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Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain
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Brain's connective cells are much more than glue: Glia cells also regulate learning and memory

Brain's connective cells are much more than glue: Glia cells also regulate learning and memory | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
New research indicates that glia cells are "the brain's supervisors." By regulating the synapses, they control the transfer of information between neurons, affecting how the brain processes information.
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Brain study explores what makes colors and numbers collide

Brain study explores what makes colors and numbers collide | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
Someone with the condition known as grapheme-color synesthesia might experience the number 2 in turquoise or the letter S in magenta.

Now, researchers reporting their findings online in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on November 17 have shown that those individuals also show heightened activity in a brain region responsible for vision.

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The Neuroeconomics Revolution - Robert J. Shiller - Project Syndicate

The Neuroeconomics Revolution - Robert J. Shiller - Project Syndicate | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
Economics is at the start of a revolution that is traceable to an unexpected source: medical schools and their research facilities.

 

Efforts to link neuroscience to economics have occurred mostly in just the last few years, and the growth of neuroeconomics is still in its early stages. But its nascence follows a pattern: revolutions in science tend to come from completely unexpected places.

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Smart thinking can be learned - UPI.com

Smart thinking can be learned - UPI.com | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
Intelligence and smart thinking are not the same; smart thinking is not an innate quality but rather a skill to be cultivated, U.S. researchers say.
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Is Neuroscience the Death of Free Will?

Is Neuroscience the Death of Free Will? | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
Some scientists are convinced that advances in brain science have overturned the idea of free will. They're wrong.
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Mirrors Can Alleviate Arthritis - Science News

Mirrors Can Alleviate Arthritis - Science News | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — Tricking people with severe arthritis into thinking their sore hand is healthy dampens their pain, a new study suggests.

If confirmed, the preliminary results may offer a powerful and inexpensive way to fight persistent arthritis pain.

“The results are really exciting,” said pain expert Candy McCabe of the University of Bath in England, who wasn’t involved in the study. “The whole thing is visual trickery, but the science behind it is strong.”
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Virtual robot links body to numbers just like humans - tech - 11 November 2011 - New Scientist

Virtual robot links body to numbers just like humans - tech - 11 November 2011 - New Scientist | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
A virtual robot has acquired a cognitive wrinkle common in people – further evidence that computers need bodies if they're ever going to think like...

Via Sandeep Gautam
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Super memory, obsessive behavior: Do they share brain space?

Super memory, obsessive behavior: Do they share brain space? | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
Memory researchers at the University of California Irvine are developing a large collection of remarkable research subjects, who themselves maintain a remarkably large collection of memories.


On Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting, UC Irvine researcher Aurora Leport offered new insights into people with this remarkable talent, suggesting their brains are structured differently than they are in those of us who can't remember what we ate for lunch yesterday. Those structural differences may account not only for their curious quirk of memory, but for some other quirks as well.

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Consciousness: The Black Hole of Neuroscience | Think Tank | Big Think

Consciousness: The Black Hole of Neuroscience | Think Tank | Big Think | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it

The simplest description of a black hole is a region of space-time from which no light is reflected and nothing escapes. The simplest description of consciousness is a mind that absorbs many things and attends to a few of them. Neither of these concepts can be captured quantitatively. Together they suggest the appealing possibility that endlessness surrounds us and infinity is within.

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Does Science Need More Compelling Stories to Foster Public Trust? | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

Does Science Need More Compelling Stories to Foster Public Trust? | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it


In the scientific realm, anecdotal evidence—the individual patient, the single result—tends to be shunned in favor of large, dense data sets and impersonal statistical analyses. Although that foundation must remain the core of solid research, examples and narratives should be invoked to round out the explanation of what the hard science says, Zachary Meisel and Jason Karlawish, both of the Perelman School of Medicine at Penn, contended in an essay published online Tuesday in JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association. “Stories are an essential part of how individuals understand and use evidence,” they wrote. And they can have a powerful effect on public opinion and policy.
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Daniel Wolpert: The real reason for brains | Video on TED.com

TED Talks Neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert starts from a surprising premise: the brain evolved, not to think or feel, but to control movement.
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A Not-So-Short Circuit? | The Scientist

A Not-So-Short Circuit? | The Scientist | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
ifteen years after writing the influential book The Emotional Brain (1996), on the neurobiology of emotion, New York University neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux is rethinking his approach. “I’m not even using the word emotion anymore,” he says. LeDoux and some of his contemporaries have instead shifted to studying the neurophysiology behind behaviors that are central to an organism’s or species’ existence.
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A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network

A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
Embodied cognition, the idea that the mind is not only connected to the body but that the body influences the mind, is one of the more ...
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Meditation May Help Brain Tune Out Distractions

Meditation May Help Brain Tune Out Distractions | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
People who meditate may be able to use their brain in ways others can’t to tune out distractions and focus on the present task at hand.
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Why did synaesthesia survive evolution? | COSMOS magazine

Why did synaesthesia survive evolution? | COSMOS magazine | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it

SYDNEY: Synaesthesia - a neurological rarity in which two or more senses are connected - actually improves a number of traits such as memory and colour-processing, and could be a tool for understanding how the 'typical' brain works.

Synaesthesia is a condition that involves the production of a sense impression, such as the smell of daisies, by stimulation of another sense, such as seeing a river. It is present in 2 to 4% of the population and the majority of synaesthetes have experienced it since childhood.

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'Language gene' speeds learning : Nature News & Comment

'Language gene' speeds learning : Nature News & Comment | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
Nature - the world's best science and medicine on your desktop...

'Language gene' speeds learning
Mouse study suggests that mutation to FOXP2 gene may have helped humans learn the muscle movements for speech.

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The controversial science of free will

The controversial science of free will | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
New findings raise questions about our brain's role in decision-making.


These days, we seem to be living in a new golden age of choice. One moment we’re tweeting, the next we are changing our profile picture. We get a hankering for hummus and next thing we know, it’s off to Yelp the nearest falafel place. In every choice and action we make, online or off, we have the unique sense that we are in control. This is what it feels like to have free will.

But many neuroscientists have maintained a long-standing opinion that what we experience as free will is no more than mechanistic patterns of neurons firing in the brain. Although we feel like free agents contemplating and choosing, they would argue that these sensations are merely an emotional remnant that brain activity leaves in its wake. If these neuroscientists are right, then free will isn’t worth much discussion.

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My Take: Keep government out of mind-reading business – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs

My Take: Keep government out of mind-reading business – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
Editor's Note: Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D., is director of Emory University’s Center for Ethics. By Paul Root Wolpe, Special to CNN (CNN) -- “My thoughts, they roam freely. Who can ever guess them?” So goes an old German folk song.
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The Neuroscience of Rick Perry’s ‘Brain Freeze’ | Disinformation

The Neuroscience of Rick Perry’s ‘Brain Freeze’ | Disinformation | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
t happens more often as we age. But the brain scientists say it shouldn’t be seen as evidence of an intellectual deficit or some medical problem. Instead, they say, retrieval failures offer a glimpse into how the brain does and doesn’t work, not just in the skulls of presidential candidates but for everyone else, too.
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The Mystery of Consciousness by Sam Harris

The Mystery of Consciousness by Sam Harris | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it

"You are not aware of the electrochemical events occurring at each of the trillion synapses in your brain at this moment. But you are aware, however dimly, of sights, sounds, sensations, thoughts, and moods. At the level of your experience, you are not a body of cells, organelles, and atoms; you are consciousness and its ever-changing contents, passing through various stages of wakefulness and sleep, and from cradle to grave.

 

The term “consciousness” is notoriously difficult to define. Consequently, many a debate about its character has been waged without the participants’ finding even a common topic as common ground. By “consciousness,” I mean simply “sentience,” in the most unadorned sense. To use the philosopher Thomas Nagel’s construction: A creature is conscious if there is “something that it is like” to be this creature; an event is consciously perceived if there is “something that it is like” to perceive it. ⁠Whatever else consciousness may or may not be in physical terms, the difference between it and unconsciousness is first and foremost a matter of subjective experience. Either the lights are on, or they are not."


Via Amira
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What Your Facebook Picture Reveals About You | Psychology Today

What Your Facebook Picture Reveals About You | Psychology Today | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
What Your Facebook Picture Reveals About You By Gil Greengross, Ph.D. ...
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The role of Broca's area in speech perception: Ev... [Brain Lang. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI

Motor theories of speech perception have been re-vitalized as a consequence of the discovery of mirror neurons. Some authors have even promoted a strong version of the motor theory, arguing that the motor speech system is critical for perception. Part of the evidence that is cited in favor of this claim is the observation from the early 1980s that individuals with Broca's aphasia, and therefore inferred damage to Broca's area, can have deficits in speech sound discrimination. Here we re-examine this issue in 24 patients with radiologically confirmed lesions to Broca's area and various degrees of associated non-fluent speech production. Patients performed two same-different discrimination tasks involving pairs of CV syllables, one in which both CVs were presented auditorily, and the other in which one syllable was auditorily presented and the other visually presented as an orthographic form; word comprehension was also assessed using word-to-picture matching tasks in both auditory and visual forms. Discrimination performance on the all-auditory task was four standard deviations above chance, as measured using d', and was unrelated to the degree of non-fluency in the patients' speech production. Performance on the auditory-visual task, however, was worse than, and not correlated with, the all-auditory task. The auditory-visual task was related to the degree of speech non-fluency. Word comprehension was at ceiling for the auditory version (97% accuracy) and near ceiling for the orthographic version (90% accuracy). We conclude that the motor speech system is not necessary for speech perception as measured both by discrimination and comprehension paradigms, but may play a role in orthographic decoding or in auditory-visual matching of phonological forms.
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Boosting brain power with electrical stimulation

Boosting brain power with electrical stimulation | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
Mice whose brains received deep brain stimulation saw a two-fold increase in new cells in the hippocampus.
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The Birth of Optogenetics | The Scientist

The Birth of Optogenetics | The Scientist | Philosophy and Science of Mind and Brain | Scoop.it
The idea of the class is to get students thinking about how to create neurotechnology innovations—new inventions that can solve outstanding scientific questions or address unmet clinical needs. Designing neurotechnologies is difficult because of the complex properties of the brain: its inaccessibility, heterogeneity, fragility, anatomical richness, and high speed of operation.
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Why Daylight Saving Time Should Be Abolished | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

It’s that time of year in the U.S. when clocks “fall back” from Daylight Saving Time to standard time. What does that mean? Well, you get back the hour of sleep you lost last spring and you can look forward to a week or so of feeling discombobulated.

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