The Cocktail Party Effect

Introduction

The term cocktail party effect was coined by a British Cognitive scientist Colin Cherry, in the 1950s. He was interested in understanding how people listened, by conducting a few experiments. In his first experiment, he played two different overlapped messages recorded in the voice of the same person, through headphones. The participants were asked to listen carefully and try to write one of the messages on paper. If they put in enough concentration, the participants usually succeeded.

Now, if someone asks you to describe the cocktail party effect. The formal Cocktail Party effect definition is as follows:

Cocktail Party Effect Definition:

The cocktail party effect is the phenomenon of being able to focus one’s auditory attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, much the same way that a partygoer can focus on a single conversation in a noisy room. Continue reading The Cocktail Party Effect

Everything You Should Know About Machine Learning

Programming Computers: Then and Now

I find it fascinating that today you can define certain rules and provide enough historical data to a computer, reward it for reaching closer to the goal and punish it for doing bad, which will get it trained to do a specific task. Based on these rules and data, the machine can be programmed to learn to do tasks so well that we humans have no way of knowing what steps it is explicitly following to get the work done. It’s like the brain, you can’t slice it open and understand the inner workings.

The days when we used to define each step for the computer to take are now numbered. The role we played back then, of a god to the computers has been reduced to something like that of a dog trainer. The tables are turning from commanding machines to parenting them. Rather than creating code, we are turning into trainers. Computers are learning. It has been called machine learning, for quite a while now (defined in 1959 by by Arthur Samuel). Other names being artificial intelligence, deep simulation or cognitive computing. However now, it really has picked up and based on the amazing things it can help computers do now, it is clearly going to be the future of what the IT industry will transform into.

Continue reading Everything You Should Know About Machine Learning

Making 3D Plots in OriginLab OriginPro

When I first wanted to use OriginPro to make 3D plots for my Raman and photoluminescence data I struggled to find a solution for little problems for hours. It was not like I had no one to consult, but I wanted to figure it out myself because the same philosophy with learning things previously has helped me immensely in learning things with authority and developing my own characteristic style, by putting in an extra amount of time and hard work.

Check with your university, there’s a big chance that they offer you students a free copy of OriginPro. It is an amazing piece of software, easy to learn and can make plots beautiful enough to be published in Science or Nature.

However when I was toiling through things, I also wished someone who had gone through the same thing could have documented it somewhere. Not surprisingly, no one had. So I wanted to. Here it goes.

Continue reading Making 3D Plots in OriginLab OriginPro