The Mind-Expanding Ideas of Andy Clark

Where does the mind end and the world begin? Is the mind locked inside its skull, sealed in with skin, or does it expand outward, merging with things and places and other minds that it thinks with? What if there are objects outside—a pen and paper, a phone—that serve the same function as parts of […]

Cancer and the Threat of Death (2007)

Full title: Cancer and the Threat of Death: The Cognitive Dynamics of Death-Thought Suppression and Its Impact on Behavioral Health Intentions Learning that one has cancer is a terrifying thought. A natural reaction would be to suppress that thought, which can affect the way we approach and seek treatment. This study investigates the cognitive association between […]

Brain Bases for Auditory Stimulus-Driven Figure–Ground Segregation (2011)

Notice how you tend to selectively pick out a specific sound (e.g. your name) from a crowd of other sounds? Teki et. al (2011) developed a new stimulus to capture the complexity of natural acoustic scenes like these. By integrating the patterns over time and frequency, they demonstrate that human listeners are remarkably sensitive to […]

Is Psychology Still a Science of Behavior? – Dolinski (2018)

Since the 1970s, social psychology has examined real human behaviour to an increasingly smaller degree. This article is an analysis of the reasons why this is so. The author points out that the otherwise valuable phenomenon of cognitive shift, which occurred in social psychology precisely in the 1970s, naturally boosted the interest of psychologists in […]

Pretend Play – Weisberg (2015)

Pretend play is a form of playful behavior that involves nonliteral action. Although on the surface this activity appears to be merely for fun, recent research has discovered that children’s pretend play has connections to important cognitive and social skills, such as symbolic thinking, theory of mind, and counterfactual reasoning. The current article first defines […]

Core Knowledge – Spelke and Kinzler (2008)

Human cognition is founded, in part, on four systems for representing objects, actions, number, and space. It may be based, as well, on a fifth system for representing social partners. Each system has deep roots in human phylogeny and ontogeny, and it guides and shapes the mental lives of adults. Converging research on human infants, non-human primates, […]

Deep Learning – LeCun, Bengio, and Hinton (2015)

Deep learning allows computational models that are composed of multiple processing layers to learn representations of data with multiple levels of abstraction. These methods have dramatically improved the state-of-the-art in speech recognition, visual object recognition, object detection and many other domains such as drug discovery and genomics. Deep learning discovers intricate structure in large data […]