When anyone wants to support science, I’m in. These are trying times, when the scientific enterprise is facing severe cuts as budget sequestration looms, creating even more uncertainty and angst among research institutions – not to mention young scientists who might be questioning whether they want to enter a career with such a high level of risk. Continue reading
People are getting excited this month on the more-than-century-old debate about whether or not the brain is computable – whether we could make a computer or machine that simulates it. The recent debates were partly caused by the book published by Ray Kurzweil, How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed. Oppositions to the claims and contents of the book have been published by major scientists. One text by Christof Koch in Science1 covers very well the naive and misinformed aspects of this book concerning its statements on biology and intelligence and I will not go further into pinpointing the issues. Christof Koch also provides an accurate view of how complex the question is and how far we are from understanding any brain – let alone the human brain – to program it into a computer. Continue reading
Think about the last time you reported a sequence of events to someone. It probably was in the form of a story with some events, your reactions, and some outcomes. It remains to be determined how events within a story are represented by the brain. We know from empirical research that people are able to report things as a stream in time – event A led to event B, which led to event C. We tend to focus on rare events – the most surprising and informative ones. Continue reading
One of the hazards associated with being a neuroscientist is that propecia you see the world through neural-colored glasses: everything relates back to brain functioning in some way or another. I suppose this can probably be said about clomid online any number of professions, and I may be biased, but I think neuro-geeks (myself included) have a particularly interesting view of the world. Let me give you an example. Continue reading
Cooperation between individuals is a rather common observation in the animal kingdom. Cooperation is likely favored by evolutionary pressures that provide an advantage to the cooperating partners. Love birds, for instance, regurgitate food to feed their partner. Bats have a similar behavior. One of the questions that psychologists and ethologists have been wondering about is whether the brain represents the preferences of others when performing these behaviors. The question has been framed as whether or not non-human animals have a theory of mind – whether they have neural circuits that represent the preferences, motivations, or goals of the other individual. Continue reading
A friend referred a video to me. It shows what is reported to be a real time magnetic resonance image of a singer, singing. And it’s amazing.