Blog Posts (37)
March 27, 2013
How should you do a neuromarketing test? I’m increasingly being asked whether the scales from the Emotiv EPOC Affective™ Suite system can be used to assess cognitive and emotional responses in e.g. customers. After all, it would be really appe...
January 2, 2013
Sample analysis of visual magnetism in an advertisement from Olay. Warmer colours denote more magnetic parts of the image, and are more likely to attract attention.
In an ever increasingly complex and crowded visual environment, what do we actually pay...
November 29, 2011
In my last blog, I raised the issue of what I referred to as the real questions arising from the nature and implications of neurocentric criteria of normality and diversity, ontological status (e.g.- of embryos, the profoundly brain-damaged, non-human ...
October 28, 2011
The issue that lurks right over the horizon of possibility is whether increasing complexification in generatively encoded “intelligent machines” could instantiate some form of consciousness. I argue that the most probable answer is “yesR...
October 12, 2011
Could robotic systems create environments and bodies for themselves? To answer these questions, let’s start with something simple (and most probable), and then open our discussion to include a somewhat more sublime, and more futuristic vision. Le...
October 4, 2011
The blogosphere is buzzing with lots of vitriol for Martin Lindstrom’s piece on the ‘neuroscience’ of loving your iPhone. To be sure, there’s plenty to spew about, and many of my colleagues in neuroscience, neurotechnology and neuroethics hav...
September 21, 2011
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Lakshmi Sandhana as she was preparing her article, “Darwin’s Robots” that appeared in last week’s New Scientist. Lakshmi specifically addresses the work of Jeffrey Clune, of the HyperNEAT Project of C...
August 9, 2011
The employment of basic neuroscientific research (what are known in government parlance as “6.1 Level” studies) in translational development (so-called “6.2 Level” work) and test and evaluation applications (“6.3 Level” uses) is not always ...
August 31, 2010
We have all heard the adage “cleanliness is godliness”, but according to a new study reported in Wired, cleanliness also translates into moral superiority.…
May 8, 2010
Now under the editorship of Paul Root Wolpe, Director of the Emory Center for Ethics, AJOB Neuroscience has rapidly and excitingly launched the first two issues of its first volume, now available online via Informaworld.…
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February 15, 2013 11:56 am
Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (DBS) offers benefits earlier in the course of Parkinson’s disease (PD), before the appearance of severe disabling motor complications, according to results of a randomized controlled trial.
October 29, 2012 4:55 pm
Tibetan monk and molecular geneticist Matthieu Ricard is the happiest man in the world according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin. The 66-year-old’s brain produces a level of gamma waves – those linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory – never before reported in neuroscience.
September 13, 2012 1:31 pm
Steven Poole in the New Statesman has a fun and feisty attack–very appropriate in the memory of Thomas Szasz, one of the great warriors against the scientistic pretensions of our knowledge of the human mind–on pop neuroscience books, for grossly overstating the value of fMRI evidence, burying truistic speculation under the guise of cutting-edge science, and sheer hand-waving silliness, among other intellectual crimes.
July 5, 2012 1:10 pm
Researchers have been struggling to unfold ‘what’s under the hood’ through the lens of neuroscience and they have been finding all sorts of insights into human behavior. They have been looking at everything from how multitasking is harder for seniors to how people love talking about themselves. Neural basis of love and hatred, compassion and admiration have all been studied with fMRI, yielding colored blobs representing the corresponding love or hatred centers in our brains. But what does it all really mean?
May 17, 2012 9:54 am
Will “the self” survive because it can provide people with a greater sense of happiness? Or is it – perhaps along with the constructs “Free Will” and “Determinism” – doomed to the dustbin of history? Should cyborgs, avatars, and a rewired human brain be developed with a stronger or weaker sense of self? An interview with Dr. Garret Merriam, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at University of Southern Indiana.
May 10, 2012 11:30 am
The new sciences in fact have a tendency to divide neatly into two parts. On the one hand there is an analysis of some feature of our mental or social life and an attempt to show its importance and the principles of its organisation. On the other hand, there is a set of brain scans. Every now and then there is a cry of “Eureka!” – for example, when Joshua Greene showed that dilemmas involving personal confrontation arouse different brain areas from those aroused by detached moral calculations. But since Greene gave no coherent description of the question, to which the datum was supposed to suggest an answer, the cry dwindled into silence.
April 12, 2012 11:44 pm
The puzzle of consciousness is so devilish that scientists and philosophers are still struggling with how to talk about it, let alone figure out what it is and where it comes from.
April 11, 2012 1:13 pm
Center researchers are studying neural systems and their relationship to motor commands, a connection that potentially could benefit the aging, those suffering from neurological disorders, or who have lost limbs in battle or other trauma, or from diseases. . . They also are studying important related emotional, cultural, ethical and psychological issues associated with limb loss, and enlisting the input of experts, for example, Judy Illes, a neurology professor at the University of British Columbia, who specializes in neuroethics.
April 3, 2012 3:55 pm
Science and the military have historically made creepy bedfellows, with military curiosity about neuroscience leading the pack. Yet it’s no secret that since the early 1950s, the US military has had a vested interest in harnessing cutting-edge developments in neuroscience to get a leg up on national defense (a la well-publicized failures like Project MK-ULTRA).
March 23, 2012 2:42 pm
A future of brain-controlled tanks, automated attack drones and mind-reading interrogation techniques may arrive sooner than later, but advances in neuroscience that will usher in a new era of combat come with tough ethical implications for both the military and scientists responsible for the technology, according to one of the country’s leading bioethicists.
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