"A few years ago a psychologist and a philosopher got into an argument over whether we can accurately describe our thoughts. "Yes," said the psychologist; with training and the help of my special technique, we can accurately describe our thoughts. The philosopher doubted it. To resolve their argument, they recruited a young woman who agreed tell them her thoughts, so that they could argue over whether she was credible." Eric Schwitzgebel and Russ Hurlbert debate the transparency of inner experience
. See also Schwitzgebel's extremely interesting blog
posted by painquale
on Jan 13, 2008 -
Traveling a lot this weekend? Long drive, plane or train ride? You can use that transit time to listen to the Dalai Lama talk for more than four hours with neuroscientists and Buddhist scholars on the topic of craving, suffering and choice. Part one
. Part two
. [iTunes links]
If you're stuck at home, you can watch the video
. The video link has the full list of participants.
posted by Kattullus
on Nov 21, 2007 -
that may one day help restore mobility to the paralyzed and amputees, Dr. Charles Higgins of the University of Arizona has created a "robo-moth"
: a 6-inch tall wheeled robot guided by an electrode inserted into a single neuron responsible for vision stability during flight in the hawk moth
(aka the Tobacco hornworm). [more inside]
posted by mayfly wake
on Nov 20, 2007 -
See For Yourself
- Purves Lab's optical illusions web page with empirical explanations of familiar and unfamiliar illusions.
posted by nthdegx
on Nov 16, 2007 -
How big is your crockus?
In cutting edge neuroscience news, a new part of the brain has recently been identifed by the enigmatic Dr. Crockus
. Described as "the detailed section of the brain, a part of the frontal lope," the crockus is apparently four times larger in females than in males, which is why girls see the details of experiences while boys see the whole but not the details. [more inside]
posted by homunculus
on Sep 21, 2007 -
In an experiment
reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience
, scientists at NYU and UCLA demonstrate that political orientation is related to basic differences in cognition - how the brain processes information. Psychological studies in the past found conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments while liberals are more "open to new experiences." The latest study finds these traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions. [more inside]
posted by uaudio
on Sep 11, 2007 -
Excellent BBC Brain Story series
available online. One of the best TV series on psychology and neuroscience ever produced, the BBC's Brain Story, is available on public bittorrent servers for download. It is a six part series covering virtually every area of contemporary neuropsychology, including the major researchers, discoveries, techniques and even many of the patients who have been the subjects of classic case studies that have helped us understand the curious effects of brain injury.
posted by nickyskye
on Aug 9, 2007 -
We’ve detected background radiation from the Big Bang. We’ve sent explorers to the bottom of the ocean and the moon above us. We have images of the individual atoms of which our world is made. But we cannot have direct access to the sensory experiences of another human being. Language can help to bridge the gap but it is an imperfect tool. The closest we have come is Brain Fingerprinting
and even that only indicates recognition of a scene or object; it does not capture the actual visual memory of the scene or object. This may soon change. Several years ago, researchers at Berkeley wired a cat’s neurons to a computer and were able to obtain videos of what the cat was seeing.
posted by jason's_planet
on Aug 14, 2006 -
finds that the human brain registers the avoidance of an anticipated punishment in pretty much the same way as it registers a reward. (See this link
for a less technical discussion of the research.) Do these findings suggest that the use of punishment as a deterrent to undesirable behavior in effect actually motivates the undesirable behavior (as opposed to the use of negative reinforcement, or in other words, the withholding of reward)? Do punishment-oriented models of socialization/behaviorial conditioning actually encourage cheating, by in effect selecting for better cheaters?
posted by saulgoodman
on Jul 12, 2006 -
Don't Even Think About Lying
fMRI is poised to transform the security industry, the judicial system, and our fundamental notions of privacy. I'm in a lab at Columbia University, where scientists are using the technology to analyze the cognitive differences between truth and lies. By mapping the neural circuits behind deception, researchers are turning fMRI into a new kind of lie detector that's more probing and accurate than the polygraph, the standard lie-detection tool employed by law enforcement and intelligence agencies for nearly a century.
posted by robbyrobs
on Jan 5, 2006 -
"is a community site that was established for the purpose of accelerating the development of neuroscience through web-based initiatives, which include the development, implementation and support of a wide range of neuroinformatics tools, services, and databases. BrainMeta also functions as an internet hub for fostering communication between individuals involved with the neurosciences." [Via Mind Hacks.]
posted by homunculus
on Jun 9, 2005 -