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 ...


18

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. ...


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

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

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....


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

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 ...


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

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

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 ...


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

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 ...


7

Is there a name for the phenomena of not putting effort into study because of fear of failure which in turn results in actual failure? Yes, this is called self-handicapping. Self-handicapping is the process by which people avoid effort in the hopes of keeping potential failure from hurting self-esteem. What causes this? The main and most ...


7

First, consider that those questions can potentially be answered only in animals, like mice. There is no way to test such things in humans, because methods like fMRI give resolution of $\approx$1,000,000 neurons. In order to test your hypothesis, you need resolution below the neuronal level, because what your need to see is how the connections (synapses) ...


7

Sadly (or should I be happy that Google is this awesome? Not to mention the rate of scientific progress!), all I really had to do to come up with an answer was perform a Google search for "learning transcranial magnetic stimulation". The first hit, a ScienceDaily page (Ruhr-University Bochum, 2011) page, lists some journal references (Mix, Benali, Eysel, &...


7

The answer is more involved than it seems. Expertise research programmes, including Ericsson's line, has tended to blend quantitative and qualitative research methods (e.g., case studies, talk-aloud protocol, etc.), and there is a veritable host of critiques and qualifications that apply. For the scope of this answer, I will therefore try to err on the side ...


7

In psychology, we call people's attitudes towards things "preferences", and the emotional experience associated with preference is referred to as "affect", or more specifically, "valence", which is positive or negative. As alluded to in the question, there is a genetic predisposition for certain preferences, such as sugar (sweetness), and some aversions, ...


7

The scenario you describe is sometimes called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. Baader-Meinhof is the phenomenon where one stumbles upon some obscure piece of information—often an unfamiliar word or name—and soon afterwards encounters the same subject again, often repeatedly. The more scientifically accepted name for this cognitive bias seems to be '...


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