (Carassius auratus), environmental exposure to ammonia causes reversible swelling of the brain. In a new study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, researchers wanted…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, biophysics, climate science, general education, knowledge, magnus force, science in college

Orcas are one of only three species of mammals that go through menopause, including humans of course. A new study published in Current Biology may have discovered why this happens in killer whales. Examination of 43 years worth of data collected by the Center for Whale Research and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, revealed a remarkable finding…

Source Feed: Brain & Behavior – ScienceBlogs
Categories: uncategorized, cartography, martin kimmel center for archaeological science, science on film, simulation

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Excess sugar -- especially the fructose in sugary drinks -- might damage your brain, new research suggests. Researchers found that people who drink sugary beverages frequently are more likely to have poorer memory, smaller overall brain volume, and a significantly smaller hippocampus. A follow-up study found that people who drank diet soda daily were almost three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia when compared to those who did not.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

Fecal transplantation of bacteria from one healthy donor into patients that suffer from hepatic encephalopathy, is safe and improves cognitive function compared with standard of care treatment for the condition, new research concludes. The study results also demonstrated that the number of hospitalizations following fecal transplantation plus antibiotics was two, compared to the standard of care arm, which was 11.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily




New research overturns a long-standing paradigm about how axons grow during embryonic development. The findings of the study could help scientists replicate or control the way axons grow, which may be applicable for diseases that affect the nervous system, such as diabetes, as well as injuries that sever nerves.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

Working with genetically engineered mice -- and especially their whiskers -- researchers report they have identified a group of nerve cells in the skin responsible for what they call 'active touch,' a combination of motion and sensory feeling needed to navigate the external world. The discovery of this basic sensory mechanism advances the search for better 'smart' prosthetics for people, ones that provide more natural sensory feedback to the brain during use.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

A new nationally representative survey of American teenagers age 13-17 finds that teens have shifted their favored social media platforms and are now most likely to use Instagram and Snapchat. The study also found that while almost all teens -- 91 percent -- use the regular text messaging tool on their mobile phones, 40 percent of teens also use messaging applications like Kik, WhatsApp, or Line on a smartphone.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily


In people born with one hand, the brain region that would normally light up with that missing hand's activity lights up instead with the activity of other body parts -- including the arm, foot, and mouth -- that fill in for the hand's lost function. Now, researchers say that the discovery could shake up scientists' fundamental understanding of how the brain is organized.

Source Feed: Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

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