Questions tagged [learning]

For questions about acquiring new, or modifying existing, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences. Learning may involve synthesizing different types of information.

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57
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1answer
14k views

By learning to read and write upside down, what did I do to myself?

If you've ever read Encyclopedia Brown books, you'll be familiar with the backwards writing in the back of the book that explains the solution to the case. When I was in my mid-late teens (I don't ...
52
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3answers
17k views

If babies were isolated, would they develop their own language?

Let’s say that two or more babies/infants from the age of 0 were put in an environment without the affection of adults to teach them how to speak. Would the babies after 13 or so years develop their ...
29
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4answers
1k views

Does learning one discipline improve performance in another discipline?

I have come across a lot of articles that suggest learning across disciplines would improve cognitive abilities. This is more often referred to as Integrative Learning. Also, nowadayas a lot of ...
25
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2answers
3k views

Are spaced flashcards effective for learning?

Several apps and sites offer flashcard-based learning that repeat the cards you do poorly on over a period of time (the more inaccurate the answer the closer to each other the repetitions are). One ...
23
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2answers
14k views

Is it possible to think in a second language?

Those who have learned a second language are guaranteed to consciously think of words and their corresponding meaning in your native language or vice versa. This is common with more "complex" ...
22
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2answers
2k views

Applications of computational learning theory in the cognitive sciences

Computational learning theory (CoLT) is a branch of theoretical computer science associated with the mathematical analysis of machine learning. A lot of the early ideas of the field take inspiration ...
19
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1answer
533 views

How can I use gamification to encourage people to complete workplace training?

I am looking for ways to improve the likelihood people will perform mundane but required workplace training. I am looking into gamification techniques. My organisation requires that employees ...
19
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1answer
563 views

Does dream recall interfere with "reverse learning"? (Crick and Mitchison's theory of REM sleep)

I've recently became aware of the idea of "reverse learning" that might happen during REM sleep - the brain's attempt to eliminate pathological attractors that might appear in neural networks. The ...
18
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1answer
544 views

Does the effect of naturalistic exposure on second language acquisition vary with age?

A while back, I watched the movie The Terminal and the main character played by Tom Hanks learns to speak fluent English while he is stranded in the airport for more than a year. Which seems somewhat ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Is "brain training" effective?

We've had quite a few questions about "brain training" on this site (see questions tagged brain-training). And the effectiveness of "brain training" has been touched on in several questions (this ...
15
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3answers
208 views

Is there any study on the effectiveness of taking notes in a lecture vs taking notes on written materials?

In many lectures I heard, I basically copied the lecture notes of the professor from the board into my notebook (I study mathematics). For me those lectures are comparable with going into the library, ...
15
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2answers
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What is the optimal repetition pattern to maximize long term memory?

Which is the appropriate repetition pattern to aid long term memory, in terms of time between study sessions? I have been reading about Ebbinghaus and doing some related research, but I can't find a ...
15
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1answer
320 views

What does cognitive science say about whether to learn mathematics top-down from research papers?

There is currently a popular question on math.SE on whether it is effective to learn math top-down. By top-down I mean finding a paper that interests you which is obviously way over your head, ...
15
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1answer
312 views

Computational models of early learning in children

What are currently used biologically plausible computational models/frameworks of early learning in children? Personally, I have used cascade correlation neural nets to model pronoun acquisition in ...
15
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0answers
583 views

Is abstract knowledge incompatible with literal memorization?

Let me describe 2 interesting cases : Solomon Shereshevsky (Luria, 1968) had an almost perfect literal memory. He remembers strings of hundreds of digits for years after only having read them once. I ...
14
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3answers
352 views

Does chess enhance cognitive abilities?

Some texts advise playing chess with children and mature people. Should I take them seriously, and why should chess boost intellect? For instance, I would like to be able to read and understand ...
14
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1answer
968 views

Does the transcription method used (e.g., printing, handwriting, typing, voice recording, etc.) affect memory retention?

When I was in high school, one of my teachers used to make us hand print copies of materials from transparencies on an overhead projector (I may be showing my age), with the reasoning that re-writing ...
13
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4answers
1k views

Why is training better when following an easy-to-difficult schedule?

As suggested in the answer to this question, experimental results show that training is most effective when it follows an easy-to-difficult schedule. What theories and specifically computational ...
13
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4answers
4k views

Cognitive Science podcasts to follow

I'm currently trying to find interesting Cognitive Science related podcasts to follow. Only one I've found is You are not so smart. Does anyone know anything else? Preferably in English. If the ...
13
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3answers
633 views

How does the brain learn what something is for the first time?

I'm trying to understand how the idea of what a thing is originates in humans. For example, in computer science, it is possible to know what an object is and what it does, by examining its "parent/...
13
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1answer
493 views

Is there a practical limit to the amount of knowledge a human can learn?

There's definitely progressive interference and retroactive interference, which are basically two ways that old memories and new memories can interfere with each other. But on the other hand, do ...
12
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3answers
271 views

Is there any recent work on modeling how we rapidly acquire new knowledge?

I work with neural network models of human cognition a lot, and one thing that bugs me about them is the timescale: they learn over thousands of trials whereas humans seem to learn after a couple ...
12
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1answer
3k views

What is the ACT-R model of learning?

I am reading this paper titled: Effect of Temporal Spacing between Advertising Exposures In this paper, the author mentions the ACT-R model and how it explains an ...
12
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1answer
3k views

Why has behaviourism fallen out of favour?

The reasons for behaviourism as a philosophy and school of psychology to have fallen out of favour are well known and documented. However, when Newton's view of gravity was replaced by general ...
12
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1answer
146 views

Why a person may have a temptation to do something unrelated when doing especially important thing?

I would like to know, why a person may have a temptation to do something unrelated (or slightly related to his current task) when doing particularly important job? Like, when preparing for an ...
12
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1answer
149 views

Learning of new concepts being impeded by an error in previous work

Note: I'm framing this question in terms of tutoring math since that's what I tutor most, though it applies to a wide range of subject matters. I do a decent amount of tutoring, and this is one ...
12
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1answer
430 views

How do cooperative vs. competitive activities impact the learning patterns of an individual?

To what extent does cooperative versus competitive learning influence personality development or even pathological behaviors? If these activities need to be narrowed down to a specific category, I'm ...
12
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1answer
133 views

How do our emotions toward a subject affect our brain activity within similar activities?

I'll bring an example: there are people who love to dance and could do it for hours. Yet, if you'd make them run a long distance they would get tired really soon just because they don't like running ...
11
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3answers
812 views

Why are mind maps recommended for study and recap?

In both my last year of high school and my freshmen year at the university, I got strong recommendations to study using mind maps - especially because this is apparently better to cope with large ...
11
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1answer
413 views

Hebbian Learning Rule, Local or Global?

I just learned about the Hebbian Learning Rule. It essentially says "Neurons that fire together, wire together". I'm wondering if the learning rule is affected by the spatial distance of the two ...
11
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4answers
123 views

What are the key algorithms for learning optimal behavior of economic agents?

I'm playing around with social learning of near-optimal behavioral rules on a set of agents. The idea is roughly that given an income process (or technology process, depending on the question) an ...
11
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1answer
167 views

Does teaching a bird an artificial task like eating from a feeder hurt its performance in the wild?

Can training a wild animal through operant conditioning somehow cause the animal to forget or be unable to perform tasks which it had perviously learned? Is it likely that training wild animals ...
11
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1answer
255 views

Learning a language by Immersion

Immersion is the process by which children learn their native language, but it can also be used in educational settings. Apparently in some countries, where the official language is not the language ...
11
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1answer
253 views

Are association, conditioning, and symbolic learning the same thing?

Symbols: Our brains are able to understand that some things stand for other things. For example, the sound we make when we say "food" stands for things we can eat. And with writing, we can say that ...
11
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1answer
274 views

Is there evidence that STDP is responsible for the ability to infer causation?

Spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) is a property of synapses that modifies their efficacy based on timing relationships between action potentials in the pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neuron. A ...
11
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1answer
371 views

Cognitive models for transfer of skills

Recently a question was asked about the benefit of playing chess on cognitive abilities. More specifically, how chess would improve understanding technical texts. Many other questions are also focused ...
11
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1answer
1k views

How do animals recognize other animals of their own species?

My motivation for this question is dog-based, but I suppose it would apply equally well to humans. How do animals recognize their own kind, particularly where there is large variation in appearance? ...
11
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1answer
247 views

Effects of Game-based Learning on Motivation for Learning

I have already asked this question here, but I did not receive my answer. I found this site a more appropriate place to ask it. I found many studies discovering the impacts of game-based learning on ...
11
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1answer
7k views

Why does learning new mental skills lead to headaches?

Why is deliberate practice uncomfortable? For example, during learning college math and playing the piano. Why do we get headaches after long hours of practice? According to this question, learning is ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Do people with ADD or Asperger's Syndrome often show different learning curves than neurotypical individuals?

There's some interesting discussion at this Wrong Planet thread Specifically, I was wondering whether people with ADD or Asperger's Syndrome are more likely to show a logistic pattern in their ...
10
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3answers
5k views

Is it possible to master two different typing keyboard layouts?

I am a good typist with qwerty keyboard, I came across other keyboard layouts (eg: Dvorak keyboard). I believe I will never be able to master these two typing layouts simultaneously. Am I right? or ...
10
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3answers
852 views

Are there any ways to increase dopamine and serotonin levels when working or learning something complex?

There is much information regarding learning styles and ways to leverage them, along with boosting focus, alertness and concentration. However, I'm looking for accompanying information that would be ...
10
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2answers
572 views

Does not consistently providing a reward strengthen operant conditioning?

When learning about Operant Conditioning, I remember being taught that not consistently rewarding the desired behavior could (seemingly counterintuitively) actually increase the strength of learning ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Are there any laws of memory?

Several years ago, my adviser wrote an article discussing the observation that a hundred years of studying memory had not resulted in the discovery of a "law" of memory. He wrote (p. 247): When one ...
10
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2answers
690 views

What is the difference between solving a problem and acquiring a skill?

Within the confines of cognitive psychology, what is the difference between these two tasks? In the literature, playing chess is generally seen as the exemplar of problem solving. But recently (thanks ...
10
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3answers
14k views

What causes a person to be curious, inquisitive and explorative?

Why do humans (primates) tend to be curious, inquisitive and explorative? They want to know things that they do not. They explore stuff in an attempt to find something new which makes them ...
10
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1answer
2k views

What causes fear of failure to lead to lack of effort and actual failure?

Background: I'm having hard time motivating myself to study. In my first year I was a very good student, I had the motivation to study because I wanted to compete, it was first and maybe hardest year. ...
10
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1answer
237 views

Are some methods of teaching reading "bad"?

I have a young daughter who I am teaching to read, and I was given a "Your Baby Can Read" DVD set by a friend. When discussing it with friends, several of my teacher friends frowned upon the use of "...
10
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1answer
153 views

Does the number of alternatives in a multiple choice question affect the learning output?

I have built several apps in Norwegian about hunting, philosophy etc. Students use the app to learn a subject and test their knowledge before doing their exam. In current state i have one question ...
10
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1answer
356 views

Why do we become bored of stimuli after multiple exposures to it?

Why do we become bored of songs, films, stories, jokes, food after being exposed to them or experiencing them multiple times? Why is it when our cortex becomes adequate at predicting the outcomes of ...

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