Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category

Preliminary results are in from a huge online experiment designed to test a flaw in the way the brain stores memories. [VIDEO]

Earlier this year, an online memory experiment was launched on the Guardian blog. They had an extraordinary response. In the three weeks the experiment was live, tens of thousands of people of all ages and from all around the world took part, making it one of the biggest memory experiments ever conducted. Although they only had a couple of weeks to process the responses, here’s a sneak preview of the numbers from a sample of 27,000 participants.

Global Experiment Probes the Deceptions of Human Memory « Neuroscience « WiSci | Life Sciences Blog.

What was the experiment really about?

Among the most surprising discoveries about memory has been the realisation that remembering a past event is not like picking a DVD off the shelf and playing it back. Remembering involves a process of reconstruction. We store assorted features of an event as representations that are distributed around the brain.

In simple terms, visual features are represented near the back of the brain in the areas specialised for visual processing; sounds in auditory processing regions close to the ears; and smells in the olfactory system that lies behind the nose.

To experience the rich, vivid “re-living” of a past event that is remembering, we fit these features together into a representation of what took place.

As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? Sherry Turkle studies how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication — and asks us to think deeply about the new kinds of connection we want to have.

Sherry Turkle studies how technology is shaping our modern relationships: with others, with ourselves, with it.

Via Scoop.itKnowmads, Infocology of the future

Philosophers of mind are in thrall of the idea that the mind is a computer, dismissing the role and even the existence of conscious experience. But one philosopher, David Chalmers, has been highly influential in pushing back.   With the publication of his 1996 book The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory, David Chalmers established himself as one of the most assiduous, honest, imaginative, and talented thinkers working in the vast and overpopulated field of the philosophy of mind. In that tome, Chalmers did not avoid the abstruse and the technical where they were unavoidable, and only intermittently lost touch with the mysteries that strike us all when we think about consciousness. And for the most part, despite the difficulties, he also managed to explain his inquiries with admirable clarity; in this respect, he came across like the philosopher John Searle, only less combative, less sure of himself, and less liable to brush aside or overlook the true problems of consciousness. (Searle, incidentally, launched a savage attack on Chalmers’s book.) If Chalmers’s scrupulousness and attention to contrary views made his arguments long — sometimes wearyingly so — this was an indirect tribute to his seriousness of purpose.

Keep on reading-> Via

Every morning we wake up and regain consciousness — that is a marvelous fact — but what exactly is it that we regain? Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio uses this simple question to give us a glimpse into how our brains create our sense of self.

Antonio Damasio’s research in neuroscience has shown that emotions play a central role in social cognition and decision-making.

In an ambitious talk (and accompanied by his engaging dry wit), neuroscientist Christof Koch – Professor of Biology and Engineering at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and the Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle – discussed The Neurobiology and Mathematics of Consciousness – a thorny problem at the forefront of cognitive neuroscience. The challenge is derived from the quixotic nature of consciousness as an instance of qualia: introspectively accessible, phenomenal aspects of our mental lives we experience as real, but which nonetheless elude definition and neurobiological localization.

h\t to Physorg: The future cometh: Science, technology and humanity at Singularity Summit 2011 (Part II)

Where does morality come from — physically, in the brain? In this talk neuroeconomist Paul Zak shows why he believes oxytocin (he calls it “the moral molecule”) is responsible for trust, empathy, and other feelings that help build a stable society.

Paul Zak
A pioneer in the field of neuroeconomics, Paul Zak is uncovering how the hormone oxytocin promotes trust, and proving that love is good for business.

In this new RSAnimate, renowned psychiatrist and writer Iain McGilchrist explains how our ‘divided brain’ has profoundly altered human behaviour, culture and society. Taken from a lecture given by Iain McGilchrist as part of the RSA’s free public events programme.

To view the full lecture, go to