The point is to show how advances in imaging and data visualization technologies enable inter-disciplinary research which just a decade ago would have been impossible to conduct. There is also a somewhat artistic quality to these images, which reinforces the notion of data visualization being both art and science.
According to Chris Chatham at Developing Intelligence, the brain-computer metaphor has lead to a lot of over-simplification in our thinking about our thinking. "An unfortunate legacy is the tendency to seek out modularity in the brain... the idea that computers require memory has lead some to seek for the 'memory area,' when in fact these distinctions are far more messy." We're now learning that regions cannot be associated with a singular function (i.e. the frontal cortex as "the place where personality occurs").
The brain is not a storage dump, and consciousness is not a place. Synapses are also far more complex than electrical circuits. Neither processing speed nor short term memory capacity are fixed, whereas RAM is.
The patient’s task was to control the activity of single neurons. There are several 100 billion neurons in the human brain. How can the patient begin to know which neuron needs to increase in activity to complete the task? The researchers left this part up to the patients, letting them explore strategies until amazingly, they succeeded.
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.
A type of cell plentiful in the brain, long considered mainly the stuff that holds the brain together and oft-overlooked by scientists more interested in flashier cells known as neurons, wields more power in the brain than has been realized, according to new research published March 29 in Science Signaling.
Why are humans moral? Patricia Churchland, author of "Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Morality," is here to explain how humans evolved to be moral beings. How did we go from the attachment and bonding between parent and child to the sophisticated moral landscape we have today? Churchland believes a big part of the answer is in the evolution of the mammalian brain.