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Bounded Rationality and Beyond
News on the effects of bounded rationality in economics and business, relationships and politics
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8 Things We Simply Don't Understand About the Human Brain

8 Things We Simply Don't Understand About the Human Brain | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Despite all the recent advances in the cognitive and neurosciences, there’s still much about the human brain that we do not know. Here are 8 of the most baffling problems currently facing science.

Virtually every animal sleeps, which is crazy if you think about it. Sleep must be incrediblyimportant because evolution hasn’t devised a way around it. It’s a condition in which conscious awareness has been (for the most part) shut off, leaving us unaware of our surroundings and completely vulnerable. Deprived of enough sleep, we would eventually die.

So what’s the purpose behind it? It could be a way to recharge the brain and replenish the body’s energy stores. Or, it could help us consolidate and store important memories whilethrowing out the neural nonsense we don’t need. And indeed, there seems to be some credence to the idea that sleep helps us encode our long-term memories.

 
Via Philippe Vallat
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Philippe Vallat's curator insight, July 30, 2013 5:05 AM

A good lesson of humility :-)

Bernard Ryefield's curator insight, July 30, 2013 7:15 AM

Science is always advancing (and putting itself in question), just too slowly for some; give it time (and efforts). The article is presenting some of the most interesting questions in brain science, some of them having huge implication: what if there is no free will ? In that case, better have philosophical arguments ready to answer this question: what we collectively do of it (just think about the judicial system) ?

Ruth Obadia's curator insight, August 9, 2013 10:42 AM

Neuroscientists cannot explain how incoming sensations get routed around such that they can be translated into subjective impressions like taste, color, or pain. Or how we can conjure a mental image in our minds on demand.

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The neurological basis of intuition

The neurological basis of intuition | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

 

Most of us have experienced the vague feeling of knowing something without having any memory of learning it. This phenomenon is commonly known as a “gut feeling” or “intuition”; more accurately though, it is described as implicit or unconscious recognition memory, to reflect the fact that it arises from information that was not attended to, but which is processed, and can subsequently be retrieved, without ever entering into conscious awareness. According to a new study, our gut feelings can enhance the retrieval of explicitly encoded memories – those memories which we encode actively – and therefore lead to improved accuracy in simple decisions. The study, which is published online in Nature Neuroscience, also provides evidence that the retrieval of explicit and implicit memories involves distinct neural substrates and mechanisms. The distinction between explicit and implicit memory has been recognized for centuries. We know, from studies of amnesic patients carried out since the 1950s, that implicit memories can influence behaviour, because such patients can learn to perform new motor skills despite having severe deficits in other forms of memory. Thus, the term implicit memory refers to the phenomenon whereby previous experience, of which one is not consciously aware, can aid performance on specific tasks. Ken Paller of Northwestern University and Joe Voss, who is now at the University of Urbana-Champaign in Illinois, set out to investigate further the influence of implicit recognition on decision-making, and used electroencephalography (EEG) to try to identify the brain activity associated with it. 12 healthy participants were presented with kaleidoscopic images under two different conditions. In one set of trials, they paid full attention to the images, and then perform what is referred to as a forced-choice recognition test, in which they were shown another set of images and asked to decide whether or not they had seen each of them before. In the other condition, they were made to perform a working memory task whilst the initial first set of images were presented to them – they heard a spoken number and were asked to keep it in mind, so that during the next trial they could indicate whether it was even or odd. Thus, in these trials, their attention was diverted away from the stimuli.....


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Thinking, Fast and Slow: A New Way to Think About Thinking

Thinking, Fast and Slow: A New Way to Think About Thinking | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Beneath the biases of intuition, or how your experiencing self and your remembering self shape your life.

Via Philippe Vallat, Thomas Menk
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Thinking, Fast and Slow: A New Way to Think About Thinking

Thinking, Fast and Slow: A New Way to Think About Thinking | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Beneath the biases of intuition, or how your experiencing self and your remembering self shape your life.

Via Philippe Vallat, Thomas Menk
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Illusory Correlations: When The Mind Makes Connections That Don’t Exist

Illusory Correlations: When The Mind Makes Connections That Don’t Exist | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Why do CEOs who excel at golf get paid more, despite poorer stock market performance?

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luiy's curator insight, May 10, 2013 5:10 PM

To see how easily the mind jumps to the wrong conclusions, try virtually taking part in a little experiment...

 

...imagine that you are presented with information about two groups of people about which you know nothing. Let's call them the Azaleans and the Begonians.

 

For each group you are given a list of positive and negative behaviours. A good one might be: an Azalean was seen helping an old lady across the road. A bad one might be: a Begonian urinated in the street.

So, you read this list of good and bad behaviours about the Azaleans and Begonians and afterwards you make some judgements about them. How often do they perform good and bad behaviours and what are they?

What you notice is that it's the Begonians that seem dodgy. They are the ones more often to be found shoving burgers into mailboxes and ringing doorbells and running away. The Azaleans, in contrast, are a sounder bunch; certainly not blameless, but overall better people.

 

While you're happy with the judgement, you're in for a shock. What's revealed to you afterwards is that actually the ratio of good to bad behaviours listed for both the Azaleans and Begonians was exactly the same. For the Azaleans 18 positive behaviours were listed along with 8 negative. For the Begonians it was 9 positive and 4 negative.

In reality you just had less information about the Begonians. What happened was that you built up an illusory connection between more frequent bad behaviours and the Begonians; they weren't more frequent, however, they just seemed that way.

When the experiment is over you find out that most other people had done exactly the same thing, concluding that the Begonians were worse people than the Azaleans.

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Your Backup Brain | Psychology Today

Your Backup Brain | Psychology Today | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
There's a "second brain" in your stomach, and it influences mood, what you eat, all kinds of disease, and decision-making. And you thought it was all in your head.

Via Sakis Koukouvis, Romylos Pantzakis
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Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience/Decision Making and Reasoning - Wikibooks, open books for an open world

Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience/Decision Making and Reasoning - Wikibooks, open books for an open world | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

No matter which public topic you discuss or which personal aspect you worry about – you need reasons for your opinion and argumentation. Moreover, the ability of reasoning is responsible for your cognitive features of decision making and choosing among alternatives.


Via Philippe Vallat, Thomas Menk
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