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The Thoughts of a Spiderweb | Quanta Magazine
Even leaving aside the problem of what cognition actually is, proving the simple version of the argument — that spiders outsource problem solving to their webs as an end run around Haller’s rule — is by itself an empirical challenge. You would need to show that the analytical power of the web saves calories a spider would have otherwise spent on the nervous tissue in a bigger brain, Eberhard said. That would require quantifying how much energy it takes to build and use a web compared with the cost of performing the same operations with brain tissue. Such a study “would be an interesting kind of data to collect,” Eberhard said.
biology  cognition 
yesterday by euler
Smog in our brains
Researchers are identifying startling connections between air pollution and decreased cognition and well-being.
environment  brain  health  air  pollution  mental  cognition 
yesterday by ivar
User Memory Design: How To Design For Experiences That Last – Smashing Magazine
The lead researcher, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, saw confirmation of a psychological heuristic called the peak-end rule: people’s memories of an experience are based on a rough average of the most intense moment (the peak) and the final moment (the end). Likewise, the length of an experience has no impact on people’s memory of it, a concept called duration neglect.
Twenty years of additional research in this area has shown that the peak-end rule holds true not just in painful experiences, but across a range of states, including pleasure. And, of course, experiences can be a mix of both good and bad moments, as shown below in the chart below, with positive and negative values on the y-axis. This type of chart is called an experience profile.
cognition  memory  psychology  ux  usability 
yesterday by rmohns
UX and Memory: Present Information at Relevant Points | Interaction Design Foundation
Research suggests that human memory is influenced by time. More specifically, memory is enhanced when information is presented to us at a behaviourally relevant point in time. So, if we are presented with an image that is related to our current task, we are more likely to retain this information in short-term memory. When visual information is provided that is not relevant at that point in time, it is, conversely, less likely to be retained in our memory system.

Lin, Pype, Murray, and Boynton (2010) identified the features of a visual scene that increase its memorability as such (paraphrased and added to):

Saliency - The relative importance of an element or scene to the viewer/user. The more important something is to us personally, the more likely we are to remember it at a later point. For example, if we have been scouring the internet for a particular item, we are more likely to remember its location or appearance if we come across it during our searching.
Novelty - Any feature that increases the distinctiveness of an element or scene. When something stands out from all other elements/scenes, we are more likely to recall or recognise it further along. This is also the case for high-level semantic information (i.e. the more something differs from everything else in terms of meaning, the more likely we are to form a strong memory).
Degree of threat - The more threatening, the more likely we are to remember it. Threat-based images, such as fear-inducing animals (e.g. snakes, spiders, sharks, and your boss), injured people, natural disasters, and warning messages are more likely to create an enduring memory trace.
Depth of processing - The longer we spend focussing, concentrating, or attending to something, the more likely we are to remember it. When information is processed semantically (i.e. in terms of its meaning(s)) we are thought to form more elaborate memories that are better resistant to forgetting.
Relevance to behavioural outcome
memory  cognition  usability  bestpractices 
yesterday by rmohns
The Ideal Length for All Online Content
Solid research exists to show the value of writing, tweeting, and posting at certain lengths. We can learn a lot from scientific social media guidelines like these. Here’s the best of what I found.
writing  content  usability  seo  cognition  memory 
yesterday by rmohns
Brain Science: Testing, Testing... The Whys and Whens of Assessment : Learning Solutions Magazine
The three stages of memory

Most neuroscientists agree that memory consists of three distinct stages: sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory.
memory  cognition 
yesterday by rmohns
How Human Memory Works: Tips for UX Designers | Icons8 Blog
Expert explorations of memory

There are also some laws and rules which were concluded from various research, experiments and practical testing. Among them, we would mention Miller’s Law and Hick’s Law.

Miller’s Law
The number of objects an average person can hold in working memory is about seven.

the review by Richard Shiffrin and Robert Nosofsky called «Seven plus or minus two: A commentary on capacity limitations» provided deeper insights into the work of working memory. In particular, the authors mention that the number of objects which a person can remember at once after they were presented is dependent on the nature of the objects, on average with seven for digits, six for letters and about five for words. …

Hick’s Law
The more elements people get, the harder it is to make a choice.

The more options people get at once, the more distracted they get with numerous associations which can be called — and that’s impossible to predict how good or bad they can be in this particular case.
cognition  memory  ux 
yesterday by rmohns
To Grow Faster, Hit Pause — and Ask These Questions from Stripe’s COO | First Round Review
If a decision is irreversible and very high impact for the company, it should be made with a lot of data and rigor; it should involve more stakeholders, and maybe multiple teams. Think product pricing as a perfect example.
If a decision is reversible and relatively low-impact for the company, an individual should be able to apply their best judgment based on the company’s operating principles and plans (this is where those documents become key). This could include UI changes, customer service responses, etc.
You can think of this in a two-by-two format where impact is on one axis and ability to reverse or bounce back on the other. Most projects can be plotted somewhere on this chart. Based on where they land, you know better how to proceed.
operations  management  stripe  awesome  decisions  cognition 
2 days ago by sampenrose
Descartes was wrong: ‘a person is a person through other persons’ | Aeon Ideas
The emerging fields of embodied and enactive cognition have started to take dialogic models of the self more seriously. But for the most part, scientific psychology is only too willing to adopt individualistic Cartesian assumptions that cut away the webbing that ties the self to others. There is a Zulu phrase, ‘Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’, which means ‘A person is a person through other persons.’ This is a richer and better account, I think, than ‘I think, therefore I am.’
cognition  philosophy  Cartesianism  context  social-construction-of-self  to-write-about 
4 days ago by Vaguery
Jumping to Conclusions: Advocacy and Application of Psychological Research by Gregory Mitchell :: SSRN
Just as a researcher’s values and beliefs inevitably affect what topics are chosen for study and how those topics are studied, the same is true for any application of psychological research to a new domain. Because every psychological theory is subject to conditions and uncertainty about its coverage, every application of theory will require many judgments about which variables will be behaviorally potent and which will not be in any new setting. These judgments will inevitably draw on the researcher’s own beliefs and values to inform the extrapolations required for the extension of research. The influence of these beliefs and values will rarely be made explicit, perhaps not even to the researcher herself, but such influence is inevitable. Until psychologists endorse a set of shared specific norms for evaluating construct and external validity (and concomitantly for when applications are appropriate and how applied advice is given), and until social scientists devote as much attention in post-publication review to construct and external validity critiques as to internal validity critiques, unsupportable and misleading extensions of psychological research will persist.
metascience  metacognition  cognition  psychology  selfexemplification 
4 days ago by sampenrose
Bio — Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis
Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis is Professor and Director of the Music Cognition Lab at the University of Arkansas.
Elizabeth  Hellmuth  Margulis  is  Professor  and  Director  of  the  Music  Cognition  Lab  at  University  Arkansas. 
5 days ago by gdw
Are You Solving the Right Problems?
The point of reframing is not to find the “real” problem but, rather, to see if there is a better one to solve.
cognition  problemsolving 
6 days ago by boxman

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