cognition
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cognition
How it evolved, what we do with it, futures; And otherwise interesting stuff
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How reality caught up with paranoid delusions – Mike Jay – Aeon

How reality caught up with paranoid delusions – Mike Jay – Aeon | cognition | Scoop.it
Schizophrenics used to see demons and spirits. Now they talk about actors and hidden cameras – and make a lot of sense
FastTFriend's insight:

‘it was not in the least like losing one’s reason… I was rationalising all the time, it was simply one’s reason working hard on the wrong premises.’

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"Plasticity Pill" Could Rewire Brain to Treat Autism and Schizophrenia | DiscoverMagazine.com

"Plasticity Pill" Could Rewire Brain to Treat Autism and Schizophrenia | DiscoverMagazine.com | cognition | Scoop.it
Super-mice bred to lack certain immune molecules display a superior ability to form new neural connections, or strengthen existing ones — and they could serve as a model for reversing brain disease.

Via Marc Williams DEBONO (Plasticities Sciences Arts)
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How consciousness works – Michael Graziano – Aeon

How consciousness works – Michael Graziano – Aeon | cognition | Scoop.it
Consciousness is the ‘hard problem’, the mystery that confounds science and philosophy. Has a new theory cracked it?
FastTFriend's insight:

Attention requires control. In the modern study of robotics there is something called control theory, and it teaches us that, if a machine such as a brain is to control something, it helps to have an internal model of that thing. Think of a military general with his model armies arrayed on a map: they provide a simple but useful representation — not always perfectly accurate, but close enough to help formulate strategy. Likewise, to control its own state of attention, the brain needs a constantly updated simulation or model of that state. 

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A Country Built by Obsessives: Scientific American

A Country Built by Obsessives: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Author Joshua Kendall argues that compulsiveness is a major force in American history
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"But there is a pressing need for both clinicians and the public to understand that there can also be an upside to being wired a certain way." 

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Brave New World versus Island — Utopian and Dystopian Views on Psychopharmacology

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The paper argues that in the current ethical discussion the dystopian vision on psychopharmacology is dominant, but that a comparison between Brave New World and Island shows that a more utopian view is possible as well. This is illustrated by a discussion of the issue of psychopharmacology and authenticity. The second part of the paper draws some further conclusions for the ethical debate on psychopharmacology and human enhancement, by comparing the novels not only with each other, but also with our present reality. It is claimed that the debate should not get stuck in an opposition of dystopian and utopian views, but should address important issues that demand attention in our real world: those of evaluation and governance of enhancing psychopharmacological substances in democratic, pluralistic societies.

 

Excerpts from Authors final remarks:


First, the effects of psychopharmacological substances depend greatly on the society in which they are embedded.


It would be an illusion to think that we can predict exactly what the social effects of new substances will be, how society will react and how common values and practices might be changed due to these new substances.


I believe, thirdly, that this value and life-style pluralism that characterize our world should be taken more seriously. As we have seen, the enhancement debate is in an important sense a debate about the good life and about human flourishing or human happiness. Underneath the discussion on authenticity lies a deeper discussion on what it is to be human. The moral evaluation of new psychopharmacological substances or mind-influencing drugs depends greatly on one’s ideas in this respect. 


Should we aim to show that one view of the good life is correct and that consequently the use of such drugs should be banned or stimulated? Should we discuss and argue about our various views of the good life and the place of psychotropic drugs in the hope that we will reach a shared view?

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Your Thoughts Can Release Abilities beyond Normal Limits: Scientific American

Your Thoughts Can Release Abilities beyond Normal Limits: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Better vision, stronger muscles—expectations can have surprising effects, research finds
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Expecting to know the answers made people more likely to get the answers right.     

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Rescooped by FastTFriend from Philosophy everywhere everywhen
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Language boosts invisible objects into visual awareness

New research suggests that language can both enhance and diminish the sensitivity of of vision

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The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein famously said that, "the limits of my language mean the limits of my world," meaning that we can only understand the world through the language we use, and that if our language does not include words for some particular idea or concept, then that concept cannot exist for us. The relationship between language and thought is complex, which researchers continue to debate. Some, like Wittgenstein, argue that thought is dependent on language. Others point out that thought can occur in the absence of language, deaf people being an important case in point.

These arguments focus on the relationship between language and so-called "higher order" thought processes – our ability to evaluate and analyze, to conceptualize and understand. What about lower-order brain mechanisms, such as perception? New research provides evidence that language can influence these processes, so that hearing the name of an otherwise invisible object can enhance visual perception, boosting that object into our conscious awareness.


Via Wildcat2030
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Wildcat2030's curator insight, August 13, 2013 5:45 AM

go read..

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, August 13, 2013 6:43 PM

The question involves the scales and boundaries of places..

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Book Review: As She Climbed Across the Table by Jonathan Lethem

Gives new meaning to the term work romance.
FastTFriend's insight:

Lack, Alice and Philip are the main characters in Jonathan Lethem’s As She Climbed Across the Table, published in 1997. It’s a science fiction novel that pokes fun at academic faculty, research and campus life. The story takes place at a fictional campus, the University of North California. Alice is a physicist and Philip is a cultural anthropologist studying academic life.

Lack is a void, a nothingness, a black hole created in the physics building. Lack has no personality. It’s an object until faculty members romanticize it, and give it a personality. Could it be Lethem is trying to say personalities are created by the perceptions of those around us, rather than from within?

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World's Slowest-Moving Drop Caught on Camera at Last: Scientific American

World's Slowest-Moving Drop Caught on Camera at Last: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
The once-forgotten "tar pitch" experiment has yielded results after a seven-decade wait
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It pays to be patient... 

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Aaron Saenz: I, For One, Welcome Our New Robot Overlords @ BAASICS.2: The Future

Aaron Saenz: I, For One, Welcome Our New Robot Overlords BAASICS.2: The Future June 18, 2012 @ ODC Theater, SF Aaron Saenz is a former physicist, an improvis...

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The interspecies internet? An idea in progress… | Video on TED.com

Apes, dolphins and elephants are animals with remarkable communication skills. Could the internet be expanded to include sentient species like them?
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learning to interact beyond certain boundaries may be a first step towards reaching even further than this planet's confines.

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FREE WILL, DETERMINISM, QUANTUM THEORY AND STATISTICAL FLUCTUATIONS: A PHYSICIST'S TAKE | Edge.org

FREE WILL, DETERMINISM, QUANTUM THEORY AND STATISTICAL FLUCTUATIONS: A PHYSICIST'S TAKE | Edge.org | cognition | Scoop.it
FastTFriend's insight:

"Our idea of being free is correct, but it is just a way to say that we are ignorant on why we make choices."

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Constructing Religion without The Social: Durkheim, Latour, and Extended Cognition

Constructing Religion without The Social: Durkheim, Latour, and Extended Cognition | cognition | Scoop.it
Here is the intro to Matthew's article: Where does thinking happen? The obvious and most common answer is “somewhere inside the head.” After all, this is where the brain is safely housed behind sev...
FastTFriend's insight:

So, in what follows, I am prepared to sin boldly and specify how an appreciation for the cognitive phenomenon of extended mind could transform the academic study of religion. In the first section I examine what is perhaps the first and most influential externalist account of religion: Emile Durkheim’s Elementary Forms of the Religious Life ([1912] 1995). I draw attention to his strategy for anchoring the categories of human cognition in the material practices of a given society. In the next section I turn to another French sociologist, Bruno Latour, in the hopes of finding a theoretical conversation partner who can help me out of my predicament. I review Latour’s ongoing attempt to displace the metaphysical assumptions that have been an essential and worrying feature of the social category since Durkheim. In the third section I emphasize how Latour explicitly invokes models of situated and extended cognition to make sense of how collectives and agents are constructed without appeals to the social. In the final section I propose two ways in which the portrait of distributed, embodied, and embedded cognition—aided by a generous amount of prodding from Latour’s project—may reorient the study of religion in fruitful ways.

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Anthony Quinton on Ludwig Wittgenstein: Section 2

Bryan Magee talks with Anthony Quinton about the two incommensurable views of Wittgenstein: his logical view of language and his somewhat pragmatic view of l...
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FastTFriend's comment, August 31, 2013 5:14 AM
delightful allusions (well, in this reader's mind) to China Mieville's Embassytown
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Synchronized virtual reality heartbeat triggers out-of-body experiences

Synchronized virtual reality heartbeat triggers out-of-body experiences | cognition | Scoop.it
New research demonstrates that it could be easy to trick the mind and trigger an out-of-body experience by getting a person to watch a video of themselves w...
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How a Computer Program Helped Reveal J. K. Rowling as Author of A Cuckoo’s Calling : Scientific American

How a Computer Program Helped Reveal J. K. Rowling as Author of A Cuckoo’s Calling : Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Author of the Harry Potter books has a distinct linguistic signature
FastTFriend's insight:

Today, computers can do this type of analysis in seconds, whether touncover a case of murder-disguised-as-suicide, study an anonymous medieval poem,resolve disputes about authorial credit,  or even provide political asylum for a refugee.

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Lambros Malafouris, 2013, How Things Shape the Mind | The MIT Press

An increasingly influential school of thought in cognitive science views the mind as embodied, extended, and distributed, rather than brain-bound, “all in the head.” This shift in perspective raises important questions about the relationship between cognition and material culture, posing major challenges for philosophy, cognitive science, archaeology, and anthropology. In How Things Shape the Mind, Lambros Malafouris proposes a cross-disciplinary analytical framework for investigating the different ways in which things have become cognitive extensions of the human body. Using a variety of examples and case studies, he considers how those ways might have changed from earliest prehistory to the present. Malafouris’s Material Engagement Theory adds materiality—the world of things, artifacts, and material signs—into the cognitive equation definitively. His account not only questions conventional intuitions about the boundaries and location of the human mind but also suggests that we rethink classical archaeological assumptions about human cognitive evolution.


Via Marie-Anne Paveau
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Vegetative patient shows he is aware of his identity, whereabouts

Vegetative patient shows he is aware of his identity, whereabouts | cognition | Scoop.it
Researchers at the University of Western Ontario have a major breakthrough in communications with unresponsive patients
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“We hope that by giving this patient some decision-making capacity,” Dr. Naci said, “we'll be able to give them back a sense of autonomy and agency that will improve their quality of life, and will give them back some authority in their own life that they have lost.”

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Altruism Can Be Contagious: Scientific American

Altruism Can Be Contagious: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Altruism inspires more altruism, according to many studies. In one experiment, an initial act of kindness prompted others to donate, but in progressively smaller amounts.
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You Won't Believe How Insanely Detailed This Guy's Fictional Maps Are. Seriously. - Wired Science

You Won't Believe How Insanely Detailed This Guy's Fictional Maps Are. Seriously. - Wired Science | cognition | Scoop.it
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People in the Koana Islands love baseball. The first league play started in 1882, barely six years after the MLB. Between the top-tier, Triple- and Double-A leagues, there are over 180 teams spanning the island nation. Fans are so rabid that there's even talk of expanding to a Single-A league, adding even more teams. If you're a baseball fan, you might be surprised you've never heard of this. You'll be even more surprised when you try to find the Koana Islands. That's because the 32-island chain, with its nine major cities, 11 national parks, 93 million residents and a landmass that is equal to Spain and Sweden combined does not really exist.

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Monogamy’s Boost to Human Evolution

Monogamy’s Boost to Human Evolution | cognition | Scoop.it
Fossil records suggest that by sticking around and protecting and feeding their offspring, early men paved the way for the growth of the human brain.

Via Rexi44
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The Neuroscience of Everybody's Favorite Topic: Scientific American

The Neuroscience of Everybody's Favorite Topic: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Why do people spend so much time talking about themselves?
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These results suggest that self-disclosure—revealing personal information to others—produces the highest level of activation in neural regions associated with motivation and reward, but that introspection—thinking or talking about the self, in the absence of an audience—also produces a noticeable surge of neural activity in these regions. Talking about the self is intrinsically rewarding, even if no one is listening.

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Hannah Arendt Discusses Philosophy, Politics & Eichmann in Rare 1964 TV Interview

Hannah Arendt Discusses Philosophy, Politics & Eichmann in Rare 1964 TV Interview | cognition | Scoop.it
Hannah Arendt’s work has come under some critical fire lately, what with the release of the Margarethe Von Trotta-directed biopic, starring German actress Barbara Sukowa as the controversial political theorist.
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While acknowledging Arendt’s flaws, Berkowitz seeks to exonerate the best-known concept that emerged from her work on Eichmann’s trial, the “banality of evil.” While it can be comforting to have an interpreter explain, and defend, the work of a major, controversial, thinker, there is no intellectual substitute for engaging with the work itself. In the age of the media interview—radio, television, podcast and otherwise—one can usually see and hear an author explain her views in person. And so we have the interview above (in German with English subtitles), in which Arendt sits with television presenter and journalist Gunter Gaus for a German program called Zur Person (The Person), a Charlie Rose-like show that featured celebrities, important thinkers, and politicians (including an appearance by Henry Kissinger).

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Steven Pinker on Metaphor and the Mind

Steven Pinker on Metaphor and the Mind | cognition | Scoop.it

I think that metaphor really is a key to explaining thought and language. The human mind comes equipped with an ability to penetrate the cladding of sensory appearance and discern the abstract construction underneath - not always on demand, and not infallibly, but often enough and insightfully enough to shape the human condition. 

Our powers of analogy allow us to apply ancient neural structures to newfound subject matter, to discover hidden laws and systems in nature, and not least, to amplify the expressive power of language itself.


Via Mariana Soffer
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Mariana Soffer's curator insight, July 10, 2013 7:42 PM
 Steven Pinker, Canadian-American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist and linguist, cited in Mariana Soffer, Metaphor and the Mind, Sing your own lullaby (via amiquote) 
carol s. (caravan café)'s comment, August 18, 2013 1:37 PM
toile de http://www.robertpokorny.com/robertpokorny/Home.html
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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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