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34 votes
Accepted

What are the advantages of forgetting?

Short answer It has been shown that loss of long-term memories may enhance the retrieval of others. Short-term working memory is explicitly designed to be volatile and non-lasting. However, there are ...
AliceD's user avatar
  • 52.5k
8 votes

What are the advantages of forgetting?

Memory is formed by building connections between nerve cells (i.e. neurons). These connections are called synapses. The synapses form a network between several (or tens or hundreds) of neurons, ...
hossein's user avatar
  • 97
7 votes

What are the advantages of forgetting?

One famous person, Solomon Shereshevsky, had an unusual ability to remember everything he encountered: sights, numbers, words in foreign languages, events from infancy, and more. Unfortunately, S’s ...
200_success's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

The concept of backpropagation in neural networks actually occurs in the brain?

I recommend Yoshua Bengio's recent works. E.g.: https://arxiv.org/abs/1502.04156 and his slides from the NIPS 2016 Brains and Bits workshop. Also, Timothy Lillicrap's work: http://www.nature.com/...
Memming's user avatar
  • 3,090
6 votes

Can LSD in very small amounts increase mental ability?

The phenomenon you are referring to is called microdosing. It was brand-new in terms of research focus when you initially asked your question, and it is still a fairly novel and little-studied subject....
TheChymera's user avatar
  • 1,336
5 votes

What are the advantages of forgetting?

Who says it has to be good? We cannot assume that every trait that evolves is beneficial to the species. A lot of people assume that the species of an ecosystem will evolve optimally; that is, they ...
Kef Schecter's user avatar
5 votes

Does the brain process sound in "clips" or "frames"?

In your question, you ask about processing and sampling. I'd like to make a distinction between sampling, which in my view does not have a framerate, and perception which there is some evidence that ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
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4 votes

The concept of backpropagation in neural networks actually occurs in the brain?

Not in the same sense as in artificial neural networks. Importantly, there is no biological mechanism for errors to be back-propagated further than a single cell/synapse. You can look into spike ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
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4 votes

Does caffeine actually enhance cognition?

In a study by Wight et al. (2013) [1] it was shown that bees feeding on nectar containing caffeine seem to enhance the bees' memory of those flowers. They hypothesized this based on the fact that: ...
WYSIWYG's user avatar
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4 votes

Does caffeine actually enhance cognition?

Caffeine response is dependant on the individual. Caffeine has a very similar chemical make-up to adenosine which your body uses to transfer the energy you eat into energy your body can actually use (...
360ueck's user avatar
  • 298
4 votes
Accepted

Are there studies on the effect of reduced CO2 levels on human cognition?

I can't think of any biological basis for such a study. CO2 is produced as a waste product of metabolism and exists in the blood and lungs at levels far higher than atmospheric levels (~100X). ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
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4 votes

How is cognitive ability linked to the presence of sex chromosomes?

If you are thinking that, say, a chromosome 1 triploidy will not result in cognitive impairment... that's not quite right. Almost all triploidies result in death. Same with chr2, chr3, chr4...just ...
swbarnes2's user avatar
  • 5,230
4 votes

Are there internal systems of organisms which acquired the functions which they were not evolved to perform?

Converting my comment to an answer because apparently it was what OP wanted. The technical term for this is a spandrel, a term borrowed from architecture in a classic paper by Stephen Jay Gould. There ...
Maximilian Press's user avatar
3 votes

Why do women have less synapses / neurons / brain mass than men despite having the same average IQ?

In brief, so far as we can tell size matters far less than brain architecture. Consider that humans have only about half as many cortical neurons as a number of whales, yet are clearly far more ...
jakebeal's user avatar
  • 6,987
3 votes

What are the advantages of forgetting?

What are the advantages of forgetting? Perhaps the question asked should be what is the disadvantage of remembering every little detail? The answer is cost. It cost energy/neuron to remember ...
JayCkat's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

How do we share pain?

There has been a study by Jackson, Meltzoff & Decety (2005) who investigated the neurocorrelates involved in the perception of pain. In order to assess this, they carried out an fMRI study in ...
Ebbinghaus's user avatar
  • 2,603
2 votes

Why do we like to touch fluffy things?

An answer I got from Jan Kolář of Charles University: I'm not sure that people prefer fluffy things just from the fact that they are fluffy. They like things that are soft to touch such like ...
Probably's user avatar
  • 2,438
2 votes
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What do cats see when they look at 2D, still images?

So, oddly enough, I found a decent answer in a Business Insider article, How cats see the world compared to humans by Dina Spector. She consulted with a few animal ophthalmologists, and it seems that ...
etgriffiths's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

How is cognitive ability linked to the presence of sex chromosomes?

Cognitive impairment does not have to do anything in particular with the sex chromosomes. Downs syndrome results because of trisomy of an autosome and it also results in cognitive impairment. So, ...
WYSIWYG's user avatar
  • 35.6k
2 votes
Accepted

How do big cats perceive objects, specifically vehicles?

It's basically the same as humans, they include higher predatory associations and less logical and word associations. The neural circuits study all the images received from the eye and compare new ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
  • 10.4k
2 votes
Accepted

What is the evidence for cognition being mainly confined to the brain?

The single best evidence is injury and deformity. You can lose any other part of the body without impairing cognition but brain damage especially damage to specific parts of the brain alter or damage ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.7k
1 vote

What is the evidence for cognition being mainly confined to the brain?

We can monitor brain waves from people in comas and brain death. Even though their organs are fine and so are their heart and limbs, their brain scan looks like this:
bandybabboon's user avatar
  • 10.4k
1 vote

Do axonal conduction delays have a function?

Your point #1 is correct, signal propagation is not instantaneous in real physical world. But for some models it is "good enough" to approximate action potential to go through axon in an instance. ...
aaaaa says reinstate Monica's user avatar
1 vote

Why do we like to touch fluffy things?

It's sensorily similar to "why do people love to eat crunchy things?". Shops contain thousands of the most crispy foods. Crunchy foods and fluffy material like velvet have a common attribute. that ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
  • 10.4k
1 vote
Accepted

How can binaural beats change mental state?

It is thought that binaural beats entrain the brain in the frequency of the binaural beat. These beat frequencies show up in the EEG. The EEG in turn represents synchronous activity in the cerebral ...
AliceD's user avatar
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