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cognition
How it evolved, what we do with it, futures; And otherwise interesting trends
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Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime: Scientific American

Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Research on naps, meditation, nature walks and the habits of exceptional artists and athletes reveals how mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories and encourage creativity...
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many important mental processes seem to require what we call downtime and other forms of rest during the day.

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Forgetting Is Harder for Older Brains: Scientific American

Forgetting Is Harder for Older Brains: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Adults hang on to useless information, which impedes learning
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More dramatically, their brains could barely weaken their synapses, a process that allows the loss of useless information in favor of more recent data.

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Arjen ten Have's curator insight, June 12, 2013 2:43 AM

There is two interesting aspect to this. The fact that learning can be hampered by ehm yeah well, learning and of course that this is a clue about the heuristics of memory storage in human brains.

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Distinguishing Brain From Mind

Distinguishing Brain From Mind | cognition | Scoop.it
In coming years, neuroscience will answer questions we don't even yet know to ask. Sometimes, though, focus on the brain is misleading.

Via Spaceweaver
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luiy's curator insight, May 31, 2013 2:53 AM

Understanding the brain is of course essential to developing treatments for devastating illnesses like schizophrenia and Parkinson's. More abstract but no less compelling, the functioning of the brain is intimately tied to our sense of self, our identity, our memories and aspirations. But the excitement to explore the brain has spawned a new fixation that my colleague Scott Lilienfeld and I call neurocentrism -- the view that human behavior can be best explained by looking solely or primarily at the brain.

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Andres Lozano: Parkinson's, depression and the switch that might turn them off | Video on TED.com

Deep brain stimulation is becoming very precise. This technique allows surgeons to place electrodes in almost any area of the brain, and turn them up or down -- like a radio dial or thermostat -- to correct dysfunction.
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Is Cocoa the Brain Drug of the Future?: Scientific American

Is Cocoa the Brain Drug of the Future?: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Cognition-Boosting Compounds

It's news chocolate lovers have been craving: raw cocoa may be packed with brain-boosting compounds.
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Exactly how cocoa causes these changes is still unknown, but emerging research points to one flavanol in particular: (-)-epicatechin, pronounced “minus epicatechin.” Its name signifies its structure, differentiating it from other catechins, organic compounds highly abundant in cocoa and present in apples, wine and tea. The graph below shows how (-)-epicatechin fits into the world of brain-altering food molecules. Other studies suggest that the compound supports increased circulation and the growth of blood vessels, which could explain improvements in cognition, because better blood flow would bring the brain more oxygen and improve its function.

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Sign in to read: Mind maths: The elements of thought - 06 February 2013 - New Scientist

Sign in to read: Mind maths: The elements of thought - 06 February 2013 - New Scientist | cognition | Scoop.it
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Five laws to rule them all...

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Boundaries of the Knowable

Boundaries of the Knowable | cognition | Scoop.it
In this 10 part series from The Open University, Professor Russell Stannard OBE delves into subjects ranging from free will and determinism, to space and t
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As I Get Older, Why Does My Memory for Names Seem to Deteriorate?: Scientific American

As I Get Older, Why Does My Memory for Names Seem to Deteriorate?: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it

Vivid, accurate memory is actually a hard trick to pull off for the human brain.

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How to Create a Mind

How to Create a Mind | cognition | Scoop.it

Ray Kurzweil is arguably today’s most influential – and often controversial – futurist. In How to Create a Mind, Kurzweil presents a provocative exploration of the most important project in human-machine civilization-reverse engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works and using that knowledge to create even more intelligent machines.
Kurzweil discusses how the brain functions, how the mind emerges from the brain, and the implications of vastly increasing the powers of our intelligence in addressing the world’s problems. He thoughtfully examines emotional and moral intelligence and the origins of consciousness and envisions the radical possibilities of our merging with the intelligent technology we are creating.
Certain to be one of the most widely discussed and debated science books of the year, How to Create a Mind is sure to take its place alongside Kurzweil’s previous classics.

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Brainy Trees, Metaphorical Forests: On Neuroscience, Embodiment, and Architecture | Neuroanthropology

Brainy Trees, Metaphorical Forests: On Neuroscience, Embodiment, and Architecture | Neuroanthropology | cognition | Scoop.it

Inspiration and interpretation are inevitable. As metaphor is basic to what we do, so emerging results in neuroscience will be taken well beyond the intentions and even meanings of their authors. Much caution and critique will be needed. Yet at the same time, I want to preserve a space for this other mantle, from science to art and humanism. To creation and design and expression.

 

A revolution based on neuroscience? No. A recognition of our bodies and experiences and senses? Yes. And thus much closer to metaphors that inspire us every day. Like HOME or WARMTH. And maybe even a tree or two.


Via Sakis Koukouvis, Wildcat2030
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RSA - The Self Illusion: The brain's greatest con trick?

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Professor Bruce Hood shows that the concept of the 'self' is a figment of the brain, generated as a character to weave our internal processes and experiences together into a coherent narrative.

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Mindscapes: First interview with a dead man - health - 23 May 2013 - New Scientist

Mindscapes: First interview with a dead man - health - 23 May 2013 - New Scientist | cognition | Scoop.it
Cotard's syndrome is the belief that your brain or body has died. New Scientist has the first media interview with someone who has come out the other side
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The power of metaphor: Graham's belief "was a metaphor for how he felt about the world – his experiences no longer moved him. He felt he was in a limbo state caught between life and death".

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Mind and brain podcast radio rush

Mind and brain podcast radio rush | cognition | Scoop.it
Several new mind and brain radio series have just started in the last few weeks and all can be listened to online.
The two ‘All in the Minds’ have just started a new series.
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What’s Wrong with the Brain Activity Map Proposal: Scientific American

What’s Wrong with the Brain Activity Map Proposal: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
With the president suggesting a multibillion-dollar neuroscience effort, a leading neuroscientist explains the deep conceptual problems with plans to record all the brain's neurons
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Very interesting take on big project Brain Mapping:


As we enter the era of Big Brain Science projects, it is important to know where the next firm foothold is.

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The Evolution of Religion

The Evolution of Religion | cognition | Scoop.it
The guests are the authors of two innovative books on the subject. "In The Faith Instinct"'s Nicholas Wade of the New York Times examines the scientific ev
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Taking a perspective rooted in evolutionary biology with a focus on brain science, they elucidate the perennial questions about religion: What is its purpose? How did it arise? What is its source? Why does every known culture have some form of it?

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Sleep and dreaming: Where do our minds go at night? - life - 05 February 2013 - New Scientist

We are beginning to understand how our brains shape our dreams, and why they contain such an eerie mixture of the familiar and the bizarre

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FastTFriend's comment, February 7, 2013 12:36 AM
And, inspired to look into it by her own son's gaming, Jayne Gackenbach at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Canada, has found that players are beginning to report a greater sense of control over their dreams, with the feeling that they are active participants inside a virtual reality. She points out that gamers are more likely to try to fight back when they dream of being pursued by an enemy, for instance. Ironically, this interaction seems to make their dreams less scary and more exciting. "They say things like - 'this was a nightmare, but it was awesome'. They are invigorated by it," Gackenbach says.
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A Single Brain Cell Stores a Single Concept: Scientific American

A Single Brain Cell Stores a Single Concept: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Each concept—each person or thing in our everyday experience—may have a set of corresponding neurons assigned to it
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For decades neuroscientists have debated how memories are stored. That debate continues today, with competing theories—one of which suggests that single neurons hold the recollection, say, of your grandmother or of a famous movie star.The alternative theory asserts that each memory is distributed across many millions of neurons. A number of recent experiments during brain surgeries provide evidence that relatively small sets of neurons in specific regions are involved with the encoding of memories.
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The Death of “Near Death”: Even If Heaven Is Real, You Aren’t Seeing It | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network

The Death of “Near Death”: Even If Heaven Is Real, You Aren’t Seeing It | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network | cognition | Scoop.it

Why would the brain react to death (or even imagined death) in such a way? Well, death is a scary thing. Scientific accounts of the NDE characterize it as the body’s psychological and physiological response mechanism to such fear, producing chemicals in the brain that calm the individual while inducing euphoric sensations to reduce trauma.

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Linguistics as a Window to Understanding the Brain

Linguistics as a Window to Understanding the Brain | cognition | Scoop.it
How did humans acquire language? In this lecture, best-selling author Steven Pinker introduces you to linguistics, the evolution of spoken language, and the debate over the existence of an innate universal grammar.
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