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I found a little discussion of the issue in Russell (2000), where he summarises some of the views of the scientific literature: Recent reviews of the empirical literature bearing on the claim of special aesthetic significance for this ratio in the context of the perception of simple figures include Green (1995), Hoge (1995), and contributors to a ...


17

Your question is referring to display polarity. A positive polar display consists of dark letters on a light background, a negative polar display consists of light letters on a dark background. Polarity by itself is independent of text-to-background contrast, as you rightly state. Generally, positive polarity facilitates performance (e.g. Buchner & ...


16

At least for images (I don't know of such a result tested on videos) for a given resolution, there is an optimal display size (assuming constant viewing distance. otherwise, display size should be measured in angles from the viewers point of view). In a paper from 1989, Peter Barten provided a formula to compute this effect [1]. The gist can be seen in the ...


16

Perhaps you're referring to Naomi Eisenberger's work on the neural basis of social pain. Her seminal paper found that the neural correlates of distress from social rejection overlapped with those of physical pain, i.e., dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula. She's recently published a literature review on social pain in the brain (...


15

The ability to enumerate objects without counting is known as subitizing. Most studies suggest that we can subitize up to about 3 or 4 items (e.g. Starkey & Cooper, 1995). Enumeration of a small number of objects (i.e. subitizing) yields consistent response times regardless of the quantity of objects. Enumeration of larger quantities (i.e. counting) ...


15

I think the answer is a qualified yes, humans can think without language. Ultimately though it depends on what you mean by "think." There is a remarkably large number of deaf people who are not exposed either to a signed or spoken language even in developed countries. These people often invent their own gesture systems, referred to as home sign systems. ...


14

Indicator of genetic fitness argument There is an evolutionary psychology argument. As with most evolutionary psychology arguments, the strength of the evidence is typically a bit fuzzy. Symmetry in many aspects of the human body is functional. Such symmetry might be seen as the natural state that arises from a healthy life and a youthful body. In contrast ...


14

To add a small neuroscientific point to excellent @JeromyAnglim answer - there has been an interesting study by Rizzolatti group (guy who 'discovered' mirror neurons) published in PLoS ONE. Di Dio, et al. (2007) looked at the brain responses to Classical and Renaissance sculptures, but they manipulated the proportion of sculptures' features by violating the ...


14

Preface This is a very interesting question, that is also somewhat related to my area of research. I know of several related results (which I might add later in an edit), and I thought that with a few minutes of scholar search I'll find a paper dealing with this question exactly. I was surprised to find no such papers. So I decided to conduct an experiment.....


14

My hypothesis: The world accidentally stumbled upon the first (to my knowledge) bi-stable color illusion Here is an example of bistable illusion: This bistable illusion involves the perception of motion. Is the dancer spinning clockwise or counterclockwise? The deal is that the image is actually ambiguous. But you can't possible perceive both clockwise or ...


13

Antonio, Nielsen and Doneri (1998) provide one assessment of self-reported prevalence of smell in dreams. To quote the abstract (my bolding): Although numerous studies have investigated the content of laboratory and home dream reports, surprisingly little is known about the prevalence of various sensory modes in dreams. 49 men and 115 women ...


13

I basically agree with @Nick Stauner, but I want to add another important aspect, namely the gradient of photoreceptor densities in the human retina: In the fovea there is a sharp peak in cone density compared to more eccentric regions, as described in Curcio et al. (1990) and see the following graph obtained from Web Vision: The cones have a different ...


12

As Ben Brocka mentioned, what you're describing is Habituation, which Wikipedia defines as: Habituation is a decrease in an elicited behavior resulting from the repeated presentation of an eliciting stimulus (a simple form of learning. More specifically, it's technically called Neural adaptation. To quote Wikipedia again: Neural adaptation or sensory ...


12

No, inner speech does not follow the same neural pathway as speech coming in from outside. Rather, inner speech uses the same neural mechanism as outer speech - that is, speech going out. The neural mechanisms of inner speech can be studied using recently developed technologies such as fMRI imaging of subjects instructed to or prevented from engaging in ...


11

From Hubbard & Ramachandran (2005): [...] the estimated prevalence of synesthesia has varied dramatically, between as many as 1 in 20 (Galton, 1883) and as few as 1 in 25,000 (Cytowic, 1989). The most widely cited study to date suggests that synesthesia occurs in at least 1 in 2000 people (Baron-Cohen et al., 1996), although this is now generally ...


11

Here is a study that creates and manipulates the "song stuck in your head" phenomenon. In particular, it is a myth that only "bad" songs are stuck in your head. These songs can be categorized as intrusive thoughts. Also the obvious finding was that recently heard music was more likely to be stuck in your head. The authors comes up with a term called the "...


11

Basically, the retina contains two different kinds of receptors: rods and cones. Cones are concentrated in the fovea and activate ganglion cells more discretely than rods. Rods are more interconnected by horizontal cells (if I'm not mistaken...), so multiple rods can often activate the same ganglion cell, whereas each cone is more likely to have its own ...


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Short answer Yes, there is a difference between hearing and understanding sound. Background Acoustic information is processed in different neural centers along the auditory pathway. The auditory system runs from the peripheral end organ in the inner ear (the cochlea) to the cortex. Along the way various processing steps are carried out. For ...


11

The source I have quoted below gives an example of the following stenographic image:- Is this perception a particular trick that my eye performs or is it processing the visual data in an alternative way? Stereograms can be viewed as three-dimensional images by providing two side-by-side views of a three-dimensional scene, rendered from slightly ...


10

I and other colleagues have published a paper on the cognitive impacts of MMORPGs: Link to full text here The work also reviews some of the literature regarding the psychology of computer games and a new framework for the understanding of cognition in the digital age. I hope this helps. Abstract: The present paper attempts to empirically study the ...


10

Short answer: there appears to be a whole range of ability at the task of mental visualization. Based on what I have found on the Web, your own level of ability is fairly unusual. Your friend's level of ability, by contrast, seems to be fairly common. Sources I found on this were fairly sparse, though, and my conclusions should not be relied on too heavily. ...


10

Yes, there are benefits, but I don't think it requires long-term switches. Studies have used this as a manipulation to try and increase self control and have found that it decrease aggression. Based on this, once one has mastered using the non-dominant hand, it seems like the benefit of continuing to use that hand might be over (as it no longer requires ...


10

The images you've linked are composites, and so probably don't contain the characteristics by which raters were able to judge IQ accurately. The original article (Kleisner, Chv√°talov√°, & Flegr, 2014) is freely available and appears to answer your question in its abstract: Faces that are perceived as highly intelligent are rather prolonged with a ...


10

A study by Rainer et al. (2011) has shown that words are skipped and apparently filled in mentally quite often (in the order of 8 to 30% of times). Two important factors that increased skipping rates were the length of the word and the predictability of the word due to contextual constraints. Both cases apply on the word 'the', because it is short and ...


9

Cross-race effect in facial processing As @analystic has noted, there is substantial research documenting what is sometimes called the "cross-race effect": Cross-race effect (sometimes called cross-race bias, other-race bias or own-race bias) is the tendency for people of one race to have difficulty recognizing and processing faces and facial ...


9

Yes. The idea that the fusiform face area (FFA) is domain-selective for faces is the dominant hypothesis, but a competing hypothesis is that the FFA is recruited for fine discrimination in visual stimuli of any type in which we are experts. In a famous study, Gauthier et al. (1999) taught participants to categorize fictitious Greebles (see image below). ...


9

Association areas are exactly what you are looking for, actually. For example, the ventral intraparietal (VIP) cortex, located in the inferior parietal lobe (along the right border of the yellow area in the image below), just on the border of the occipital lobe, integrates somatosensory (tactile) and visual information. Image via Wikipedia For an ...


9

There is no true frame rate of the eyes, but there are limitations. The brain uses blurring to simulate continuity. Films are shot at 24 frames per second; if you go too much lower than that, the film will seem choppy. This is because the motion blurring process is too fast and it finishes "blurring" before the frame changes, so you just see choppy frames....


9

First I have to say that the wavelengths of light are on a totally different order of magnitude than sound. So the parallel drawn in your question "do light waves, for example one with the same wave length as a mid-C and another with a mid-F wave, look nicely together?" may seem logical, but is on closer inspection not easily maintained. Instead, one way to ...


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