Disentangling our inner Schrödinger: A quantum account of order effects and the conjunction fallacy

YouTube is (in)famous for its cat videos. An estimate from 2015, now surely superseded by masses of additional material, located more than 2 million cat videos on YouTube that collectively have been watched 25,000,000,000 times. Even if you are not a cat aficionado, there is at least one video that is worth watching. It explains […]

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Safety Helmets: Dr. Jekyll when you crash but Mr. Hyde when you are judging distances?

Humans have a sort Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde relationship with safety devices, such as helmets. For example, on the one hand bicycle helmets are known to reduce serious head injuries (by 70%, it turns out). On the other hand, helmets might also lead to more risky behavior. For instance, cyclists are often thought to ride faster […]

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“I looove headaches”: Sarcasm detection and eye movements

Sarcasm, a type of irony, is inescapably embedded in the internet today, with ironic language of some kind being ubiquitous on Facebook, Twitter, in blogs, in news articles, and more. Computers, unlike people, often fail to detect sarcasm, which has the notable quality of often meaning nearly the opposite of what was written. For example, […]

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From data to information: The functional brain network integrating memory with reward

I sometimes wish I had perfect memory. No more missed appointments! I’d never misplace my phone (it’s always on my bedroom dresser). And I’d always remember the name of that actress (whats-her-name, in that thing!), or my colleague (sorry….), or my friend (really??). Yep, life would be pretty sweet. Despite these fantasies, individuals with highly-superior […]

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Your risk aversion is your brain’s feedback aversion

Suppose you own Montana’s only candle-holder shop. Business is going well and you want to inspire your two employees, Fred and Giselle, to work even harder so you can open a franchise in Idaho. You decide to offer a performance bonus to your best employee, defined as the person who is most courteous to customers […]

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Eating here or searching there: optimal foraging and the brain

Going to the market at the beginning of the day produces many options, most of which are of high quality and plentiful. Unfortunately, by the end of the day, the options are no longer bountiful or beautiful. The same principle applies to sub-human species including our close cousins, the primates. Many foragers live by learning […]

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