Blog Posts (39)
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 appealing if we could use a full box set with responses such as Engagement, Meditation, Frustration and [...]
January 2, 2013
In an ever increasingly complex and crowded visual environment, what do we actually pay attention to? As all should know by now, visual attention comes in at least two specific forms: bottom-up and top-down. While top-down attention is typically viewed as volitional, effortful and motivated, bottom-up attention is the term for conditions in which sensory stimuli [...]
July 31, 2012
I have recently become aware of the news that a company has patented regional brain responses to “appeal” and “engagement”. Through the scarcity of the material presented, it is really hard to get an idea of what the patent really entails. But from the sound of it, we are suggested that the patent is about [...]
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 animals, … Continue reading →
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 “yes”. The system would become auto-referential, and … Continue reading →
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. Let’s also lay down … Continue reading →
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 have brought the … Continue reading →
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 Cornell University’s … Continue reading →
August 18, 2011
Recently, Adrian Carter discussed the move toward adopting a disease model of addiction. A disease model can be useful in that it often substantiates and compels search(es) for prevention, cure, or at least some form of effective management. Of course, … Continue reading →
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 a straightforward sequence of events. There … Continue reading →
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August 12, 2013 3:34 pm
Near death experiences in which people report “seeing the light” could be explained by increases in electrical activity in the brain after the heart stops, scientists have found.
June 21, 2013 4:40 pm
An international group of neuroscientists has sliced, imaged and analysed the brain of a 65-year-old woman to create the most detailed map yet of a human brain in its entirety.
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.
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