All machine and no ghost? The philosophy of mind is concerned with fundamental questions about consciousness - about its existence and nature. The science of psychology is concerned with its empirical workings - how one mental thing leads to another, basically. The former is a branch of metaphysics, the latter of dynamics.
The Brain Is Made of Its Own Architects | Mind & Brain In the 1940s, the Nobel prize–winning neurobiologist Roger Sperry performed some of the most important brain surgeries in the history of science. His patients were newts. Sperry started by gently prying out newts’ eyes with a jeweler’s forceps. He rotated them 180 degrees and then pressed them back into their sockets. The newts had two days to recover before Sperry started the second half of the procedure.
Featured Courses The human brain is the most complex, sophisticated, and powerful information-processing device known. To study its complexities, the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology combines the experimental technologies of neurobiology, neuroscience, and psychology, with the theoretical power that comes from the fields of computational neuroscience and cognitive science. The Department was founded by Hans-Lukas Teuber in 1964 as a Department of Psychology, with the then-radical vision that the study of brain and mind are inseparable. Today, at a time of increasing specialization and fragmentation, our goal remains to understand cognition- its processes, and its mechanisms at the level of molecules, neurons, networks of neurons, and cognitive modules. We are unique among neuroscience and cognitive science departments in our breadth, and in the scope of our ambition.
This month, we feature videos of a Greater Good presentation by Rick Hanson, the best-selling author and trailblazing psychologist. In this excerpt from his talk, Dr. Hanson explains how we can take advantage of the brain’s natural “plasticity”—it’s ability to change shape over time. gobyg
Neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, are offering hope to the 10 percent of the population who suffer from tinnitus – a constant, often high-pitched ringing or buzzing in the ears that can be annoying and even maddening, and has no cure. iStock photo Their new findings, published online last week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest several new approaches to treatment, including retraining the brain, and new avenues for developing drugs to suppress the ringing. ”This work is the most clearheaded documentation to this point of what’s actually happening in the brain’s cortex in ways that account for the ongoing genesis of sound,” said Michael Merzenich, professor emeritus of otolaryngology at UC San Francisco and inventor of the cochlear implant, who was not involved with the research. Tinnitus discovery could lead to new ways to stop the ringing
October 16, 2009 — A study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reports a significant breakthrough in explaining gaps in scientists' understanding of human brain function. The study – which provides a picture of language processing in the brain with unprecedented clarity – will be published in the October 16 issue of the journal Science. "Two central mysteries of human brain function are addressed in this study: one, the way in which higher cognitive processes such as language are implemented in the brain and, two, the nature of what is perhaps the best-known region of the cerebral cortex, called Broca's area," said first author Ned T. Sahin, PhD, post-doctoral fellow in the UCSD Department of Radiology and Harvard University Department of Psychology. New Light On Nature Of Broca's Area: Rare Procedure Documents How Human Brain Computes Language