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James B. Glattfelder: Who controls the world? | Video on TED.com

James Glattfelder studies complexity: how an interconnected system -- say, a swarm of birds -- is more than the sum of its parts. And complexity theory, it turns out, can reveal a lot about how the economy works.
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James B. Glattfelder aims to give us a richer, data-driven understanding of the people and interactions that control our global economy. He does this not to push an ideology -- but with the hopes of making the world a better place.

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The Joy of Fungal Sex: Penicillin Mold Can Reproduce Sexually, Which Could Lead to Better Antibiotics: Scientific American

The Joy of Fungal Sex: Penicillin Mold Can Reproduce Sexually, Which Could Lead to Better Antibiotics: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Penicillin-producing fungus, previously thought to be asexual, has a sexual side. The finding is the latest in a kind of sexual revolution in fungal genetics
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Paul Dyer, a fungal biologist at the University of Nottingham in England, suspected that P. chrysogenum would reproduce sexually if given the right encouragement. Acomplete sequencing of the fungi's genome revealed that P. chyrosogenum still carried the genes needed for mating. "That told us that there was perhaps sexual compatibility there," he says. So Dyer and researchers at several other European institutions tried to find the ideal conditions that would encourage P.chrysogenum to have sex.


Furthermore, the researchers discovered that the genes that regulate the fungi's sexual ability also control the amount of penicillin it produces; the fungi that are having sex make more penicillin. The team published their findings online in January in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "I've believed for a long time that these guys were having sex but they were just doing it in secret," says Joan W. Bennett, a professor of plant biology and pathology at Rutgers University, who was not involved in the work.

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The Thrilling Potential of SixthSense Technology

The Thrilling Potential of SixthSense Technology | cognition | Scoop.it
Pranav Mistry demos several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data - including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new,
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The projector projects visual information enabling surfaces, walls and physical objects around us to be used as interfaces; while the camera recognizes and tracks users’ hand gestures and physical objects using computer-vision based techniques.

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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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Lee Cronin: Print your own medicine | Video on TED.com

Chemist Lee Cronin is working on a 3D printer that, instead of objects, is able to print molecules. An exciting potential long-term application: printing your own medicine using chemical inks.
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A professor of chemistry, nanoscience and chemical complexity, Lee Cronin and his research group investigate how chemistry can revolutionize modern technology and even create life.

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Why Humans Like to Cry: Scientific American

Why Humans Like to Cry: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
The anguished tear, a British scientist argues in a new book, is what makes us uniquely human
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If it is the case that only humans cry emotionally, then there must have been a time in human evolution when tears took on an additional meaning to their hitherto biological functions , namely as a signal of distress, and a cipher for suffering. In my book I discuss at when in the past our ancestors may come to possess this trait. I suggest that this is connected with the dawning of self-consciousness, with the development of theory of mind, and the realisation that the self and others can disappear.

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What Is Consciousness? Go to the Video! | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

What Is Consciousness? Go to the Video! | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network | cognition | Scoop.it
Various scholars have tried to explain consciousness in long articles and books, but one neuroscience pioneer has just released an unusual video blog to get the ...
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PLOS ONE: Episodic Memory and Appetite Regulation in Humans

PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
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Psychological and neurobiological evidence implicates hippocampal-dependent memory processes in the control of hunger and food intake. In humans, these have been revealed in the hyperphagia that is associated with amnesia. However, it remains unclear whether ‘memory for recent eating’ plays a significant role in neurologically intact humans. In this study we isolated the extent to which memory for a recently consumed meal influences hunger and fullness over a three-hour period. Before lunch, half of our volunteers were shown 300 ml of soup and half were shown 500 ml. Orthogonal to this, half consumed 300 ml and half consumed 500 ml. This process yielded four separate groups (25 volunteers in each). Independent manipulation of the ‘actual’ and ‘perceived’ soup portion was achieved using a computer-controlled peristaltic pump. This was designed to either refill or draw soup from a soup bowl in a covert manner. Immediately after lunch, self-reported hunger was influenced by the actual and not the perceived amount of soup consumed. However, two and three hours after meal termination this pattern was reversed - hunger was predicted by the perceived amount and not the actual amount. Participants who thought they had consumed the larger 500-ml portion reported significantly less hunger. This was also associated with an increase in the ‘expected satiation’ of the soup 24-hours later. For the first time, this manipulation exposes the independent and important contribution of memory processes to satiety. Opportunities exist to capitalise on this finding to reduce energy intake in humans.

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Read of the day: Social evolution: The ritual animal

Read of the day: Social evolution: The ritual animal | cognition | Scoop.it
Praying, fighting, dancing, chanting — human rituals could illuminate the growth of community and the origins of civilization.

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"..

As an example of how rituals can cause values and preferences to become sacralized, Atran points to his studies showing that, in the United States, people who attend church more frequently are more likely to consider the right to bear arms a sacred value11.

“Emotionally intense rituals have bound us together and pitted us against our enemies throughout the history of our species,” says Whitehouse. “It was only when nomadic foragers began to settle down did we discover the possibilities for establishing much larger societies based on frequently repeated creeds and rituals.”

The big question, he says, is whether this kind of unity can be extended to humanity at large. For Whitehouse, understanding the ways that rituals shape group behaviour is the first step towards finding out how they can be harnessed to dampen down conflict between groups. He hopes that such insights could help policy-makers to “establish new forms of peaceful cooperation, as well as bringing down dictators”.


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Wildcat2030's curator insight, January 24, 2013 8:19 AM

An important step in understanding civilization and modern culture

Valentin Chirosca's curator insight, January 27, 2013 6:52 AM

same areas have same rituals...

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21 Emotions with No English Word Equivalents

21 Emotions with No English Word Equivalents | cognition | Scoop.it

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Martin Daumiller's curator insight, January 18, 2013 6:26 AM

Design student Pei-Ying Lin took Parrot|s Classification of Human Emotions as a base and tried to add different emotions to it, which don't exist in English, but in other languages, such as Hebrew, Russian, German, Italian, Mandarin, etc.

She tried to express similarities and closeness to other emotions and managed to visualize the relationship between the foreign emotion-words and the English ones.

In Lins words, her project is one "that investigates human emotions and languages. By re-looking at how humans communicate, it searches for a way to connect our inner self and personal emotions, through the design of a personal language and several new ways of communication. It is an investigation of how language can be improvised to connect our emotions in this multilingual world."

This is a nice example and visualization of the culture-rootedness of emotions. It underlines the historical and social background necessary for the development of a certain set-of-mind required to feel and express specific emotions.

Sophie Martin's comment, March 13, 2013 7:30 PM
full size http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-01/emotions-which-there-are-no-english-words-infographic
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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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Who Owns the World?

Who Owns the World? | cognition | Scoop.it
A talk by the world-renowned political dissident, linguist, author and MIT professor, Noam Chomsky. In this speech, Chomsky examined topics like: China, th
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Semiotics for Beginners: Signs

This is part of a popular hypertext
guide to semiotics by Daniel Chandler at the University
of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Via Xaos
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Xaos's curator insight, January 4, 2013 5:12 AM

We seem as a species to be driven by a desire to make meanings: above all, we are surely Homo significans - meaning-makers. Distinctively, we make meanings through our creation and interpretation of 'signs'. Indeed, according to Peirce, 'we think only in signs' (Peirce 1931-58, 2.302). Signs take the form of words, images, sounds, odours, flavours, acts or objects, but such things have no intrinsic meaning and become signs only when we invest them with meaning. 'Nothing is a sign unless it is interpreted as a sign', declares Peirce (Peirce 1931-58, 2.172). Anything can be a sign as long as someone interprets it as 'signifying' something - referring to or standing for something other than itself. We interpret things as signs largely unconsciously by relating them to familiar systems of conventions. It is this meaningful use of signs which is at the heart of the concerns of semiotics.

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Antifragile

Antifragile | cognition | Scoop.it
In The Black Swan, Taleb showed that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In his new book Antifragile, he
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At the RSA, Nassim Taleb will show how the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events, and will consider a number of critical questions, such as: why is the city-state better than the nation-state; why is debt bad for you; why is what we call “efficient” not efficient at all; and why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak?

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Warm Weather Makes It Hard to Think Straight: Scientific American

Warm Weather Makes It Hard to Think Straight: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
How temperature shapes difficult decisions
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 Recent research suggests that warm weather impairs our ability to make complex decisions—and even causes us to shy away from making these decisions in the first place.

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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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Watson's medical expertise offered commercially

Watson's medical expertise offered commercially | cognition | Scoop.it
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Dr. Watson is accepting new patients.
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In both applications, doctors or insurance company workers will access Watson through a tablet or computer. Watson will quickly compare a patient's medical records to what it has learned and make several recommendations in decreasing order of confidence.

In the cancer program, the computer will be considering what treatment is most likely to succeed. In the insurance program, it will consider what treatment should be authorized for payment.

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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 3:36 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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#scio13 Wrapup: On Identity | The Scicurious Brain, Scientific American Blog Network

#scio13 Wrapup: On Identity | The Scicurious Brain, Scientific American Blog Network | cognition | Scoop.it
Kate Clancy and I were lucky enough to be able to lead a session on Identity at this year's Science Online. What are your various identities? ...
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An Even Shorter History of Nearly Everything

An Even Shorter History of Nearly Everything | cognition | Scoop.it
Celebrated author Bill Bryson presents a lecture on the history of science in the Great Hall at the Guildhall in honor of the 350th anniversary of the Roya
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From primordial nothingness to this very moment, A Short History of Nearly Everythingreports what happened and how humans figured it out. To accomplish this daunting literary task, Bill Bryson uses hundreds of sources, from popular science books to interviews with luminaries in various fields.

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Edge.org

Edge.org | cognition | Scoop.it
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From: What should we aorry about 2013

 

"Generally, the public reception of a scientific theory concurs by and large with the judgement of the objective world of ideas. Not, however, in the case of the scientific understanding of our evolved human nature and, above all, male and female natures. If the arguments against the evolutionary science of human nature were conducted in the world of the objective content of ideas, there would be no contest; evolutionary theory would win hands down. But, as a sociological fact, in the public market-place it loses disastrously against its vociferous critics."

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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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Read of the Day: The Self in Self-Help-We have no idea what a self is. So how can we fix it?

Read of the Day: The Self in Self-Help-We have no idea what a self is. So how can we fix it? | cognition | Scoop.it
We have no idea what a self is. So how can we fix it?

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....(from page2)

Let us call it the master theory of self-help. It goes like this: Somewhere below or above or beyond the part of you that is struggling with weight loss or procrastination or whatever your particular problem might be, there is another part of you that is immune to that problem and capable of solving it for the rest of you. In other words, this master theory is fundamentally dualist. It posits, at a minimum, two selves: one that needs a kick in the ass and one that is capable of kicking.

This model of selfhood is intuitively appealing, not least because it describes an all-too-familiar experience. As I began by saying, all of us struggle to keep faith with our plans and goals, and all of us can envision better selves more readily than we can be them. Indeed, the reason we go to the self-help section in the first place is that some part of us wants to do something that some other part resists.

Of course, intuitive appeal is a poor indicator of the merits of a model; the geocentric universe is intuitively appealing, too. But even though this master theory of self-help is coarse, misleading, none too useful, and probably just plain wrong, it does capture something crucial about the experience of being human. One of the strange and possibly unique facts about our species is that we really can intervene on ourselves. Get a lab rat addicted to alcohol and you will have yourself an addicted rat. Get a teenager addicted to alcohol and eventually you might find yourself celebrating his 30th year of sobriety. It isn’t consistent, it isn’t predictable, and God knows it isn’t easy—and yet somehow, sometimes, we do manage to change. The self really can help itself. The question is: How?


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Creativity

Creativity | cognition | Scoop.it
Telling people how to be creative is easy - being creative is difficult. The legendary writer and actor has also become a well-known student of and speaker
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Through a series of stories, Cleese spoke of the importance of succumbing to the unconscious mind, two key traits possessed by highly successful creative people, the necessity of allowing for contemplative thinking, and why all of these together result in creative breakthroughs.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, February 6, 2013 6:44 PM

If you are going to consider creativity, what better source than Monty Python?

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Distributed Thinking Symposium V | Chance Seeking 2.0

Distributed Thinking Symposium V | Chance Seeking 2.0 | cognition | Scoop.it
From biased rationality to distributed cognition, volume 13 of Cognitive Systems Monographs. New York: Springer. Clark, A. (2008). Supersizing the Mind. Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension. New York: Oxford ...

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