53

This question would require an experiment that cannot ethically be conducted, but it is interesting. Wikipedia has an article on historical attempts at language deprivation experiments: An experiment allegedly carried out by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century saw young infants raised without human interaction in an attempt to ...


23

It is possible for some people to think in a second language. And given that you are asking about possibility, to some extent anecdotes are evidence. Many children who change linguistic communities at a young age lose the ability to talk in their first language. This is particularly the case where the first language is different to the language in which ...


17

Is it possible to stop the conscious act of translating your native language to your second language or vice versa? Many people have already commented that they certainly experience thinking in several languages. While this sort of phenomenal insight is interesting in itself, one key idea from cognitive science research is that introspection is not ...


13

According to current models of human concept learning, the answer to your question is both. Think of a simplified domain in which every object consists of only several features, and therefore can be visualized as a point in some multidimensional feature space. For example, the features that define objects might be its size, shape, color, and weight. ...


12

It's a local rule. All that it means is that the connection between two neurons gets stronger if you use that specific connection more. The specific connection (the synapse) must be used though; it doesn't apply to two random neurons that aren't connected that happen to fire at the same time. Hebbian learning is generic term for outcome; there are ...


11

This sounds similar to the "curse of knowledge" phenomenon (also called the "curse of expertise" by at least one publication that I found). From Wikipedia: "The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias according to which better-informed people find it extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed people." Some ...


11

Here are the ones I know about; there's much more about neuroscience than, say, theoretical or computational cognitive science, but a lot of the neuroscience podcasts cover cognitive science indirectly or partially. All in the Mind--it's also neuroscience and mental health stuff (a lot of mental health stuff) Brain Science Podcast--books about and ...


10

I wouldn't worry about "running out" of room in our brain. We often forget things just because we don't need to know them, similar to . There are plenty of human savants that display apparently "unlimited" capacities of certain forms of memory, such as Hyperthymesia where one has a seemingly perfect amount of recall of autobiographical details (not to be ...


10

A recent senior thesis by Schoen (2012) addressed this exact question. Students watched a filmed lecture and were randomly assigned to take notes with either by typing or handwriting. After the lecture, students were given a few distractor tasks, and then given a retention test. Other students were assigned to take notes from a textbook, instead of a lecture....


10

I don't know of research that answers this question directly, but I'm going to guess the answer is no, it wouldn't help, based on the following reasoning. First, people tend to learn math less well when superfluous visual richness is added. I think adding color to numbers counts as superfluous visual richness. Brown, M. C., McNeil, N. M., & Glenberg, A. ...


10

Observational points: It would be straightforward to point to a person who has mastered more than one keyboard layout (e.g., some of the people here). So, yes, it is possible. From my own personal experience, I can point to my use of both Vim keyboard shortcuts for editing and regular OSX/Windows keyboard shortcuts. This is certainly possible. But I'd ...


10

The jury is still out on temporary dyslexia, but apparently astronauts can experience it on a temporary basis on return to earth. However, mixing up (anagramming) digits or letters is not dyslexia. And this is confirmed from another source: A common myth closely associates dyslexia with mirror writing and reading letters or words backwards. At least ...


9

What you're thinking of is called an Intermittent Reinforcement Schedule. Different Reinforcement schedules have different effects, variable ratio in particular seems to be what you're getting at: a reinforcement schedule in which the number of responses necessary to produce reinforcement varies from trial to trial What's important is the behavior is ...


9

Humans actually exhibit both slow and fast learning and they have somewhat different properties. One distinction is between "declarative" memory (for example, facts like "tigers have stripes" or "Paris is the capital of France") and "procedural" learning (such as perceptuo-motor skills like riding a bike or playing a musical instrument). Declarative memory ...


9

I assume that the group that spends 100% of their time studying real analysis and 0% of their time doing n-back training will do best in any subsequent real analysis course. Cognitive skill acquisition does not generalise all that much (for a review see VanLehn, 1996). Transfer is often limited. I'm sceptical of any claims that short term training can lead ...


9

I believe the hype about brain training got started with Susanne Jaeggi's paper on n-back training and its alleged improvements to fluid intelligence (Gf) and working memory (WM): The experimental design was called into question by papers that followed and tried to replicate similar results. Most of them could not detect a maintained improvement in WM and ...


9

I think your intuition might be correct. According to Hal Pashler, there is no real evidence for learning styles. The authors do not state that one particular learning style is applicable to everyone. Instead, they conclude that a particular subject may have a preferred learning style. For example, essay writing would have a preferred "verbal" learning style....


9

There are (at least) two ways epigenetic traits are inherited. The important background in both cases is gene expression: there is a misconception that genes are for this or that, where the reality is that most traits come from an overlap of several genes expressing themselves in different ratios. As a simple example, consider two varieties of bird of the ...


9

Quite a bit of foundational research on skill acquisition is on how people learn to send and receive morse code. I'm no expert at morse code but it seems like it shares quite a bit with binary. For example, here is a graph of letters per minute that an operator could receive as a function of weeks of practice (Bryan & Harter, 1897). A general principle ...


9

Giovanni Sala was concerned by this same question, so he did a meta-analysis of 24 studies in "Beyond the 64 Squares: Does Chess Instruction Enhance Children’s Academic and Cognitive Skills? A Meta-Analysis" and found that there was still a lot of doubt in the results. Specifically, in all the papers, he never found the control group was reasonable. Of ...


8

It sounds like you are interested in the Spacing Effect. A search on Google Scholar for "spacing effect" for articles published since the year 2000 yields over 2500 articles some of which might be worth pursuing. Perhaps you might want to start by having a read through the meta-analysis in Psychological Bulletin by Cepeda et al (2006). To quote the ...


8

Pashler et al It is worth reading the critical review of learning styles by Pashler et al. To quote some of the summary: Our review of the literature disclosed ample evidence that children and adults will, if asked, express preferences about how they prefer information to be presented to them. There is also plentiful evidence arguing that people ...


8

One umbrella term is causal reasoning, though this is a bit broader since there are theories of causal reasoning that are not about hypothesis testing. A Google Scholar search for "causal reasoning psychology" generates several hundred thousand hits, and the first page is full of relevant papers. Getting more specific, Klayman & Ha (1987) wrote an ...


8

This will be a long post. FYI. To my knowledge, there is no evidence for back propagation in the brain. If you're interested specifically in that topic, Geoffrey Hinton (Dept. of CS @ UofT) has written about it. I'll try to focus on the biology. Some basic neurophysiology first. Neurons have a slightly negative electrical resting potential (prototypically ~...


8

ACT-R can best be summarized with this (tiny but more recent) graph: ACT-R is a cognitive architecture that tries to explain as much of human behavior as possible with as little rules as possible. It works at a high level of abstraction and came down to a list of so-called "modules", each having its own functions. The exact mechanisms of each of these ...


7

First, the concept of optimality of a learning curve is not well defined. You can measure at least 3 different aspects of learning: Speed of learning Time before extinction Performance at peak Of course, there may be other measures as well, and any combination of such measure may also be a legitimate measure for certain uses. Conditioned Taste Aversion (...


7

The first method (repeat the terms over and over) is called rote rehearsal. It's not actually a very good way to learn, though it has the benefit that it always "works" because you can always repeat a list. You may be unable to perform certain other encoding tricks such as elaborative rehearsal due to the context of the items, like a list of random words. ...


7

Suppose a person learns a subject in college and waits for 10 years before learning it again. An exam is given one week after the person relearns the subject. So in this case, the ISI (inter-study interval) is very long compared to the RI (retention interval). The person will definitely forget some of the material after the 10 years. So how long they would ...


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