cognition
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cognition
How it evolved, what we do with it, futures; And otherwise interesting stuff
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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
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"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...
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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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Consciousness & the Brain: John Searle at TEDxCERN

John Searle one of the world's great philosophers of mind and language, has spent fifty years stimulating thinking around the world. What he says about consc...
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John Searle one of the world's great philosophers of mind and language, has spent fifty years stimulating thinking around the world. What he says about consciousness as a biological phenomenon will challenge you! Cogitation, Consciousness & The Brain.

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An Olive Oil Compound That Makes Your Throat Itch May Prevent Alzheimer's: Scientific American

An Olive Oil Compound That Makes Your Throat Itch May Prevent Alzheimer's: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
An olive oil compound that makes your throat itch may also help prevent Alzheimer's
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Some studies have shown that oleocanthal interferes with the formation of characteristic neurofibrillary tangles and beta-amyloid plaques, both of which play principal roles in Alzheimer's neurological devastation.

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Where nature and nurture clash: Pioneering a new theory of language

Where nature and nurture clash: Pioneering a new theory of language | cognition | Scoop.it
BY DANIEL L. EVERETT



In the wake of Newtown, Americans must be asking themselves: Is there something inherently violent about us? Are we doomed by our nature or our culture to endure ongoing, r
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confronting "biology made me do it" world view:



We certainly are all cut from the same biological mode. But nature made us flexible not rigid. That is why the bold idea of Chomsky and the evolutionary psychologists simply cannot explain what we know about human diversity. 

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FastTFriend's comment, June 17, 2013 9:27 AM
Human reasoning is the core of human flexibility. And it is this flexibility, not hard-wiring, that is the truly distinctive advantage and characteristic of human beings.
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Justices, 9-0, Bar Patenting Human Genes

Justices, 9-0, Bar Patenting Human Genes | cognition | Scoop.it
The ruling will shape the course of research and testing, and it may alter the willingness of businesses to invest in understanding genetic material.
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Hallucinogens Could Ease Existential Terror: Scientific American

Hallucinogens Could Ease Existential Terror: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, is being explored as a therapeutic tool to improve the lives of people with a life-threatening illness
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Say "yes" to Psilocybin

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Where Does Identity Come From?: Scientific American

Where Does Identity Come From?: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
A fascinating new neuroscience experiment probes an ancient philosophical question—and hints that you might want to get out more
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Regardless of these specifics, this experiment is a potent reminder that our lives are a work in progress. If we’re indeed living out a kind of tape, then it seems to be one in which the tracks can be tweaked as they’re read, even if they’re rather deep. As your brain is shaped by the choices you make, there is room for chance and noise – room for you to be unique.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, June 12, 2013 9:57 AM

Who we are is hard to measure and research, but it is important to seek the questions, if not the answers.

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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.

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luiy's curator insight, May 31, 2013 5:53 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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Alastair Parvin: Architecture for the people by the people | Video on TED.com

Architect Alastair Parvin presents a simple but provocative idea: what if, instead of architects creating buildings for those who can afford to commission them, regular citizens could design and build their own houses?
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Languages, Litanies, and the Limit

Languages, Litanies, and the Limit | cognition | Scoop.it
In this article, I explore Stephenson's use of mathematical objects and philosophies in his novel Anathem (2008).
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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.


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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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Margalit Fox, "The Riddle of the Labyrinth" | Talks At Google

Margalit Fox, "The Riddle of the Labyrinth" | Talks At Google | cognition | Scoop.it
THE RIDDLE OF THE LABYRINTH, by New York Times writer Margalit Fox, tells one of the most intriguing stories in the history of language—the race to decipher ...
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At the center of this narrative is an American linguist, Alice Kober, whose major contribution to the decoding of the script is unknown to history because she died before she was able to make the final leap.

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Consciousness: Why we need to build sentient machines - life - 25 May 2013 - New Scientist

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Trying to create a machine that experiences pain or colours in the same way that we do might require a radical rethink. Pentti Haikonen, an electrical engineer and philosopher at the University of Illinois in Springfield, believes that we will never create a feeling machine using software. Software is a language, he says, and so requires extra information to be interpreted. If you don't speak English, the words "pain" or "red", for instance, are meaningless. But if you see the colour red, that has meaning no matter what your language.

Most computers and robots created so far run on software. Even if they connect to a physical device, like a microphone, the input has to be translated into strings of 1s and 0s before it can be processed. "Numbers do not feel like anything and do not appear as red," says Haikonen. "That is where everything is lost."

Not so for Haikonen's robot. His machine, called XCR for experimental cognitive robot, stores and manipulates incoming sensory information, not via software, but through physical objects – in this case wires, resistors and diodes. "Red is red, pain is pain without any interpretation," says Haikonen. "They are direct experiences to the brain."

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Rationally Speaking: Hanna Arendt: the movie, the philosopher

Rationally Speaking: Hanna Arendt: the movie, the philosopher | cognition | Scoop.it

I recently saw Hannah Arendt, a rare movie whose protagonist is a philosopher. And an exceedingly well done movie, it is. I was lucky enough to go to the US premier of it, held at Film Forum in New York, and which was attended by the director, Margarethe von Trotta, the leading actress, Barbara Sukowa, the screenwriter, Pamela Katz, and the main supporting actress, Janet McTeer. This sort of thing is a major reason I love living in New York.

The movie centers around a crucial period of Arendt’s career, when she covered the trial of former nazi officer Adolph Eichmann in Jerusalem, on behalf of the New Yorker magazine. The result was a series of five articles that were then collected in a highly influential book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Yes, you’ve heard the phrase before, and that’s where it comes from.

Arendt was already famous at the time, a leading faculty member at the New School in New York, and the author of The Origins of Totalitarianism, which is why the notoriously picky New Yorker immediately accepted her offer to cover the Eichmann trial. Little did they know about the fury and heated controversy that Arendt’s writing would soon generate, a controversy that alienated her from some of her closest friends and family members, though it also made her the talk of the town and the idol of her students.

As I said, the movie is well worth watching because of the superb screenwriting, directing and acting, and von Trotta stressed — during the q&a following the first screening — that it is based on a painstaking analysis of the available documents, including letters from Arendt to her friends and family. Indeed, Arendt doesn’t come across as an unquestionable hero in the film. She was a complex woman and superb intellectual, embodying plenty of contradictions (she was the lover of famous philosopher, and nazi sympathizer, Martin Heidegger), and who had suffered personally at the hands of the nazis (she fled Germany, was interned in a camp in France, escaped and moved to the US).


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NAPOLEON CHAGNON: BLOOD IS THEIR ARGUMENT | Edge.org

NAPOLEON CHAGNON: BLOOD IS THEIR ARGUMENT | Edge.org | cognition | Scoop.it
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In his unique role as salon-host and impresario for science, John Brockman has performed what will come to be seen as an enduring service, by bringing Napoleon Chagnon together with four of today's leading Third Culture intellectuals: Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, Richard Wrangham and David Haig. Separately and in teams, these penetrating minds, combining deep scholarship with a rare ability to communicate and entertain, converse with Napoleon Chagnon and shed and reflect light on the life-work of a great anthropologist and a brave man.

 

Video's of the varoius discussions on page.                                                        

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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 5:43 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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Mental Imagery May Hasten Recovery after Surgery: Scientific American

Mental Imagery May Hasten Recovery after Surgery: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Guided imagination exercises help the body repair itself after surgery
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Compared with the control group, participants who practiced imagery reported a larger reduction in stress, and their wounds showed signs of greater collagen deposition and faster healing. Although it is not possible to determine how much the effects result from the imagery versus simply being relaxed, Broadbent says both factors probably worked together and that the imagery most likely enhanced the stress-reducing effects of the relaxation.

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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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Safe in Our Archives – The New Inquiry

Safe in Our Archives – The New Inquiry | cognition | Scoop.it
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There will no sense of self that doesn’t take into account how the self has been or will be recorded, how that self will turn up as an artifact of online searches.

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The role of curators in storytelling as tribal influencers and bankers | Tribaling

The role of curators in storytelling as tribal influencers and bankers | Tribaling | cognition | Scoop.it
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Something really interesting happens in the curation process, because stories don’t have intrinsic value. An unshared story is basically like rubbish, lying around without any value. Stories gain their meaning and value by sharing, but it’s not as simple as that. The curator imparts her own value, status and trust, upon the story.

Curators represent a new type of tribal leadership that operates bottom-up and peer to peer. As a member of a tribe, curators will always be more native and relevant than any outsiders will ever be. Within a tribe they are not only appreciated for leveraging their insider skills, but for sustaining and developing their culture.

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