Category Archive: News

General announcements

Oct 12

Does technology make you smarter or dumber?

I got another request to comment on yet another media claim that technology is bad for our brains.  It’s actually also a good example of really poor science reporting in the media, so I won’t link it, but the topic seems generally of interest and it appears to be based on a curious underlying (folk) …

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Jan 29

Questions from a middle schooler about videogames

I was asked to answer some questions from a middle school student doing a research project on video games.  Since I am interested in the topic generally, I should probably figure out how to answer these kinds of questions at an age-appropriate level.  My attempt: Jose asks: 1. Do video games affect the human brain? …

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Aug 14

Forgetting names

For some reason, I’ve been getting a lot of requests lately to explain why we are bad at remembering people’s names lately.  An email exchange on this with an Atlantic reporter got summarized online here: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/08/why-do-we-forget-names-as-soon-as-we-meet-people/375815/ Curiously, it then also got picked up on another site, Lifehacker: http://lifehacker.com/why-its-so-hard-to-remember-peoples-names-1620881563 And then I was contacted earlier this …

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Jul 29

Cognition at high speed

I’m a big fan of Jerry, who posts to YouTube as ChessNetwork his videos of playing chess online.  One of the things he does regularly is playing online speed chess — ultra-rapid, “bullet” chess where each player has ~1m for the whole game. Chess is a different game when you have 60 seconds to make …

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May 14

Neuroscience Meets Cryptography

Our article on our “cortical cyptography” project is out in the Communications of the ACM: http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2014/5/174358-neuroscience-meets-cryptography/fulltext The focus is on how implicit knowledge of a password provides resistance to coercion attacks were you might be asked/forced to give up your password. While true, we frequently see people raising concerns that our method is too slow/cumbersome …

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Mar 17

Post-doctoral position available

Enhancing Intuitive Decision Making through Implicit Learning We are looking for a post-doctoral researcher to contribute to a new ONR funded project that will use computational modeling and fMRI to examine intuitive decision making.  Using our PINNACLE framework, we will build computational simulation models of cognitive processing that depends on interactions between implicit and explicit …

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Nov 26

The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think

Good article on Cognitive Science versus Artificial Intelligence in the Atlantic from a few weeks ago. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/11/the-man-who-would-teach-machines-to-think/309529/ Douglas Hofstadter, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Gödel, Escher, Bach, thinks we’ve lost sight of what artificial intelligence really means. His stubborn quest to replicate the human mind. This is the key point, in my opinion: “I don’t …

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Sep 16

Neuroscience and video game skill learning

I wrote a short piece for a gaming-oriented online magazine, GLHF (Good Luck, Have Fun!) talking about the neuroscience of skill learning and how it applies to getting better at even things like video games.  The magazine is generally focused on Starcraft2 and the professional e-sports scene around Starcraft (although I think they want to …

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Sep 16

Brain training by Starcraft

Can’t believe I didn’t Randomness this one already… Real-Time Strategy Game Training: Emergence of a Cognitive Flexibility Trait Brian D. Glass, W. Todd Maddox, & Bradley C. Love http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0070350 The main finding: increased cognitive flexibility after 40 hours of playing Starcraft.  Of note, the assessment of cognitive flexibility was done by meta-analytic Bayes factor across …

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Aug 01

Implicit Learning Review

The review paper for Neuropsychologia is officially available. Memory systems research has typically described the different types of long-term memory in the brain as either declarative versus non-declarative or implicit versus explicit. These descriptions reflect the difference between declarative, conscious, and explicit memory that is dependent on the medial temporal lobe (MTL) memory system, and …

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