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'Whoa… big brain huh… cool!'"

Lovatt reasoned that if she could live with a dolphin around the clock, nurturing its interest in making human-like sounds, like a mother teaching a child to speak, they'd have more success. - stories from the NASA- funded project to teach Dolphins to talk using LSD (among other methods. )
posted by The Whelk on Jun 29, 2014 - 37 comments

Intelligence Tests

Is Psychometric g a Myth? - "As an online discussion about IQ or general intelligence grows longer, the probability of someone linking to statistician Cosma Shalizi's essay g, a Statistical Myth approaches 1. Usually the link is accompanied by an assertion to the effect that Shalizi offers a definitive refutation of the concept of general mental ability, or psychometric g." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 11, 2013 - 113 comments

Where are the flying cars? I was promised flying cars. I don't see any flying cars!

Global Trends 2030 Alternate Worlds is the latest quadrennial report from The US National Intelligence Council (NIC). (Report: PDF / Talking Points: PDF.) Similar to its predecessors, '2030' attempts to predict 'alternate visions of the future.' An official blog discusses their speculations. The Atlantic Council has published a "companion publication": "Envisioning 2030: US Strategy for a Post-Western World." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 11, 2012 - 21 comments

SPAUN of the living

The simulated brain - "First computer model to produce complex behaviour performs almost as well as humans at simple number tasks." [1,2,3,4,5,etc.]
posted by kliuless on Dec 8, 2012 - 22 comments

What's gonna happen outside the window next?

Noam Chomsky on Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong
posted by cthuljew on Nov 18, 2012 - 55 comments

Bird Brains

Staying_On-Topic in r/intelligentanimals posts a huge number of links explaining why Corvids (crows, ravens, magpies, etc) are amazing.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 26, 2012 - 33 comments

Right-wingers are simply dumber on average

According to this substantial study recently published in Psychological Science, "lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology.". As the Daily Mail summarises, right-wingers are less intelligent than left wingers. [more inside]
posted by wilful on Feb 6, 2012 - 119 comments

"How would it be, for example, to relate to a machine that is as intelligent as your spouse?"

Impressed and alarmed by advances in artificial intelligence, a group of computer scientists is debating whether there should be limits on research that might lead to loss of human control over computer-based systems that carry a growing share of society’s workload, from waging war to chatting with customers on the phone. From the NYT: Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 26, 2009 - 116 comments

The Genomic Self

My Genome, My Self: Steven Pinker considers what we can expect from personal genomics. Searching for Intelligence in Our Genes: Carl Zimmer looks at the hunt to learn about the role of genes in intelligence.
posted by homunculus on Jan 10, 2009 - 6 comments

Excuse me, I think I may have dropped my SAT scores by your table.

Smarter men have more sperm (via)
posted by device55 on Jan 9, 2009 - 55 comments

"It was like he was cross-dressing in private -- an old man out there sponging by himself."

I, for one, welcome our new loner female, tool-using dolphin overlords. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 27, 2008 - 40 comments

Body symmetry and intelligence

Body Symmetry and Intelligence
posted by Gyan on Apr 18, 2007 - 37 comments

Brain Gain

Genes Reveal Recent Human Brain Evolution. Two important new papers in the journal Science (available here) from the evolutionary geneticist and rising star, Bruce T. Lahn (see this recent profile from The Scientist), are potentially the tips of some very large icebergs. The papers document how two genes related to brain properties that underwent strong selection during the course of hominid evolution, have continued undergoing strong selection since the emergence of anatomically modern man. The papers wonderfully illustrate how biological evolution is an ongoing process as well as the artificial distinction between “micro” and “macro” evolution, and promise to be controversial for two reasons: First, the brain genes underwent the strongest selection during two periods of cultural and technological efflorescence (roughly 37,000 and 5,800 years ago). Second, the genes are distributed very differently in modern human population groups, existing at very high frequencies in some groups and being very rare in others, ensuring that the modern function of these genes will be a source of more research and much impassioned debate. More observations from anthropologist John Hawks.
posted by Jason Malloy on Sep 8, 2005 - 54 comments

Check out the big brains on these guys!

Human Intelligence is a good site from Indiana University that looks at historical influences and current controversies surrounding the study of intelligence. Find out more about topics such as "the Mozart Effect", the theory of multiple intelligences, and the influence of birth order on intelligence, and then browse the brains behind the history of inquiry into human intellect.
posted by taz on Sep 23, 2004 - 2 comments

Big heads wobbling on wee necks?....

Nootropics ("smart" drugs) - all wish to be smarter, correct ? And - while exercise, nutrition, learning, travel, and social interaction (the last 3 via release of neurotrophins) effectively do this, Nootropic drugs have been researched since the 1950's and have been shown to cause at least short term cognitive function enhancement. Piracetam, the first of this drugs, shows promise in the treatment of Alzheimer's and Attention deficit Disorder. Alas, as with poor little Algernon, the effect seems temporary. Nootropics can be a little difficult to acquire in the US. Beer is not a nootropic, but sex on the other hand.....
posted by troutfishing on Mar 5, 2004 - 20 comments

Orangutan culture

Cultured Apes: According to a study published in today's issue of the journal Science, orangutans have been passing on a shared culture for generations (free registration required to view entire study). To what degree are animals intelligent? Are primates more intelligent than other animals? What about crows and ravens? (My favorite subject of animal intelligence studies is still Koko the gorilla.)
posted by jdroth on Jan 3, 2003 - 29 comments

Musicians are really smart. They have larger and more sensitive brains than non-musicians, and their collective IQ is much higher. They have 130% more grey matter in one area of their auditory cortexes. The question of how this explains Ozzy Osbourne nonwithstanding, I'll bet if you're really, really smart, you could be one of the new members of Men Without Hats. Must be very knowledgeable in midi, sequences, and sampling.
posted by iconomy on Jun 25, 2002 - 18 comments

Is intelligence hereditary or environment? A new theory sees the brain as a plastic mold of potential with the more neuron connections the better [hereditary] and environment stimulation shapes the mold untill maturity. "You could present a person with an IQ of 200 with the appropriate phenomena when they are 20 years old, after the critical learning period, and they would not have the capacity to adapt their brains to the new phenomena". People of low IQ perform poorly because their brains do not adapt well to environmental stimulation.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 21, 2002 - 15 comments

Playing computer games makes kids smarter?

Playing computer games makes kids smarter? Although it reads like a headline from The Onion, a British study funded by the ESRC has come to that conclusion. "They seemed able to focus on what they were doing much better than other people and also had better general co-ordination. Overall there was a huge similarity with top-level athletes."

Gotta go and show this to my boss...
posted by jedrek on Jul 22, 2001 - 11 comments

project delphis

project delphis
an organization called earthtrust started project delphis in 1985 to determine how intelligent and self-conscious dolphins actually are. this is very cool.
posted by bwg on Apr 5, 2001 - 19 comments

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