Out of Our Brains The Stone is a forum for contemporary philosophers and other thinkers on issues both timely and timeless. Where is my mind? The question — memorably posed by rock band the Pixies in their 1988 song — is one that, perhaps surprisingly, divides many of us working in the areas of philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Look at the science columns of your daily newspapers and you could be forgiven for thinking that there is no case to answer. We are all familiar with the colorful “brain blob” pictures that show just where activity (indirectly measured by blood oxygenation level) is concentrated as we attempt to solve different kinds of puzzles: blobs here for thinking of nouns, there for thinking of verbs, over there for solving ethical puzzles of a certain class, and so on, ad blobum. There is no limit, it seems, to the different tasks that elicit subtly, and sometimes not so subtly, different patterns of neural activation. But then again, maybe not. The idea sounds outlandish at first.
Neuroscience of free will Neuroscience of free will is the part of neurophilosophy that studies the interconnections between free will and neuroscience. As it has become possible to study the living brain, researchers have begun to watch decision making processes at work. Findings could carry implications for our sense of agency and for moral responsibility and the role of consciousness in general. Relevant findings include the pioneering study by Benjamin Libet and its subsequent redesigns; these studies were able to detect activity related to a decision to move, and the activity appears to begin briefly before people become conscious of it. Other studies try to predict activity before overt action occurs. Taken together, these various findings show that at least some actions - like moving a finger - are initiated unconsciously at first, and enter consciousness afterward. A monk meditates. Overview -Patrick Haggard discussing an in-depth experiment by Itzhak Fried Criticisms
The Extended Mind Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers [*] Department of Philosophy Washington University St. Louis, MO 63130 Department of Philosophy University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85721 firstname.lastname@example.org@arizona.edu *[[Authors are listed in order of degree of belief in the central thesis.]] [[Published in Analysis 58:10-23, 1998. 1 Introduction Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin? 2 Extended Cognition Consider three cases of human problem-solving: (1) A person sits in front of a computer screen which displays images of various two-dimensional geometric shapes and is asked to answer questions concerning the potential fit of such shapes into depicted "sockets". (2) A person sits in front of a similar computer screen, but this time can choose either to physically rotate the image on the screen, by pressing a rotate button, or to mentally rotate the image as before. (3) Sometime in the cyberpunk future, a person sits in front of a similar computer screen. 3 Active Externalism
120 Ways to Boost Your Brain Power Here are 120 things you can do starting today to help you think faster, improve memory, comprehend information better and unleash your brain’s full potential. Solve puzzles and brainteasers.Cultivate ambidexterity. Use your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth, comb your hair or use the mouse. Write with both hands simultaneously. Switch hands for knife and fork.Embrace ambiguity. Learn to enjoy things like paradoxes and optical illusions.Learn mind mapping.Block one or more senses. Readers’ Contributions Dance! Contribute your own tip! There are many, many ways to keep our brains sharp.
7 Skills To Become Super Smart People aren’t born smart. They become smart. And to become smart you need a well-defined set of skills. Memory If you can’t remember what you’re trying to learn, you’re not really learning. If you want to amaze your friends with remembering faces, names, and numbers, look to the grand-daddy of memory training, Harry Lorayne. Reading Good scholars need to be good readers. Evelyn Woodski Slow Reading Course Announcer … Dan Aykroyd Man … Garrett Morris Woman … Jane Curtin Surgeon … Bill Murray … Ray Charles Announcer V/O: [The following words rapidly appear on a blue screen as they are read by the fast-talking announcer:] This is the way you were taught to read, averaging hundreds or thousands of words per minute. Psychologists have found that many people who take speed reading courses increase their reading speed for a short time but then fall right back to the plodding pace where they started. But the bottom line in reading is always comprehension. Writing Speaking Numeracy Empathy
Religion May Cause Brain Atrophy -- Science of the Spirit Faith can open your mind but it can also cause your brain to shrink at a different rate, research suggests. Researchers at Duke University Medical Centre in the US claim to have discovered a correlation between religious practices and changes in the brains of older adults. The study, published in the open-access science journal, Public Library of Science ONE, asked 268 people aged 58 to 84 about their religious group, spiritual practices and life-changing religious experiences. Changes in the volume of their hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with learning and memory, were tracked using MRI scans, over two to eight years. Protestants who did not identify themselves as born-again were found to have less atrophy in the hippocampus region than did born-again Protestants, Catholics or those with no religious affiliation. Although the brain tends to shrink with age, atrophy in the hippocampus has been linked with depression and Alzheimer's disease.
Where is The Mind?: Science gets puzzled and almost admits a non-local mentalscape. This will be the last "home-produced" blog entry for a while [save the short "Everyday Spirituality" which will follow it as a sign-off] . West Virginia beckons tomorrow morning and off I will go to whatever that entails. As I said in one of the commentary responses the other day, I hope that reading two journal runs "cover-to-cover" will bring up a few thoughts worth sharing. The first of these articles [both from the New Scientist] was "Where in the World is the Mind?" That brings in the second serendipitous article. It reminded me then, also, of a moment when I was able to spend a [too short] time with David Bohm, the famous theoretical physicist. I am happy to be [in body] a holographic projection of force dimensions--not from the "edge" of the universe but its core reality.
Psst! The Human Brain Is Wired For Gossip hide captionLearning juicy details about someone can change the way you see them — literally, according to a new study. August Darwell/Getty Images Hearing gossip about people can change the way you see them — literally. Negative gossip actually alters the way our visual system responds to a particular face, according to a study published online by the journal Science. The findings suggest that the human brain is wired to respond to gossip, researchers say. And it adds to the evidence that gossip helped early humans get ahead. "Gossip is helping you to predict who is friend and who is foe," says Lisa Feldman Barrett, distinguished professor of psychology at Northeastern University and an author of the study. Barrett is part of a team that has been studying how gossip affects not just what we know about an unfamiliar person but how we feel about them. That may seem like a strange thing to ask. So the team brought in volunteers and had them look at faces paired with gossip. Science/AAAS
uld a mind-reading machine soon be a reality? Scientists 'decode' human brainwaves By Daily Mail Reporter Updated: 08:37 GMT, 18 May 2011 A 'mind-reading machine' that can display mental images is a step closer after scientists decoded brain signals related to vision, it was claimed today. Researchers from the University of Glasgow showed six volunteers images of people's faces displaying different emotions such as happiness, fear and surprise. In a series of trials, parts of the images were randomly covered so that, for example, only the eyes or mouth were visible. Nowhere to hide: A 'mind-reading machine' that displays mental images is a step closer after scientists said they have decoded brain signals related to vision Participants were then asked to identify the emotion being displayed while electrodes attached to the scalp measured the volunteers' brainwaves. The scientists were able to show that brainwaves varied greatly according to which part of the face was being looked at. 'What we have done is to find a way of decoding brainwaves to identify the messages within.'
Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health Authority: Market Research and Advisory Services 10 Websites With Fun Tests To Gauge Your IQ Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is a term that’s related to the wattage of your brain; in short intelligence and reasoning skills measured across a few standardized tests. Before an inferiority complex starts laying its foundation, remember that I.Q is not a measure of knowledge or its practical application. To rub our egos the right way, you might take a few serious approved tests and arrive at your IQ. Me? I don’t want to find out where I end up on the dunce scale, so I usually head to these fun tests to gauge my IQ. Even if I don’t ace them, I can have a bit of fun in the process. FunEducation Try out the array of tests on this site which include a range of serious self discovery tools and fun quizzes. 3SmartCubes If you are looking for a range of tests that measure everything from IQ to your EQ (Emotional Quotient), then this site deserves to be bookmarked. Free IQ Test Just like the name says, this site is a place for a fast, free, and accurate online IQ test. IQ League own system IQ Test