LEGO Freedom

(Minor spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t seen The LEGO Movie)

It is always interesting when an academic debate in philosophy coincides with the release of a blockbuster movie on the same issue. In the last couple of months, a series of texts and comments on free will and moral responsibility were published by some prominent psychologists and philosophers, including Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Paul Bloom, Jerry Coyne, as well as Tamler Sommers and David Pizarro. Meanwhile The LEGO Movie, a clever allegorical metaphor on freedom and creativity, generated 69 million dollars within its first opening weekend in cinemas. Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Evolution, In Society, Neuroethics, Senses and Perception, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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Tom Insel: Blazing Trails in Science

Dana Alliance member Thomas R. Insel has been a staunch trailblazer in neuroscience and psychiatry with an amazing capacity for doing it with, as a recent New York Times article states, “a reflexively earnest good nature.” As the director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the priorities and mission he has developed and continues to develop guide the activities of an influential federal organization that has a large impact on public health and policy.

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Posted in by the Dana Foundation, In Society, Policymakers
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Creativity, Madness and Drugs

San Diego–Would we have Poe’s Raven today if the tormented author had taken lithium to suppress his bipolar illness? Not likely, considering the high frequency of psychiatric illnesses among writers and artists concludes psychiatrist Kay Jamison of Johns Hopkins Medical School speaking this week at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego. Madness electrifies the creative process Jamison concludes, but this difficult drug-use dilemma raises an even more provocative question: Would we have Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds had the Beatles not taken LSD?

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Posted in Addiction, Animal Research, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Chemicals, Mood, Neural Network Function, Neuroethics, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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