• George Burkovsky added an answer:
    Why memories that are being forgotten, start to appear in the dream for one last time?

    I try to keep a track of my dreams and look for recurring patterns, one of which is:

    When I am preoccupied with something important for sometime, it does not affect my dream content in a predictable way. I can or cannot see it in my dreams, like any other thought.

    After some time I will begin to forget that thought due to being overwhelmed by new thoughts or by actively suppressing the thought. In this period as well, the content of my dream is not affected yet.

    However, as soon as the thought is completely forgotten in my conscious mind, I start to dream about it for a few days / weeks. And if I continue to ignore the thought in my conscious mind, the dream will disappear soon and usually never come back.

    This sort of dream happens most of the time for me, in a rather predictable pattern. I mean whenever a once-important thought is forgotten, I would see its dream for one last time.

    So my questions are:

    1. Is there anybody else experiencing this phenomenon or hearing it from their clients?

    2. Do you have any scientific idea about the reason for seeing this kind of dream?

    3. Do you find it a real phenomenon or some kind of bias in selectively remembering a specific part of my dreams, or else?

    George Burkovsky · St.Petersburg V.M.Bekhterev Psychoneurological Research Institute

    According to my understanding the depicted pattern is rather common to people, who are involved in scientific pursuit.
    Most probably the reappearance of already forgotten important thought pertains to some unresolved but still potentially resolvable problem. When you are switching to other ideas the brain continue for some time to process that initial idea without informing you about results. Finally, overwhelmed by the new content of new ideas the processing subsystem for that initial idea can do two things: either to silently stop the work without informing you about results by the “last dream”, or to inform you about the possibility to continue the work and rehabilitate the idea.
    In case of receiving “the last dream” you can behave in two ways.
    First, you can ignore the message from the processing subsystem, thus confirming its decision to stop the work.
    Second you can restart the work by also two ways.
    One way is to boost the idea by reading, thinking, discussing etc.
    The other way (most valuable) is to use the hints inevitably (I believe) ingrained into content of the “last dream”, doing common analytic work alone (very difficult) or with colleague (also difficult). In this way you can strengthen your collaboration between your cons. and unc. systems, attain more achievements and get more pleasure from the work itself.
    In general, the creative dialog between cons and unc is more common and obvious in psychoanalytic work, especially when the unc of the client is informing the unc of analyst about his (analyst) inability to grasp the meaning of his (client) dream – great pleasure.

  • Yinsheng Zhang added an answer:
    Is Control-Knowledge the Strongest Form of Knowledge?

    Many years ago, when I was still a student, one of my professors occasionally said that we would have only then "really understood something", if we would be able to /implement/ "it" technically or algorithmically.

    In more philosophical terms, the professor's aphorism amounts to the question whether Control-Knowledge (or: Instrumental Knowledge) is the /strongest/ and /deepest/ possible form of knowledge, or ---even more bold and radical!--- if Control-Knowledge is perhaps even the /only/ epistemic entity which truly and rightly deserves the label "Knowledge" at all?

    Or, more concisely: What is the right understanding of "Understanding"?

    This difficult question I would like to discuss with Epistemologists, Gnoseologists, Hermeneuticists, Philosophers of Science, and Philosophers of Mind.


    Yinsheng Zhang · Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China

    I don‘t think control-kowledge has any prior rank .On contrary, it behind the primary knowlege. You make a lift following you know the direction of gravity. If you know all the knowledge ,you can make a frog!

  • Damian G Kelty-Stephen added an answer:
    Would you trust a distinction between intention and volition?
    In the attachment there is a paper by Zhu, where the author tries to distinguish the concept of intention from that of volition. I found this paper interesting but at the same time not very convincing. I did not find any biological grounding to this idea. What is your opinion about this topic?
    Damian G Kelty-Stephen · Grinnell College

    Hmm, I think that perhaps one way to rephrase Beatrice's thought here might be that volition is the capacity to choose whereas intention is simply direction of action. Organisms might direct their actions towards a goal of their own volition or they might do so under duress.

    The question might be how much an organism wants what it sets out to do. If you take a strict view of intentional actions as pure drive satisfaction, then there are only physiological imperatives seeking a sort of homeostasis. However, in more comfortable times with fewer constraints on free behavior--close to what the psychologists Timberlake and Allison called the "bliss point"--organisms may vary as to where they find this bliss point with different activities.

    We all have to pay our bills, but we can decide when and how to do so. We all have the same intention when signing the check, but we'd probably rather keep the money. Paying money to a specific recipient is extremely intention, in the very explicit terms of directing a signal in a specific direction. So, that's intention without volition, except for volition in how we go about doing things we need to. At the same time, we may spend our money how we choose with what we have left over, bringing volition into the same intentional action of spending money.

    And I suppose there's also volition with out intention. We might fantasize or imagine things that are not the case or plan to do things that we do not have sufficient motivation to.

    So, yes, I suppose I can trust a distinction between volition and intention, but I can understand how it may seems suspect on first glance.

    Best wishes,


  • Elwood Siagian added an answer:
    Why can't we easily remember our dreams? Why can we remember the last night's dream better during falling asleep?

    I think there are different networks of memory recording and retrieval that differ depending on the person's state of mind. From my personal experience, it seems that dreams are recorded on a memory network different from the memory network used for our day memories. That network can be accessed more easily during a hypnotic state or when I am falling asleep (I mean when my state of mind is shifting -- I usually track the process of falling asleep which usually ends in seeing lucid dreams).

    I wonder if there are studies out there on this different levels and tracks or networks of memory?

    edit: I am more interested in the process of memory retrieval during the shift in the state of consciousness. Dreams can be remembered better or worse depending on the state of sleep when waking up or other factors such as cortisol level. Plus when one starts to follow their dreams, the dreams start to be remembered better and better. The interest and training in remembering the dreams plays a crucial role. However, my question is not about such factors.

    In general, dreams might be more likely to get remembered when the state of consciousness is altered. When falling asleep, I usually can remember a dream that was seen last night [during waking up] but could not be remembered.

    Elwood Siagian · Loma Linda University

    Dreams are memorable when there is a strong emotional context associated to it.  For example nightmares, erotic and bizarre type dreams can be recalled even decades later because it made an intense connection at the time of the experience.  And then there are the recurring dreams that are memorable probably just due to its repetitiveness.  

  • Vladimir A. Kulchitsky added an answer:
    How are we able to differentiate the cognitive functions of cerebellum and cortical areas in the behavior?

    Recent research identifies cerebellum is competent enough in cognitive functions like working memory, set shifting, abstract reasoning, Ref:

    1.  Jeremy D. Schmahmann (2006), cognition, emotion and cerebellum, brain, 129

    2.  Tavano et al., (2007). disorders of cognitive and affective development in cerebellar formation, brain, 130 

    Vladimir A. Kulchitsky · National Academy of Sciences of Belarus

    Dear Jonathan! Thank you raised the issue of the role of the brain stem in the central nervous system. We are now well aware of the role of the reticular formation of the brain control different functions. This kind of power station, which block off the work of all other departments of the brain and spinal cord. But we must not forget that the cognitive functions are not possible without the cerebral cortex. Alzheimer's disease demonstrates this axiom.

  • Pablo C Bernabéu added an answer:
    Is there always a tradeoff between spatial and object cognitive capacities?

    Given the repeated data that mental rotation and other spatial measures correlates positively with the Spatial scale of the OSIVQ and negatively with the Object scale, should we consider there's always a tradeoff between those cognitive capacities? And what is the role of the Verbal scale in that tradeoff?

    Pablo C Bernabéu · Tilburg University

    Hi, Molly. Thank you! I'll check those out.

  • Hima Mehta added an answer:
    What are the functional roles of the patch-matrix system?
    There are several theories of basal ganglia function, leading many of us to propose segregation of functionally heterogeneous subregions within the dorsal striatum [e.g., see our 2011 review in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, vol. 96, pp. 95-120]. Given the subregional variation in several neurochemical markers within the striatum, are the functional distinctions related to the compartmental organization of the patch-matrix system?
    Hima Mehta · National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control

    Patch - matrix compartments .Defined by neurochemical markers ,this Organization appears to related separated population of Striatal medium spiny Neurons with distinct Input-output connections .

    Both patch and Matrix projects to substantia nigra , but patch behaves as  an input to Dopaminergic cells esp in ventral tier of Dopaminegic neurons while matrix neurons provide inputs to the location of the GABAergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars reticulata.
    More details and source of my understanding so far is here ,
    pardon "the newbie"  for any mistakes .

  • Valdir F Pessoa added an answer:
    Color blindness for blue and yellow?
    I'm designing an experiment in which I'll use the Stroop task. I'm planning to use four colors: red, green, yellow and blue. For the sake of control, one of my reviewers asked me how I can control for color blindness. I found the Ishihara cards, which can reliably help me with red and green, but I can't find a test for blue and yellow. I'd appreciate your ideas on tests for controlling this.
    Valdir F Pessoa · University of Brasília

    You may use Farnsworth-Munsell, Lanthony or Neitz Color Vision Tests, but the last is faster, easier and reliable.

  • Christian Benedict added an answer:
    I am looking for a Professor in Germany to Ph.D. Topic: Sleep and Cognition

    I am looking for a Professor in Germany to the Ph.D. studies. (I will apply for a schoolarship), I want to research about Sleep and Cognition. 

    Christian Benedict · Uppsala University

    Jan Born,

  • Miguel Cañete asked a question:
    What part of the differences between adult men and women is due to the biological component?

    From the biopsychosocial theory the interaction between the biological, psychic and social arises. None of them is sufficient to explain human behavior and cognition, but there are authors that suggest important differences in the weight of the biological.

  • Vahid Rakhshan added an answer:
    I have a theoretical model for consciousness. Where should I seek to publish it?

    I have a suggestion for the hard problem of qualia, mostly suited as a letter to the editor. Do you know any peer reviewed journals that welcome such theoretical suggestions?

    Many thanks dear Sultan.

  • Closed account added an answer:
    Does anyone use E-prime on Windows 8 tablets?
    I'm not satisfied with touch screens of most laptops when used with preschoolers. I think tablets would be better suited, but do they allow using E-prime for stimuli display and response times recording?
    Deleted · Aix-Marseille Université

    Thanks to all for sharing your experience.

  • Bryant Duda added an answer:
    Can BOLD activation related to reaction time be parsed apart from BOLD activity related to performance on a working memory task?

    I am try to see if RT activation on a work-memory task correlates with outside measures of cognition (different types of executive functioning) while controlling for activation related to performance on the working-memory task (n-back(2)). Is this possible? Thanks.

    Bryant Duda · University of Georgia

    Thank you, Aleksandra!

  • Joris Verrips added an answer:
    What is the difference between cognition and perception?
    Cognition and perception: which one precedes the other?
    Joris Verrips ·

    I welcome the efforts by Wilfried Musterle, Mehdi Hedayatpoor and Tarak Paul to sort out the semantics of our discussion. Of course, saying perception is not the same thing as saying cognition, just like thinking and being lucky are not the same thing. But... what those words refer to can be intertwined. As when Pasteur remarked that 'luck only helps the prepared mind'. Likewise, one may wonder 'is it a cat or is it a lion that approaches me in yonder bushes'. Perhaps one can not say that to think means that we perceive thoughts, but to me consciousness and perception are related. And when we discuss these subtle matters, it is always ... our perception of them! 

    By the way, these words, who clearly originated in my thoughts, are now perceived by you, because the owner of their intellectual property,, allows it. So those are no longer my words that you, the reader, may perceive!

  • Otto Lappi added an answer:
    Can anyone give me examples of real-world tasks where 'habitual motor responses' or 'response inhibition' play a role?
    I am looking for examples of real-world tasks (e.g. jobs, situations, etc.) where habitual motor responses are a factor, for good or for bad.

    For example, a situation where a simple motor task or response is performed many times in rapid succession, until it becomes 'automatic', and then when there is eventually a need to withhold from performing this task/response it is difficult to do so.

    Any help would be much appreciated.
    Otto Lappi · University of Helsinki

    If you learn to drive using a stick shift, you are very likely to hit the brake pedal when manoeuvering with an automatic, e.g. at  a car park. (You need to make sure your "clutch foot" keeps away from the pedals - this may take some effort at first).

  • Laura Sánchez García added an answer:
    Is there a difference between the areas of the brain that are involved when reading a text, and those used when reading images?

    Could anyone suggest me an article / book on the areas of the brain that are involved when reading a text, and those used when reading images? Thank you

    Laura Sánchez García · Universidade Federal do Paraná

    Marie-Pier and Hans,

    Thanks to both of you for this instigating moment!

    I had not tought of that mapping...

    I am 56 and I must focus my workspace from now on in order to have time to achieve some relevant and appliable results for deaf communities inclusion and cognitive developing, but for sure I will read the work you have kindly indicated!


  • W. R. Klemm added an answer:
    A science of consciousness: How far did we get?
    Throughout the years, scholars have tried to discover the questions surrounding consciousness topic especially whether there can be a “science of consciousness”. Conferences, blogs, forums or scientific networks such as RG : unending debates seem to get more and more far from such a goal when they are expected to be closer.
    What may be objective obstacles toward a (widely accepted) science of consciousness? Can’t neuroscience pave the way?
    W. R. Klemm · Texas A&M University

    Two mutually inclusive possibilities:
    1. Thinking exists as an unconscious stream, with consciousness (when it is present) able to become aware of and manipulate some of what is streamed in from conscious working memory and use some of it to program unconscious thinking.
    2. All thinking exists as two parallel and interacting streams, unconscious and conscious, each informing and programming the other.

  • Vladimir A. Kulchitsky added an answer:
    Do you know of journal sources on the POSITIVE effects of music on any of these areas: brain development, coordination, spatial IQ, cognitive IQ?

    I am looking for journals to cite on the POSITIVE EFFECTS of music on any of these broad areas: brain development, coordination, spatial IQ, cognitive IQ, overcoming learning disabilities, overcoming neurological delays, increased chances of going to college. It is fine if the source is a recent or old journal. Please provide links, thanks.
    (When I looked in RG, there was one, but it's still at an accepted article stage.)

    Vladimir A. Kulchitsky · National Academy of Sciences of Belarus

    When you hear great music and magical voice, the truth and love triumphant. Please, open files at Attachment.

  • Ioannis-Evangelos Ntoulis asked a question:
    How many cilia trichoids are there roughly in our ear drums and what are they ''made of '' ?

    referring to cochlia cilia in the inner ear

  • Oren Civier added an answer:
    Does anyone have a simple reaction time task in E-Prime?
    I'm using the Taylor Aggression Paradigm in my research at the moment and it requires a simple competitive reaction time task in which participants indicate when a stimulus in the centre of the screen changes colour (e.g. a blue square become red), and are given immediate feedback on their performance.

    The nature of the stimulus isn't really important, as long as some sort of obvious change occurs.

    I was planning to create this task using E-Prime (which I'm entirely new to), but does anyone have a similar task already set up that I could maybe 'recycle'? Or if not, any tips for setting one up in E-Prime?
    Oren Civier · Bar Ilan University

    Did you find a solution already? I have a script I can share with you

  • Pavel Prudkov added an answer:
    Are there real laws in cognitive science?
    The goal of any science is to establish natural laws. A natural law can be defined as follows: if certain conditions are present a particular phenomenon always occurs. Following this defimition, a law in psychology (cognitive science) obviously can be formulated so: under certain circumstances all people always do one thing (the term “do one thing” includes not only behavior but also cognition). However, if an individual is aware of such a law, he/she is able not do this. Hence, there are no laws in psychology. One may argue that there are certain laws in psychology such as the Weber-Fechner law or the changes associated with maturation and ageing. However, these examples describe processes which are beyond conscious influence. Therefore, such processes can be related to the neural and biological rather than cognitive level of the functioning of the organism. Are there cognitive mechanisms which are potentially under conscious influence but cannot be affected deliberately?
    Pavel Prudkov · Independent Researcher


    Your position seems strange. Indeed, you say that "your questions do not make any sense to me" This is absolutely normal. Each person can say about a lot of things that these things are not important, not interesting, meaningless, etc. for him. If a person faces such thing and there is no real need to respond to this then the wisest action is to pass by. Instead, you expect some explanations from me. :-)

    I have presented my descriptions of these levels in one of the previous posts. You can find it.

    In the question I do not oppose "potentially under conscious influence" mechanisms to "deliberately affected" ones. However, I am not sure that they are the same. If you are sure then this is your answer on my question.

    P. P.

  • Sunil Kumar added an answer:
    What does (individual differences in) fMRI thalamus task-activation mean to you?

    So I was reading a paper that correlated thalamus activation during an fMRI cognitive control task to clinical outcomes.  I'm wondering what it really means.  I see thalamus all the time in my reward work, and considering how the thalamus is supposedly the sensory-input relay to cortex, and how it has all these other cortical loops, I typically chalk up thalamus activation to a somewhat non-specific epiphenomenon, like arousal.  Indeed, when I go to and its reverse-inference tab and put the cross-hairs in the thalamus, a whole HOST of cognitive functions activate it with high probability.  I'm just wondering if there are any good papers out there that integrate fMRI papers (and maybe other data modalities) in service of unpacking what the thalamus does and when it IS vs ISN'T engaged by certain task demands.  Any ideas?  It would be great if this correlation had a true mechanistically-plausible underpinning.

    Sunil Kumar · Duke University

    There may be several reasons responsible for individual differences in fMRI task signals. As our knowledge is improving about the network basis of a functional brain there might be several input and output from thalamus contributing to the individual differences in BOLD signals. At network level thalamus receive and send signals from the cortical and sub-cortical areas and everyone's brain functional connectivity to these different sub-networks of thalamus might be more or less activated during the task and may be affecting the BOLD signals. There are inherent differences in individuals brain (may due to genetic differences, environmental or social-environmental interactions) which can also be a major contributing factor in differences even if you are just looking at the task related BOLD signals thalamus. One the way to look at this is activation and deactivation of the thalmo-cortical network and look at differences in the ratio of BOLD signal in both condition.


  • Alfredo Pereira Junior added an answer:
    Is anybody interested in discussing neurosciences interdisciplinary frontiers?
    There are many interesting topics such as: Law and Neurosciences, Neuroeconomics, Neurofinances, Neuromarketing, Contributions of Neurosciences to Phylosophy, etc.
    Alfredo Pereira Junior · São Paulo State University

    Dear Armando, please take a look at the RG link below and participate in the discussion!

  • Serban C. Musca added an answer:
    What are the key questions for which we must find the answers in order to understand how cognition works?
    I propose the following:

    How is information encoded within the mind (in the brain)?
    What are the principles that determine its organization?
    What are the emergent properties?
    Are the conceptual and methodological tools that are currently available adequate in addressing the problems of cognition?

    This list is certainly incomplete. Do you have any suggestion?
    Serban C. Musca · European University of Brittany

    @Wes: Thank your for the nice things you say on my papers.

    As a matter of fact, I agree that "its [ANN] operation cannot be equated with the operational principles of the brain". However, my view on ANNs (and my work this far) is that they can be used to i) derive ideas on how the brain works, because both the brain and ANNs are (for ANNs, on some conditions, i.e., not all ANNs are) complex nonlinear systems, and ii) to put constraints on the theory we make about the brain or, more modestly, about this and that cognitive phenomena found in humans. On the contrary, starting from the idea that there are representations in the brain and representations are cause-effective not only poses no constraint on a theory of cognition, but allow for "explaining" everything (and it contrary).

    Now, as you seem to ask for simulation tools (say, ANN) that work as the brain does (i.e., that are related to neurotransmitters and the like), I would like to point out that there is a formal mathematical equivalence between an algorithm used to train the ANNs I have been using and CHL (contrastive hebbian learning) algorithm, which is closely based on what is known about LTP (long-term potentiation), and, crucially, depends only on the pre- and post-synaptic activity available locally. The reference is

    Xie, X., & Seung, H. S. (2003). Equivalence of backpropagation and contrastive hebbian learning in a layered network. Neural Computation, 15, 441-454.



  • Kamakhya Kumar added an answer:
    What is 'eating disorder cognition' and can it be managed?
    One of my friend wants some help with a study titled "A study of the effects of yogic intervention on eating disorder cognition among adolescents".
    Kamakhya Kumar · Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya

    Thank you Lasse Bang, Thank you so much for your clear answer. I am also thankful to Mariana Sierra, for the submission...!!!

  • Maria Ramsay added an answer:
    Where can I find some studies on deep repressed memories and techniques for their retrieval to the conscious surface?
    I am specifically look for any methods for the retrieval of distressful memories from childhood and any explanations as to how a travesty of some sort can severely impact the mind in subtle ways. I wish to study the profound effects a forgotten/repressed memory can have upon the actions of an individual, without the person having any conscious awareness as to the complexity and complete control it has during conscious "waking" states.
    Maria Ramsay · McGill University Health Centre


  • Paulo Sousa added an answer:
    What are the cognitive, motivational, social and biological underpinnings of "thought disorder" in psychotic patients?
    Formal "thought" disorder (FTD) has been by large the most researched "symptom" in the field of "schizophrenia". Since the first word association studies and Cameron's work in the mid 30's different researchers from cognitive neuroscience and clinical psychology have proposed highly influential mechanistic theories of FTD. However, very little research effort has been put into understanding its motivational underpinnings and social predictors.
    Paulo Sousa · University of Liverpool

    Hi Nikola, 

    Thank you very much for your reply. I understand from your post that your perspective on FTD is very much in line with the early works of Chaika or even Kleist.

    Although, I agree that some aspects of FTD seem to be purely linguistic and language-based. It is also true that a lot of the difficulties associated with FTD are not mediated by language - there is an extensive literature on this and probably the best exponent for this argument is Martin Harrow. There is also plenty of work showing that FTD is not a form of dysphasia or aphasia - much of it is covered in the book by Oh and McKenna: "Schizophrenic Speech" (2005).  

    The MRI and DTI studies that I know of are riddled with methodological problems e.g. they don't control for symptom co-morbidity (e.g. hallucinations) or the assessment of FTD is normally flawed (e.g. assuming that FTD is a one dimensional construct) amongst other limitations. In most cases, the n is small and replication is rare (several other areas have been implicated in FTD). 

    There is one meta-analysis published by Goghari (if I'm not mistaken) that shows a strong association between DLPFC and symptom-dimension - cognitive disorganisation - which reflects a rather ample set of experiences and not just FTD.  

    Finally, FTD is a very dynamic and context-dependent phenomenon in most human beings labelled with "Schizophrenia". There is a colossal amount of studies showing that most FTD is state-dependent (e.g. worsens with difficult topics) and most of the biologically-informed studies have completely ignored this aspect (which is probably one of the most well replicated findings in the field).

    In most cases, when the individual is not distressed by a intrusive thought or experience you can only witness very mild difficulties at the level of deixis which would be hard to spot by the everyday listener. 

    In a nutshell, I don't think that one single factor is likely to explain an ample construct such as FTD. There other aspects related to the social brain that definitely play a role as communication and thought are social activities. Also, there is the all important aspect of personal meaning which is hard to explain with a single factor theory (e.g. the unfounded belief that FTD is genetic).    

    Anyway, I do appreciate the post as it keeps the conversation going.



  • Priyanka Bharti added an answer:
    Is there any work done in the field of visual perception and user manuals?
    How do we perceive certain instructions and perform it. What all series of action runs through our eyes, brain and other body parts? How things get decoded once seen on piece of paper?
    Priyanka Bharti · Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

    Thank you Markus Huff and B.L. William Wong for the reply. They are really helpful,  i am happy that they are helping me out to see things with different perspective. Thanks a lot.

About Cognition

Intellectual or mental process whereby an organism becomes aware of or obtains knowledge.

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