But the information concerning what he was doing was not broadly available to his mind. That’s important, because he wasn’t able to control his behaviour in the light of all his beliefs. He responded automatically, without being able to ask himself whether he valued what he was doing.

A whole range of information which would normally have stopped him (screams, the sight of blood, his mother-in-law’s terrified face) couldn’t interact with the mechanisms causing his actions.

The Canadian court found Parks not guilty on the charge of murder (an acquittal later upheld by the Supreme Court). I think they were right to do so.

Neuroscience provides evidence that in the absence of consciousness, we can’t control our behaviour in the light of our values. And that’s a good reason to excuse us.

What does it mean when you unconsciously kill someone? 

Neuroethicist & co-guest @ the Neuroethics & Law Blog, Neil Levy writes about it.


The missing crowds make you lonely. You begin to complain about all the people you could be meeting. But no one listens or sympathizes with you, because this is precisely what you chose when you were alive. ― David Eagleman, Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

The missing crowds make you lonely. You begin to complain about all the people you could be meeting. But no one listens or sympathizes with you, because this is precisely what you chose when you were alive. 
― David EaglemanSum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

All the “love hormone" talk about oxytocin being an empathy builder or morality enhancer…deserves mention of the flip side:

So could oxytocin be a morality pill? Not so fast. Oxytocin’s catchy nicknames belie some of its more sinister effects on behaviour. 
For example, oxytocin increases envy and schadenfreude, makes people more likely to favour members of their own group over those in other groups, and can increase people’s dishonesty when lying benefits their team. Herein lies the second major obstacle for morality pills: most brain chemicals influence a diverse range of behaviours. 
Drugs that target these chemicals will therefore have a variety of effects, some good, some bad (and of course what counts as good or bad depends on whom you ask …).
[via, img/old news]

All the “love hormone" talk about oxytocin being an empathy builder or morality enhancer…deserves mention of the flip side:

So could oxytocin be a morality pill? Not so fast. Oxytocin’s catchy nicknames belie some of its more sinister effects on behaviour.

For example, oxytocin increases envy and schadenfreude, makes people more likely to favour members of their own group over those in other groups, and can increase people’s dishonesty when lying benefits their team. Herein lies the second major obstacle for morality pills: most brain chemicals influence a diverse range of behaviours.

Drugs that target these chemicals will therefore have a variety of effects, some good, some bad (and of course what counts as good or bad depends on whom you ask …).

[via, img/old news]

Dear 4th grade Star Wars metal lunch box:

I’m working on a project with Lucas Film artists and hearing cool stories of what went on at the Skywalker Ranch. Special s/o to you, mix matched, chunky thermos. You made me a lil awesome. xx

Lunch w/ the best lab ever…then chats at the table with BBC film producers, then a newspaper editor and a mayor’s wife visited. I need 5 more hours in the day. & no this view doesn’t get old. 

Lunch w/ the best lab ever…then chats at the table with BBC film producers, then a newspaper editor and a mayor’s wife visited. I need 5 more hours in the day. & no this view doesn’t get old. 

laughingsquid:

Kitten Tries To Catch the Bass Coming Out of a Subwoofer

I always figured cats for Chromesthesiacs.

psydoctor8:

How long I can put off starting a proposal, due tomorrow, that an Ex-Prime Minister of Canada is going to review? 

Non-surprising update: I put it off till the very last minute. I heard the other day how the review went. Me, desperate for approval voice: “So?? how’d it go?! Did he like it???!!!” Him, as if I asked about clouds: “Yes. He liked it.”
littleorphanammo's right. Why am I keeping these weird little nuggets a secret? This research died in the water anyway (shout-out to ex-lab who doesn't love clever experiments that involve a few sadists' brains, but would end up shedding light on neural networks in autism). SO I’LL SHARE.
Case history1. Plastic Dreams (his name, not mine) is a guy that found the internet late in his life, but just in time for a hotmail account and what he’s been after. His targeted audience has become bored, lonely and amateur-porn-numbed just enough to buy in.
He’s had at least 15-20 years to practice and perfect his plastic bagging technique. You could call him an expert, but he prefers artists. Don’t they all. He’s thoughtful enough to offer a variety of options: 1) unused, glossy black trash bags 2) clear, thin dry cleaning bags (which should not be mistaken for beginner use since those things can tie into a serious knot) and his favorite, 3) bodega store bags.
I speculate several reasons why the 3rd is his preference: ease of acquisition geographically, availability time-wise and economics. Fetishes are fucking expensive, but they don’t have to be. If you’re reading this, Plastic Dreams, you can use that. Price-wise, the mark up can be around 300% for plastic gear, and leather can be a whole other income bracket. But this 3rd option works out great because of the commonality of these bags and the spark it generates for Plastic Dreams. When do you not see one? In the stores, on the streets, dog-walkers, whatever, it’s that little moment, that glimpse of a secret that lives on his shelf that we don’t get to know about. That highly sexualized, tangible object hidden in plain sight, for him it’s everything. It’s literally a dream.
Anyway, in his posts, he includes a picture … is he what you’d expect? Damn right he is. He’s the real deal Holyfield of old school fet times, where if you’re into the aesthetics, you’re missing most of the point. It’s about the understanding, the anticipation, the self, passion, the psychological bond, living … not his whispy-thin ponytail or ‘listen-here-sweetheart-I’ve-seen-it-all’ goatee that’s had more Miller time this week than you’ve passed through your collective young and eager livers.
Plastic bagging provides him a much need balance, an exercise in control, suspense and power he’ll never have elsewhere in his life, while allowing him just enough risk he’s smart enough not to take for granted, and lastly, the added benefit of connecting with a stranger (they usually don’t come back) in what he considers, a meaningful way that gets him through the week.
Much like that one whale who’s song can’t be heard by any other whales for thousands & thousands of miles around, and is all alone … will anyone respond to his post? Tomorrow is Monday, for Plastic Dreams, that means another 11 hour day in a grease shop being ignored by mostly everyone, especially the ladies. True, he’s not attractive by any stretch of the popular imagination, or a gifted conservationist. Is he creepy? Hell yeah he is. But he has such unexpected depth and tenacity that the temporal shallow conditions that others base life mate decisions on, can’t derail him from perusing his fantasies. So, it’s plastic bags, so what. You keep truckin’ PD.  

littleorphanammo's right. Why am I keeping these weird little nuggets a secret? This research died in the water anyway (shout-out to ex-lab who doesn't love clever experiments that involve a few sadists' brains, but would end up shedding light on neural networks in autism). SO I’LL SHARE.

Case history1. Plastic Dreams (his name, not mine) is a guy that found the internet late in his life, but just in time for a hotmail account and what he’s been after. His targeted audience has become bored, lonely and amateur-porn-numbed just enough to buy in.

He’s had at least 15-20 years to practice and perfect his plastic bagging technique. You could call him an expert, but he prefers artists. Don’t they all. He’s thoughtful enough to offer a variety of options: 1) unused, glossy black trash bags 2) clear, thin dry cleaning bags (which should not be mistaken for beginner use since those things can tie into a serious knot) and his favorite, 3) bodega store bags.

I speculate several reasons why the 3rd is his preference: ease of acquisition geographically, availability time-wise and economics. Fetishes are fucking expensive, but they don’t have to be. If you’re reading this, Plastic Dreams, you can use that. Price-wise, the mark up can be around 300% for plastic gear, and leather can be a whole other income bracket. But this 3rd option works out great because of the commonality of these bags and the spark it generates for Plastic Dreams. When do you not see one? In the stores, on the streets, dog-walkers, whatever, it’s that little moment, that glimpse of a secret that lives on his shelf that we don’t get to know about. That highly sexualized, tangible object hidden in plain sight, for him it’s everything. It’s literally a dream.

Anyway, in his posts, he includes a picture … is he what you’d expect? Damn right he is. He’s the real deal Holyfield of old school fet times, where if you’re into the aesthetics, you’re missing most of the point. It’s about the understanding, the anticipation, the self, passion, the psychological bond, living … not his whispy-thin ponytail or ‘listen-here-sweetheart-I’ve-seen-it-all’ goatee that’s had more Miller time this week than you’ve passed through your collective young and eager livers.

Plastic bagging provides him a much need balance, an exercise in control, suspense and power he’ll never have elsewhere in his life, while allowing him just enough risk he’s smart enough not to take for granted, and lastly, the added benefit of connecting with a stranger (they usually don’t come back) in what he considers, a meaningful way that gets him through the week.

Much like that one whale who’s song can’t be heard by any other whales for thousands & thousands of miles around, and is all alone … will anyone respond to his post? Tomorrow is Monday, for Plastic Dreams, that means another 11 hour day in a grease shop being ignored by mostly everyone, especially the ladies. True, he’s not attractive by any stretch of the popular imagination, or a gifted conservationist. Is he creepy? Hell yeah he is. But he has such unexpected depth and tenacity that the temporal shallow conditions that others base life mate decisions on, can’t derail him from perusing his fantasies. So, it’s plastic bags, so what. You keep truckin’ PD.  

Favorite place.

Favorite place.

Psydoc sips whiskey and tells you about a song she heard recently, series.

Hey, this is the Yardbirds. A time when I could say Clapton, Page and Beck and it was a hip driving situation. This great turtle faced, bongo pappin, deal with it glass wearing song smacks all the right places. Brief, poignant and timeless. You can’t go wrong.

OK, it’s been more than 3 now. The A/C has been on full time, Houston is too uncomfortable for me already. Why does anyone live here by choice? While people here are no doubt friendly, their presence has a short shelf-life, and I’ve not been intrigued enough to pursue. After this week, a record number of 6 grants have been submitted over the course of a year - and unexpected one was just awarded. I’ve moved twice, dumped once, told you about 21 local crimes - water off a duck’s back. I met Yale’s fascinating Paul Bloom and heard him talk about how babies are selfish & evil. I met Harvard’s amazing Alvaro Pascual-Leon and heard him talk about cutting edge use of TMS and fMRI & how a black hole in the brain still means something. Later that day, I had a billion dollar handshake with the big kahuna at Roche’s neuroscience R&D who flew in from Switzerland to meet with my lab director for abut 40 min. My crime data collection days have closed and my move into neuroscience writing has started. On a good day, I’m only deeply disappointed with my own research progress. On a bad day, I’m still floored to be doing this. But today, all I need is a bar with wifi.

OK, it’s been more than 3 now. The A/C has been on full time, Houston is too uncomfortable for me already. Why does anyone live here by choice? While people here are no doubt friendly, their presence has a short shelf-life, and I’ve not been intrigued enough to pursue. After this week, a record number of 6 grants have been submitted over the course of a year - and unexpected one was just awarded. I’ve moved twice, dumped once, told you about 21 local crimes - water off a duck’s back. I met Yale’s fascinating Paul Bloom and heard him talk about how babies are selfish & evil. I met Harvard’s amazing Alvaro Pascual-Leon and heard him talk about cutting edge use of TMS and fMRI & how a black hole in the brain still means something. Later that day, I had a billion dollar handshake with the big kahuna at Roche’s neuroscience R&D who flew in from Switzerland to meet with my lab director for abut 40 min. My crime data collection days have closed and my move into neuroscience writing has started. On a good day, I’m only deeply disappointed with my own research progress. On a bad day, I’m still floored to be doing this. But today, all I need is a bar with wifi.


Crime is at its lowest level since the first crime survey was published in 1983. Like now, the first report noted fear of crime is often greater than actual crime [via]

So after collecting nearly 30 million crime records across the US, with data that blows the UCR, NCVS and NIBRS out of the water…our group will be making no friends with the findings we are about to publish. If you’re in some sort of tough on crime political office and not talking to me, you won’t be there for long.

Crime is at its lowest level since the first crime survey was published in 1983. Like now, the first report noted fear of crime is often greater than actual crime [via]

So after collecting nearly 30 million crime records across the US, with data that blows the UCR, NCVS and NIBRS out of the water…our group will be making no friends with the findings we are about to publish. If you’re in some sort of tough on crime political office and not talking to me, you won’t be there for long.