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165
votes
6answers
12k views

How is it that taking a break from a problem sometimes allows you to figure out the answer?

As a computer programmer, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon: If I am stuck on a particular problem in my work, often if I stop thinking about the problem and do something else, the answer will ...
49
votes
4answers
2k views

What are current neuronal explanations and models of 'consciousness'?

I would like to understand more about consciousness from a neuroscientific perspective. I have a limited understanding of it in the philosophical/psychological sense through lectures. Although it is ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

Can you catch up on sleep over the weekend?

The lack of sleep has many negative effects associated with it. Maintained sleep deprivation results in a degraded performance over time (in this case reaction time). Assuming one needs 8 hours of ...
21
votes
2answers
8k views

How long do dreams last?

What is the relationship between time perceived in a dream and time in the external world? Is time running in dreams always faster than the time running in the real world? Is it ratio of real time ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

Subconscious vs Unconscious

From what I know, we use the term 'subconscious' to refer to the things that we can bring into our conscious. and, we use the term 'unconscious' for things that we can't know, they come automatically ...
43
votes
6answers
42k views

Why would the brain flip the images perceived by your eyes?

The following is a common scientific statement, which you don't have to google long for to find: The eye views images upside-down in the manner of a camera lens, but our brains reinterpret this ...
28
votes
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 ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

What are popular rationalist responses to Tversky & Shafir?

In the early 90s Tversky & Shafir observed several violations of rationality in human participants, in particular violation of the disjunction effect and sure-thing principle. This has lead to ...
13
votes
2answers
886 views

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Limitations

In treating people with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Which people can't be helped by therapy? How are some people more treatable than others? Additional Info In the comments of a blog post ...
42
votes
4answers
3k views

Is the Myer Briggs Type indicator (MBTI) a reasonable scientific theory?

Background: MBTI stands for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It's a theory that suggests that people can be divided into 16 types, based on the way they percieve and analyse information (whether they make ...
18
votes
11answers
928 views

Any work being done on Perception, Action, and/or Cognition in Video games?

Call it a nerd crossover, but I've always been curious about how we play games on a mechanistic level. However, even coming from a rational viewpoint video games seem like a fruitful domain of study, ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there any personality theories that use the scientific method?

Background I have come across a number of personality theories. There are even disciplines of personality theories, dividing these theories according to the assumptions they are based upon. The most ...
64
votes
4answers
6k views

What makes people easily subscribe to pseudoscientific theories?

There are many theories/disciplines that have been categorized as pseudoscience in the scientific community. The list includes many things that are regularly even quoted in media like graphology, ...
32
votes
4answers
3k views

What are good examples of applying dynamical systems in cognitive science?

I'm a mathematics and physics student very much interested in cognitive science. Recently I've been hearing about "a new approach" in cognitive science via dynamical system theory. What are some ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do dreams lose clarity quickly over time after we awaken?

Right after you wake up from a dream, you seem to be able to remember most if not all of the details. Then, over time, these details fade and often disappear. Is this a form of regression? Why is ...
15
votes
2answers
993 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
227 views

The computer model of the brain

I am a computer programmer or computer engineer, and am interested in comparing the brain to a classical computer in some way. How well does this comparison hold up? This is a general introduction ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Which is the scientific name of stubbornness?

Some people are stubborn, with strong, absolute beliefs, and it's really hard to change the ideas. They tend to see just the evidence that confirms their ideas. What is the scientific name of this ...
9
votes
3answers
860 views

Denial of evidence and reason [duplicate]

Some people form a belief and become absolutely resistant to any contrary evidence or reasoning. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence, these people stick to their beliefs. I'm pretty sure this is ...
8
votes
5answers
39k views

Why does a person feel sad without knowing the reason?

I have known people to behave in a way they despise, and they don't know why.
55
votes
5answers
25k views

Does evidence support Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs?

Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs (shown below) is a popular concept and is often taught in basic psychology courses, and often less objectively taught in Business and Marketing courses. A common problem ...
22
votes
3answers
50k views

Is there scientific evidence on the benefits of binaural beats?

When two coherent sounds with nearly similar frequencies are presented to each ear respectively with stereo headphones, the brain integrates the two signals and produces a sensation of a third sound ...
39
votes
8answers
10k views

What is the current “accepted” science behind dream interpretation?

I'm doing some casual reading about dream interpretation (meaning I'm reading the wikipedia entry) and the article mentions that there are several ways of thinking about dreams from a psychological ...
15
votes
2answers
386 views

References for biologically plausible models of knowledge representation?

I'm looking for references that deal with the issue of how various kinds of semantic knowledge are (or might be) represented neurally. Most of the discussion of this topic seems skewed by social ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the relation between measures, constructs and concepts?

It is uncontroversial to say that the cognitive sciences do not exclusively deal with directly observable phenomena, but nonetheless aim to study the physical causes of behavior and cognition ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Open-source software for analyzing Electrodermal activity

Electrodermal activity (EDA) is a measure of the sympathetic activity, typically caused by stress or an emotional state. Analysis not a straightforward process like analysing reaction times. It ...
10
votes
1answer
622 views

How does a language deprived person think?

Question Let us say a person is deprived of language (of any form, including verbal and non-verbal) since birth to an age where normal adult brain functioning would be expected. Then how would they ...
6
votes
1answer
189 views

What are the main theories that account for why some people like X and others not?

For example, how does psychology account for why some people like peanuts and others hate them? This is a serious question, although perhaps naive. Sure, there can be some physiological explanations ...
39
votes
6answers
3k views

Online data repository of research in the cognitive sciences

Sharing data is an important part of science (e.g., see APA discussion). It's also often useful to be able to have access to datasets when teaching students how to analyse data in the cognitive ...
32
votes
2answers
2k views

Neural networks with biologically plausible accounts of neurogenesis

One of the reasons artificial neural net algorithms like cascade correlation (pdf) have been generating interest is because they start with a minimal topology (just input and output unit) and recruit ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

What are some of the drawbacks to probabilistic models of cognition?

Probabilistic approaches to modelling cognition are increasing in popularity and being encouraged within the field (Chater, Tanenbaum, & Yuille, 2006). What are some of the arguments against or ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Is back-prop biologically plausible?

One of the common criticisms of Deep Learning is it's training algorithms, back-propagation of error (back-prop), has no biologically plausible implementation, despite evidence of something like it ...
33
votes
2answers
208k views

How valid is Lumosity's Brain Performance Index and what normative information is available?

Background There is a test called Lumosity's Brain Performance Index. A sample profile of scores might be: ...
24
votes
2answers
1k views

Does language and/or culture affect an individual's cognitive capacity?

Some languages have multiple expressions to identify, address, comprehend, and interpret a single concept and/or experience. Are limits placed on understanding and describing aspects of cognition due ...
15
votes
6answers
9k views

Within psychiatry, how is homosexuality discussed or classified?

I acknowledge the fact that we currently don't understand the causes of homosexuality nearly well enough, but I have read about the following points: That homosexuality may not be a choice and could ...
14
votes
1answer
6k views

Do the Jungian Cognitive Functions/ Processes really exist?

Background Many of us must have come across personality theories like MBTI which use part of Carl Jung's concepts to make a theoretical system used to divide people into types. For example, MBTI ...
27
votes
4answers
1k views

Perception of time as a function of age

For many people time seems to run faster as they get older. That is, for an old person an hour, a day or a year seems to be shorter than for a young person. Is there any hard data for such phenomenon?...
22
votes
3answers
14k views

How to reliably measure working memory capacity?

The capacity of human working memory is subject to individual differences. The number of items or chunks a person can retain in their memory may, have profound effects on a variety of other cognitive ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the support for a global personality factor?

The Big 5 is a popular framework for describing major factors of individual differences in personality. More recently, I've been hearing people talking about the utility of conceptualising personality ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What exactly is IQ, and how to develop or improve it?

Some people are said to have exceptionally high IQ. What exactly is that supposed to mean? Is it possible to develop high IQ if one doesn't have it? If yes, then how?
12
votes
1answer
512 views

Is there evidence to suggest that music can trigger release of a particular kind of neurotransmitter?

I've recently listened to a podcast, "The music in your brain", in which Dr. Daniel Levitin suggests that: Soothing music can trigger release of oxytocin Sad music triggers release of prolactin An ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What happens to someone missing teenage years of development?

Hypothetically, let's say a person were to fall into a coma as an adolescent for several years, until they were a physical adult. Would that person, assuming the brain was still fully functional upon ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the correlation between Grade Point Average (GPA) and intelligence?

What is an authoritative empirical estimate of the correlation between pscyhometric measures of intelligence and Grade Point Average (GPA)? What are the main factors that influence the size of the ...
10
votes
2answers
224 views

How do clinicians control for their own mental disorders?

Has any research been done on how clinicians' (either internists or psychiatrists) known psychological conditions influence the diagnoses, misdiagnoses, and prognoses they make? And, related to that, ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

What is the name of a cognitive bias by which existing facts are tailored to fit a personal hypothesis?

What is the name of a cognitive bias where a person takes all of their knowledge of a particular subject (at a point in time) and arranges it in a hypothesis or world model that makes sense to that ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

Can people improve their memory by training themselves to recall previously forgotten memories?

Apparently, somebody has recalled previously forgotton memories and become able to speak fluent french after a coma. I'm wondering if people can also train themselves to be good at recalling ...
54
votes
3answers
4k views

Can critical thinking be taught?

Critical thinking is central to the scientific method and believed to be essential to a successful democracy. Recently, the 2012 Texas Republican platform voiced the party's opposition to the teaching ...
28
votes
12answers
9k views

Open source software for running Internet psychological experiments that collect reaction time data

I've often used Inquisit to run psychological experiments online. The software enables delivery of stimuli (e.g., text, images, etc.) and collection of reaction times. Obviously general purpose ...
29
votes
1answer
1k views

How long should I work before taking a break?

I'd like to work as effectively as possible for 8-9 hours a day, whether at work or studying. At some point in completing my major in psych I remember hearing about the importance of taking breaks ...
28
votes
4answers
34k views

Why do you sometimes write down one word while actually intending to write another?

I've caught myself writing (typing) "possible" instead of "possibly" a few times over the past few days, while I do intend to write "possibly". Only upon rereading the sentence I notice my mistake. ...

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