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174
votes
6answers
15k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
52
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
24
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
29
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
43
votes
8answers
11k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
561 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
24
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
46
votes
5answers
53k 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 ...
30
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 ...
20
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
243 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 ...
70
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, ...
45
votes
4answers
4k 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
971 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, ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Is Decision-Making Emotionally Based, with Rationalization as the only Conscious Component?

My interest is in how problem-solving decisions are made, and what, if any skills could be taught to increase people's ability to make effective decisions? Effective, in this case, means that an ...
19
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 ...
17
votes
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Do people have a tendency to stick to one opinion after they formed it?

Scytale's assessment, from the science fiction novel "Dune Messiah" (1969) When a creature has developed into one thing, he will choose death rather than change into his opposite. While reading ...
9
votes
5answers
40k 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.
12
votes
1answer
818 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
173 views

How does people's sense of right and wrong affect their behavior?

In general, people tend to simply max out their profit. In the process to max out their profit, humans have this peculiar cognitive function, called sense of morality. We have no idea how it evolve ...
7
votes
1answer
248 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 ...
33
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 ...
38
votes
5answers
2k views

Is multitasking a myth?

Often, the term 'multitasking' is applied to very busy and 'wired' people. There is an adage that women multitask better than men. My question is, do we actually multitask? If so, what are the ...
21
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
329 views

Predictive Experiments on Neuroscience of Free Will

It seems to be very interesting that we can use modern neuroscience and cognitive science research to inform us about the ages-old question of free-will vs. determinism. The standard experiment was ...
10
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
520 views

What is the psychological term for disregarding correct but unwanted information?

Sometimes people seem to be very resistant to information that is in conflict with prior beliefs, even when this new information is very plausible. For example, a patient might change a doctor, ...
57
votes
5answers
30k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
57k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
411 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
13
votes
8answers
16k views

Are brain waves electromagnetic waves?

Depending upon its activity, the brain emits waves, which represent the summation of individual neurons firing. Are these waves electromagnetic waves?
10
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the most comprehensive system of describing human emotions or states of mind?

Reading about the human mind, I sometimes come across attempts to classify human emotions using various scales. The one that comes to mind most often is the 6 scale circle model shown below. Is ...
24
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
295 views

When can we say that machines are conscious?

We have already witnessed complex computing systems winning chess games and IBM Watson beat his human counterparts at a game of 'Jeopardy!'. However, so far we have not seen signs of consciousness ...
4
votes
2answers
360 views

Word for naming your negative self-talk to overcome it

I'm trying to find some research - or at least a professional analysis - on the concept of naming your negative self-talk so that you can "take away its power" - that is, separate it from yourself and ...
11
votes
2answers
287 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
201 views

Standard Academic set of emotions, and cognitive functions

As far as modern psychology is concerned, do we have a "standard" set of emotions agreed upon by academics? For example, happiness, anger, sadness, etc. Is there a single list that contains all ...
2
votes
1answer
136 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 ...
40
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 ...
35
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there evidence that listening to music can aid/hinder concentration or performance?

I, like many computer programmers, love to listen to music while I work. I have always believed that music helps me stay focused and motivated, and improves my performance on many types of tasks, ...
33
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 ...
27
votes
3answers
4k 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
4k 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 ...

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