Researchers at MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
have identified two "morality centers" of the brain. In two separate experiments, they have shown a correlation between a particular part of the brain and the ability to make moral jusgments related to intent to commit a crime. In one experiment
, patients with brain damage in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex
of the brain don't consider hypothetical perpetrators to be morally responsible for their actions. In another experiment (noted on NPR today
) the researchers showed that they could switch off the moral judgment function by applying a magnetic field to the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ)
of the brain. The TPJ has also been implicated in "out of body experiences"
, both in cases of brain damage and by artificially stimulating the area.
“The psychoanalytic mystique was overwhelming. It was a little bit like the evangelical movement.”
How Aaron Beck
and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helped increase empiricism in psychotherapy.
There are times when having a fully developed brain can almost seem like an impediment.
Are babies more aware of the world around them than adults are? Can "thinking like a baby" lead us to be more in tune with our creativity and our ability to learn? Scientists have taken a new look inside the baby mind, which is "unfocused, random, and extremely good at what it does."
How Google Is Making Us Smarter:
Humans are "natural-born cyborgs," and the Internet is our giant "extended mind."
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.
A New State of Mind.
"New research is linking dopamine
to complex social phenomena and changing neuroscience in the process."
Twilight of the Books
- What will life be like if people stop reading? [more inside]
Recursion and Human Thought
- Why the Piraha don't have numbers