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Neurotechnology | Council on Bioethics

Neurotechnology | Council on Bioethics | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
Technologies that intervene in the brain offer the potential to help those with conditions that affect the brain, such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, chronic pain and severe depression.
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"Working Group consisted of experts from a range of disciplines including neuroscience, law, ethics and cybernetics. The resulting report, Novel Neurotechnologies: intervening in the brain, explores the potential benefits and risks of contemporary technologies."

Full report, in PDF: http://bit.ly/11aLzgh

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Consciousness: here, there and everywhere?

Consciousness: here, there and everywhere? | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
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disclaimer: I do not agree with their view; nonetheless a good read

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A Neural Circuit Covarying with Social Hierarchy in Macaques

A Neural Circuit Covarying with Social Hierarchy in Macaques | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
A neural circuit that covaries with social hierarchy A neuroimaging study reveals that individual variation in brain circuits in structures below the cerebral cortex of macaques is associated with experience at different ends of the social hierarchy.
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Could Tsarnaev Argue, ‘My Immature, Pot-Impaired Brain Made Me Do It’?

Could Tsarnaev Argue, ‘My Immature, Pot-Impaired Brain Made Me Do It’? | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
A forensic psychiatrist examines the possibility that alleged Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could try to fend off the death penalty by pointing to neuroscience on the immaturity of teen brains and the effects of marijuana use, but concludes that what will matter most is his behavior, not his brain.
Nima Dehghani's insight:

All decisions made by all humans are made by their brains. Hitler's brain did cause what he did. So did Alexander the great's, so did Marco Polo's, so does the average baker's who goes to work everyday, so did the brain of those who went to the marathon and were killed or injured. So will do the brain of the jury and the judge that will decide on his verdict. Additionally, did all pot-heads blow-up random people? 


At first glance, it may seem that relying on "pot-induced brain malfunction" could be  a weak defense argument in this case. But a very interesting point, at least for the future of judicial system, comes up. Let's assume that there is a day in which we could recognize mis-wiring/malfunction of the cognitive system, yet still, the "justice" implemented by the society will aim to first eliminate further dangers toward the society by that criminal, and if possible, to give criminals a chance to recover and be part of the society again. Cases like this fall into a weird zone. If, let's say, there is someone whose ideology is in clash with a given society, and has carried out dangerous acts, the society's judicial system eliminates their physical presence in the society (currently the options are imprisonment or execution in certain states, some cases). But these choices are only valid because we yet do not have the tools to fix a malfunctioning brains (i.e. source of the ideology in clash with the norms of the society). However, at some point in future, there will be tools to erase memory, induce new ones, re-wire the malfunctioning brain and etc. Should we do it? Is it even moral to overwrite ones memory/beliefs to subdue them?  to what degree, a society is allowed to force-shape the mind of the criminal? that is a very deep philosophical issue worth thinking.

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Halting Problem Proves That A Lethal Robot Cannot Correctly Decide Whether To Kill A Human

Halting Problem Proves That A Lethal Robot Cannot  Correctly Decide Whether To Kill A Human | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
With weaponised robots now capable of acting autonomously, an urgent question is whether they should ever be allowed to.…
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How psychedelics alter functional networks? "Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks."

How psychedelics alter functional networks? "Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks." | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it

homological structure of the brain's functional patterns undergoes a dramatic change post-psilocybin, characterized by the appearance of many transient structures of low stability and of a small number of persistent ones that are not observed in the case of placebo.

Nima Dehghani's insight:

here is the coverage in media: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2014/10/29/brain-psychedelic-drugs/#.VFI9076e-BO

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Ingenious: David Deutsch - Uncertainty - Nautilus

Ingenious: David Deutsch - Uncertainty - Nautilus | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
To call David Deutsch a physicist is both completely accurate and woefully incomplete. Certainly, his work has sparked at least one…
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Is this life real or a simulation? – Matthew R Francis – Aeon

Is this life real or a simulation? – Matthew R Francis – Aeon | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
Philosophers and physicists say we might be living in a computer simulation, but how can we tell? And does it matter?
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A cochlear implant for a deaf musician – Josephine Dickinson – Aeon

A cochlear implant for a deaf musician – Josephine Dickinson – Aeon | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
And so I entered the cochlear implant world where every tap, squeak, clang, whisper and consonant exploded and sizzled inside my head
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Human language reveals a universal positivity bia

Nima Dehghani's insight:

Interesting...though it is not clear how exactly the "emotional boundaries" in a given language were defined..

 

the paper from arXiv:

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1406.3855v1.pdf

 

arXiv blog summary:

https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/data-mining-reveals-how-human-language-is-biased-towards-happiness-773df682c4a7

 

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Stability: how life began and why it can’t rest, a theoretical chemist's viewpoint

Stability: how life began and why it can’t rest, a theoretical chemist's viewpoint | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
Why does life resist disorder? Because ever since the first replicating molecules, another kind of stability has beckoned
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Physics Buzz: Podcast: Beating the Game of Go

Physics Buzz: Podcast: Beating the Game of Go | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it

Computers can beat chess masters, but they still haven't mastered the game of Go. Can they?

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Artificial intelligence: examining the interface between brain and machine.

Artificial intelligence: examining the interface between brain and machine. | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
Blurring the lines: the changing dynamics between man and machine
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Quantum Physics Woo - Sixty Symbols - YouTube

The Mail Online article: http://bit.ly/quantumwoo --- Obviously Dr Lanza did not write the article. Read Dr Lanza's own words on Biocentrism here: http://the...
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Nostalgia Just Became a Law of Nature

Nostalgia Just Became a Law of Nature | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
John Ruskin called it the pathetic fallacy: to see rainstorms as passionate, drizzles as sad, and melting streams as innocent. After…
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Beyond the Turing Test

Beyond the Turing Test | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it

As the movie The Imitation Game celebrates British mathematician Alan Turing's contributions to the Allied victory in World War II, the artificial intelligence (AI) community is rethinking another of his legacies: the Turing Test. At a 25 January workshop at the 29th Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence conference in Austin, researchers will discuss proposals for a new Turing Championship composed of three to five research challenges. In contrast with Turing's single litmus test, the proposed challenges acknowledge that intelligence has multiple dimensions—from language comprehension to social awareness—that are best tackled piece by piece. The new Turing Championship would motivate researchers to develop machines with a deeper understanding of the world, argue the workshop organizers. By early 2016, they hope to stage a set of trial competitions that will be revised and repeated regularly.

 
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Could we all be astrologers? how publication bias can delay scientific revolutions.

Could we all be astrologers? how publication bias can delay scientific revolutions. | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
Nima Dehghani's insight:

My dear friend, Arash Afraz, has written an interesting piece titled "We could all be astrologers how publication bias can delay scientific revolutions". I highly recommend reading it. http://bit.ly/1G67q8Q
Though I agree with him that the lack of visibility of the negative results, certainly, misleads us to hold on to certain ideas for longer than we should, (and perhaps even to extend them into arbitrary directions), but I do believe that there is a distinct contrast between how ancient scholars deduced facts and how post-enightenment era led (and leads) to flourishing theories that are fundamentally better. Arash ascribes much of the success of the new age theories to statistical proofs. That could be a misstep. It is not far fetched to assume that, statistically, one can prove that Baron Münchhausen pulled himself out of a swamp by pulling his own hair. But Münchhausen trilemma fails to stand fallibalism and the relative objectivity of truth in the light of uncertainty. At the end, Popper wins that argument.... What contrasts the new age of scientific explorations from that of the ancient scholars, roots in a different dimension. It is the search for the difficult to alter reasoning that is the root of advancement that happened during and after enlightenment. Untestable theories of the ancient scholars and the observation of statistical trend have one thing in common, "explanations that can easily be altered", as David Deutsch puts it elegantly. Thus they both are not adding any closer-to-truth explanatory information about the world. It is only when one provides the hard to vary assertions about the truth that his theory is worth being considered a step forward. Thus the triumph of the modern age science is not due to statistically significant observations, but rather it is the rendition of such observations into a robust construct that separates the elegant scientists from astrologers (of the modern day and the ancient times). I believe that biological sciences have been vastly centered around the statistical trends of observations rather than solid theories. That is where the contrast of biological sciences and physical sciences becomes vividly apparent. There are very few hard theories in biology, partly due to its inherent complexity and in part due to the difficulty of (not just good experimentation but also) theoretically-driven experimentation. Perhaps we are at the dawn of seeing a transition from scattered fragments of observation to the formation of real theories in biological sciences. In my own field, lately, there has been a parallel birth of momentous forward-thinking projects; the U.S. BRAIN Initiative, Europe’s Human Brain Project and Japan’s Brain/MINDS http://ow.ly/Epnnl . Though these projects will enhance the pace of discoveries and will push our knowledge forward, they do not provide the path for departure from beholding the statistical trends in observations as the truth to real hard theories. Perhaps the pioneers that will light the way in biological sciences (and in neuroscience) will be those who will have the deep insight in how to weave the products of such upcoming observations into cohesive hard-to-vary explanations. What happened in the 20th century in Physics, is a dream to come true for the 21st century in Biology.

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Why the Chess Computer Deep Blue Played Like a Human? "Randomness"

Why the Chess Computer Deep Blue Played Like a Human? "Randomness" | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
When IBM’s Deep Blue beat chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997 in a six-game chess match, Kasparov came to believe he was facing…
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Spectral Signatures of Reorganised Brain Networks in Disorders of Consciousness

Spectral Signatures of Reorganised Brain Networks in Disorders of Consciousness | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
PLOS Computational Biology is an open-access
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I Contain Multitudes | Quanta Magazine

I Contain Multitudes |  Quanta Magazine | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
Our bodies are a genetic patchwork, possessing variation from cell to cell. Is that a good thing?
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How do genes affect intelligence? The genetic architecture of pediatric cognitive abilities.

How genes affect intelligence is complicated. Multiple genes, many yet unknown, are thought to interact among themselves and with environmental factors to influence the diverse abilities involved in intelligence.

Nima Dehghani's insight:

if behind paywall, read this:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-08/chop-cet081114.php

http://machineslikeus.com/news/how-do-genes-affect-intelligence?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MachinesLikeUs+%28Machines+Like+Us+-+Top+Stories%29

 

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How do you explain consciousness?

How do you explain consciousness? | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
Our consciousness is a fundamental aspect of our existence, says philosopher David Chalmers: “There’s nothing we know about more directly…. but at the same time it’s the most mysterious phenomenon in the universe.” He shares some ways to think about the movie playing in our heads.
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Interesting exchange between Tononi and Aaronson. "Integrated Information Theory" , Shtetl-Optimized.

Nima Dehghani's insight:

Interesting exchange between Tononi and Aaronson.

First one was here:

Why I Am Not An Integrated Information Theorist (or, The Unconscious Expander)

http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=1799

 

followed by tononi's response:

Why Scott should stare at a blank wall and reconsider (or, the conscious grid): 

http://www.scottaaronson.com/tononi.docx

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Can robots have intelligence?

Can robots have intelligence? | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
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The long reach of reason

The long reach of reason | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
Here's a TED first: an animated Socratic dialog! In a time when irrationality seems to rule both politics and culture, has reasoned thinking finally lost its power?
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Human opinion dynamics: An inspiration to solve complex optimization problems : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group

Human opinion dynamics: An inspiration to solve complex optimization problems : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group | Neurovium: Neuroscience at the intersection of Philosophy, Computation, Biology & Physics | Scoop.it
Human interactions give rise to the formation of different kinds of opinions in a society. The study of formations and dynamics of opinions has been one of the most important areas in social physics. The opinion dynamics and associated social structure leads to decision making or so called opinion consensus. Opinion formation is a process of collective intelligence evolving from the integrative tendencies of social influence with the disintegrative effects of individualisation, and therefore could be exploited for developing search strategies. Here, we demonstrate that human opinion dynamics can be utilised to solve complex mathematical optimization problems. The results have been compared with a standard algorithm inspired from bird flocking behaviour and the comparison proves the efficacy of the proposed approach in general. Our investigation may open new avenues towards understanding the collective decision making.
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