264 posts tagged with neuroscience.
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What's it like to be Peter Hacker?

"The whole endeavour of the consciousness studies community is absurd – they are in pursuit of a chimera" - Peter Hacker on philosophy
posted by Gyan on Oct 25, 2010 - 145 comments

The Dalai Lama at Stanford

The Dalai Lama on changing minds only through compassion and respect. He spent several days at Stanford recently, and this session focuses on the neuroscience of compassion. Watch it in full here.
posted by philipy on Oct 21, 2010 - 56 comments

You are a chord

10 things you didn't know about sound. Among them: "You are a chord." A TED talk by Julian Treasure and responses by him to some of the opinions about his talk.
posted by nickyskye on Oct 12, 2010 - 38 comments

Don't interrupt me, I'm building my sense of self!

An idle brain may be the self's workshop. 'Recent research suggests that mind-wandering may be important and that knowledge of how it works might help treat such conditions as Alzheimer's disease, autism, depression and schizophrenia.' Once upon a time, scientists didn't regard idle musings of the wandering mind as very important. 'But in the span of a few short years, they have instead come to view mental leisure as important, purposeful work — work that relies on a powerful and far-flung network of brain cells firing in unison. Neuroscientists call it the "default mode network."''Understanding that setting may do more than lend respectability to the universal practice of zoning out: It may one day help diagnose and treat psychiatric conditions as diverse as Alzheimer's disease, autism, depression and schizophrenia — all of which disrupt operations in the default mode network. Beyond that lies an even loftier promise. As neuroscientists study the idle brain, some believe they are exploring a central mystery in human psychology: where and how our concept of "self" is created, maintained, altered and renewed.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Sep 2, 2010 - 20 comments

Oliver Sacks', The Mind's Eye

Oliver Sacks is surviving cancer of the eye, ocular melanoma. In his latest book, The Mind’s Eye, he "tells the stories of people who are able to navigate the world and communicate with others despite losing what many of us consider indispensable senses and abilities." In the interview, Sacks talks about his diagnosis, the after-effects of his radiation treatment (which include hallucinations that resolve themselves into words if he "smokes a little pot"), his apprenticeships with poets W.H. Auden and Thom Gunn, and the importance of science writing in an age when the authority of science is being undermined by religious zealots. Via MeFi's own, Steve Silberman, digaman. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Sep 1, 2010 - 39 comments

Kurzweil vs. Myers

Ray Kurzweil: Reverse-Engineering of Human Brain Likely by 2030. PZ Myers: Ray Kurzweil does not understand the brain.
posted by homunculus on Aug 18, 2010 - 195 comments

Death and The Slow-Mo Effect

Dr. David Eagleman, a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, wanted to find out how the human brain processes time in a near death situation. [more inside]
posted by two lights above the sea on Aug 17, 2010 - 26 comments

Too much cofffee man

What Caffeine Actually Does to Your Brain
posted by Artw on Jul 13, 2010 - 136 comments

Brainy Pop

The Amygdaloids (beware automatic mp3) mix neuroscience and rock and roll, and they're pretty sharp.
posted by Mooseli on Jul 10, 2010 - 3 comments

Free will vs. Modern-day Criminal Justice System

The Lucretian swerve: The biological basis of human behavior and the criminal justice system
As de Duve has written, “If … neuronal events in the brain determine behavior, irrespective of whether they are conscious or unconscious, it is hard to find room for free will. But if free will does not exist, there can be no responsibility, and the structure of human societies must be revised”.
Ben Libet & free will, previously on metafilter. (And more on: Lucretius, Dualism, Philosophy of mind, and Free Will 1, 2.)
posted by scalespace on Jul 6, 2010 - 100 comments

Pixel Pickle

Editors of the pop-culture magazine Wired provided the title "iPhone 4’s ‘Retina’ Display Claims Are False Marketing" to a highly critical article about the new iPhone's high-resolution "Retina" display, so-called as the human eye cannot resolve individual pixels when viewing it. A technician who worked on the Hubble telescope disagreed with the Wired editors' choice of rhetoric in very strong technical terms and issued less stringent disagreement with Raymond Soneira, the writer of the piece. Neuroscientist and photographer Bryan Jones published his own highly readable technical analysis of the display's pixel arrangement, that helped him decide whether Apple's claims were truthful or not.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jun 26, 2010 - 64 comments

Concealed Neuroanatomy in Michelangelo's Separation of Light From Darkness

In a Michelangelo Fresco, Visions of a Brain Stem. "It has been hiding in plain sight for the past 500 years, and now two Johns Hopkins professors believe they have found it: one of Michelangelo’s rare anatomical drawings in a panel high on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo was a conscientious student of human anatomy and enthusiastically dissected corpses throughout his life, but few of his anatomical drawings survive. This one, a depiction of the human brain and brain stem, appears to be drawn on the neck of God, but not all art historians can see it there."
posted by homunculus on Jun 21, 2010 - 62 comments

Strangers in the mirror.

Prosopagnosia, or face blindness, is an impairment which limits one's ability to recognize faces (previously). As part of the World Science Festival, Robert Krulwich interviews two famous suffers of this little known disease: the portrait artist Chuck Close and the neuroscientist and writer Oliver Sacks. [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf on Jun 18, 2010 - 78 comments

Listen to presences inside poems. Let them take you where they will.

Sean Haldane, a nominee for the post of professor of poetry at Oxford, talks about his dual life as a poet and neuroscientist
“I now think poetry has more capacity to change people than psychotherapy”
And he also has an interesting blog.
Robert Graves wrote in 1968: “I like Sean’s poems: clean, accurate and no nonsense – they still have the original poetic nap on them. They make sense, which is rare these days”.
From The Psychiatrist 2002: Are poetry and psychotherapy too ‘wet’ for serious psychiatrists?
Poetry Therapy is not new.
posted by adamvasco on May 31, 2010 - 19 comments

Free Willy

You've stepped out of a time machine, it's 1894 and you're standing in front of a young Adolf Hitler, with instructions to assassinate the child. What you do next may depend a lot on your belief and definition of free will (never mind the unintended consequences) [more inside]
posted by smoke on May 20, 2010 - 205 comments

The dolphin as our beast of burden

A Mind in the Water: The dolphin as our beast of burden. "The shocking double life of the dolphin, featuring neuropsychologists, hippies, spies, and extraterrestrials."
posted by homunculus on May 8, 2010 - 21 comments

David Eagleman's afterlife - a possibilist position

So we're stuck in a position where we know too little to commit to atheism and we know too much to commit to religion. That put me somewhere in the middle. I don't prefer the term agnostic because agnosticism is often used as a weak term that means I'm not sure if the guy with the beard on the cloud exists or doesn't exist. So I call myself a possibilian. [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Apr 10, 2010 - 229 comments

The Neurology of Morality

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.
posted by darkstar on Mar 29, 2010 - 32 comments

Art imititates life?

Bringing New Understanding to the Director’s Cut (NYT) Art imitates life? Neuroscientists studying vision have observed a 1/f distribution in the natural scenes we encounter everyday. A new study shows movies have a similar 1/f distribution of scene pacing as natural scenes we encounter in daily life.
posted by scalespace on Mar 1, 2010 - 44 comments

When a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist...

Optimal Waist-to-Hip Ratios in Women Activate Neural Reward Centers in Men by Steven M. Platek and Devendra Singh.
posted by jjray on Feb 10, 2010 - 177 comments

That'll do

Neuroscience explained using LOLcats (SLLJ). You're-a-kitty filter. That is all. [more inside]
posted by Joey Michaels on Feb 9, 2010 - 26 comments

Change Your Mind Change Your Brain

Change your mind, change your brain - Matthieu Ricard talks about creating the inner conditions for authentic happiness, and the effects of meditation on the brain. [more inside]
posted by MetaMonkey on Jan 31, 2010 - 17 comments

Accept defeat

The Neuroscience of Screwing Up by Jonah Lehrer [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Dec 22, 2009 - 16 comments

Signatures of Consciousness

12 years in the making, a good working hypothesis about the nature of conciousness. [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Dec 4, 2009 - 72 comments

Optimizing Your Brain At Work

Optimizing Your Brain at Work is a pretty fascinating talk at Google by David Rock about managing your brain's internal states and attention, as well as threat responses with the goal of optimizing information processing. It is a Youtube link, and fairly long (~55min). He also mentions The Neuroscience of Mindfulness during the talk, so here is a convenient link to that.
posted by Vulpyne on Dec 3, 2009 - 28 comments

Neuroscience, Live!

HM was the subject of many landmark studies in neuroscience. After his hippocampus was removed to control epileptic seizures, he was unable to form long-term memories. University of California - San Diego's Brain Observatory is shaving his brain now, sliver after sliver, and posting the live camera feed on the web. [more inside]
posted by Vhanudux on Dec 2, 2009 - 86 comments

Genes that cause depression?

A gene variant associated with serotonin transport (STG) , and normally associated with depression is strangely more prevalent, but also less likely to induce depression in collectivistic East Asian cultures. The study took data from 29 countries, and found a consistent trend towards this same genetic variant being strongly associated with episodes of major depression in Western cultures.
posted by mdpatrick on Oct 29, 2009 - 27 comments

Big Brother's just a beetle on the wall

Cyborg Spy Beetles are no longer a thing of the future. UC Berkeley (funded by DARPA) has created cyborg beetles guided wirelessly via laptop. These spy beetles were created with the intent of bugging actual conversations, literally acting as the "fly on the wall". [more inside]
posted by scrutiny on Oct 27, 2009 - 56 comments

The Anxious Mind

Understanding the Anxious Mind. A good article on the psychology of anxiety and how an anxious temperament at birth can ebb and flow during one's lifetime. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 2, 2009 - 22 comments

Monkeys inform humans about walking

What can we learn from quadrapeds about our own bipedal gait? Recently, a group of researchers has taught rhesus macaques how to walk, and then used neural recordings to develop a model of a functioning brain-machine interface (BMI) designed to take the signals from your brain and use them to interface with a prosthetic leg, which would allow previously paralyzed patients to literally walk again. [more inside]
posted by scrutiny on Oct 1, 2009 - 3 comments

A Few Strange Notes About Schizophrenia

Here's a strange one for the books: Science has taken notice that a really, really LARGE proportion of schizophrenic patients smoke. In fact, Scientific American Mind reports that an average of 85% of schizophrenic patients smoke cigarettes compared to only 20% in the general population. Many schizophrenics also appear to have abnormal thermoregulation, an impaired ability to understand body language, an inability to perceive an optical illusion called "the hollow mask illusion," an impaired ability to produce a brain protein known as the muscarinic M1 receptor, and an abnormally large number of genetic mutations known as CNV's or "copy number variations."
posted by mdpatrick on Sep 29, 2009 - 65 comments

The Wisdom of Salmon

Functional MRI (fMRI) is a widely used technique of brain imaging in the cognitive sciences, allowing researchers to visualize what part of the brain is responding to certain stimuli, resulting in striking images of live brains. These days, fMRI is seeing more non-research use, such as forming the basis of controversial new lie detectors. Craig Bennett, a postdoctoral researcher at UCSB, submitted a whole Atlantic salmon to fMRI analysis, and found that this fish could apparently detect, and respond to, the the emotional state of human beings (poster). Remarkable science, especially considering the salmon was dead at the time. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Sep 24, 2009 - 59 comments

Torture Produces False Memories and Bad Intel

Torturing the brain (PDF). Extreme pain and stress can actually impair a person's ability to tell the truth. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 22, 2009 - 28 comments

the consumption renews the appetite

Seeking - How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting.
posted by nickyskye on Sep 6, 2009 - 40 comments

Marching through the claims like Sherman through Georgia

Neuroscientist Lise Eliot finds that claims of sex differences fall apart. In one study, scientists dressed newborns in gender-neutral clothes and misled adults about their sex. The adults described the "boys" (actually girls) as angry or distressed more often than did adults who thought they were observing girls, and described the "girls" (actually boys) as happy and socially engaged more than adults who knew the babies were boys. Dozens of such disguised-gender experiments have shown that adults perceive baby boys and girls differently, seeing identical behavior through a gender-tinted lens. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Sep 3, 2009 - 106 comments

Is there no problem the internet can't solve - Flickr finds only known photo of Phineas Gage

While many quirky news buffs may be aware of the story of Phineas Gage -- the Vermont railroad foreman who had a three foot iron rod penetrate his skull as the result of an explosion and lived to tell about it -- fewer know that the only known photograph of him was recently discovered. Fewer still know that the identification of that photograph happened via a Flickr comment. (no thanks to you LA Times, previously) [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Jul 29, 2009 - 77 comments

Calories are delicious

The Neuroscience of McGriddles: Evolutionary biology offers hypotheses about why we enjoy eating. "When you eat at McDonald's, a big part of the pleasure comes from the fact that the food is sustenance, fuel, energy. Even mediocre food is a little rewarding."
posted by silby on Jul 23, 2009 - 82 comments

Neurosecurity

Neurosecurity: security and privacy for neural devices. "An increasing number of neural implantable devices will become available in the near future due to advances in neural engineering. This discipline holds the potential to improve many patients' lives dramatically by offering improved—and in some cases entirely new—forms of rehabilitation for conditions ranging from missing limbs to degenerative cognitive diseases. The use of standard engineering practices, medical trials, and neuroethical evaluations during the design process can create systems that are safe and that follow ethical guidelines; unfortunately, none of these disciplines currently ensure that neural devices are robust against adversarial entities trying to exploit these devices to alter, block, or eavesdrop on neural signals. The authors define 'neurosecurity'—a version of computer science security principles and methods applied to neural engineering—and discuss why neurosecurity should be a critical consideration in the design of future neural devices." [Via Mind Hacks]
posted by homunculus on Jul 8, 2009 - 22 comments

I await Trepanation with great Trepidation.

We've discussed trepanation, the boring of holes in the head as practiced in antiquity and by a fringe do it yourself-ers, before. There now seems to be research indicating that the procedure may have medical merit, and even help stave off age related cognitive decline. This curious research brought to you by the Beckly Foundation which "promotes the investigation of consciousness and its modulation from a multidisciplinary perspective" and has a sweet logo.
posted by phrontist on Jun 18, 2009 - 50 comments

neuroscience and behavior videos

At Psychoanalyst TV, we aggregate psychology and neuroscience videos, and put them on our own TV channels. Its companion site, Neurological Correlates, A Neuroscience Tabloid of Dysfunctional Behavior - Mostly Psychopaths, Narcissists, Obesity and Addiction. Includes such gems as Visualizing Desire and Sadobabies - Runaways in San Francisco.
posted by nickyskye on Jun 4, 2009 - 10 comments

Kick, Punch, It's All in the Mind

How Music Works - UK Channel 4 documentary (~180 mins.)
Why do some rhythms get our toes tapping, while others make us feel mellow? How does a love song bring tears to our eyes? What links African drumming to J S Bach?
Part 1 - Melody (alt)
Part 2 - Rhythm (alt)
Part 3 - Harmony (alt)
Part 4 - Bass (alt)
Then: Music producer and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, author of This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of Human Obsession and The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature, shares some of his thoughts at Google Talk.
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Jun 4, 2009 - 31 comments

test your your brain

Test My Brain was set up by Harvard's Vision Lab and Social Neuroscience and Psychopathology Lab. There are five tests online at the time of this post; take one and maybe you'll learn something about yourself that you may not have known (other than your special ability to slack off on MetaFilter when you should be working). At the same time, you'll be helping researchers collect data from a wide range of subjects. One of the collaborators, Professor Ken Nakayama, is also responsible for creating these online tests for faceblindness. [previously] [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on May 21, 2009 - 69 comments

Neurobull

Help, I'm a prisoner in brain fiction factory [more inside]
posted by fcummins on May 7, 2009 - 24 comments

The Neurobiology of Birdsong

The universal grammar of birdsong is genetically encoded. "A new study, published online in the journal Nature, shows that the songs of isolated zebra finches evolve over multiple generations to resemble those of birds in natural colonies. These findings show that song learning in birds is not purely the product of nurture, but has a strong genetic basis, and suggest that bird song has a universal grammar, or an intrinsic structure which is present at birth."
posted by homunculus on May 5, 2009 - 23 comments

"Genius is nothing more nor less than childhood recovered at will."

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."
posted by amyms on May 1, 2009 - 38 comments

Fat, Salt and Sugar Alter Brain Chemistry

David Kessler Knew That Some Foods Are Hard to Resist; Now He Knows Why. Former FDA commissioner David Kessler goes dumpster-diving to investigate the neurological impact of eating junk food. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Apr 27, 2009 - 40 comments

Neuroenhancing Drugs

Brain Gain: The underground world of “neuroenhancing” drugs. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Apr 21, 2009 - 42 comments

The Brain-Twitter Interface

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have recently unveiled new methods to Twitter from your brain. It may not be as efficient or pragmatic as using your phone, but there's pretty cool potential in this kind of technology.
posted by jon_hansen on Apr 21, 2009 - 33 comments

Eternal Sunshine Within Reach.

Brain Researchers Open Door to Editing Memory : spotless minds might be closer than we think.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Apr 16, 2009 - 20 comments

X-Phi

Philosophy’s great experiment. "Philosophers used to combine conceptual reflections with practical experiment. The trendiest new branch of the discipline, known as x-phi, wants to return to those days. Some philosophers don’t like it." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 4, 2009 - 45 comments

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