Posts tagged neuroscience

Jacques from Lazarus 3D pops in the lab sometimes with cool 3D printed brains, skulls and spines…and anything else you need whipped up. 

Jacques from Lazarus 3D pops in the lab sometimes with cool 3D printed brains, skulls and spines…and anything else you need whipped up. 

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.

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]

Famed amnesia case,  K.C. died last week. Having lost both hippocampuses after a motorcycle accident, he was somehow able to hold on to some memories, though “devoid of all context and emotion”… and his identity.  

That’s actually a common theme in the neuroscience of accidents. It’s easy to see the victims of brain damage as reduced or diminished, and they are in some ways. But much of what they feel from moment to moment is exactly what you or I feel, and there’s almost nothing short of death that can make you forget who you are. Amid all the fascinating injuries in neuroscience history, you’ll come across a lot of tales of woe and heartbreak. But there’s an amazing amount of resiliency in the brain, too. [via]

Famed amnesia case,  K.C. died last week. Having lost both hippocampuses after a motorcycle accident, he was somehow able to hold on to some memories, though “devoid of all context and emotion”… and his identity.  

That’s actually a common theme in the neuroscience of accidents. It’s easy to see the victims of brain damage as reduced or diminished, and they are in some ways. But much of what they feel from moment to moment is exactly what you or I feel, and there’s almost nothing short of death that can make you forget who you are. Amid all the fascinating injuries in neuroscience history, you’ll come across a lot of tales of woe and heartbreak. But there’s an amazing amount of resiliency in the brain, too. [via]

Just picked out a crime (harassment), years on the X, rate on the Y, color of dismissals in green, looked up what caused the spike in the mid 90s (new harassment law) and they ya go. Crime reporting soared - but what’s that mean in terms of convictions?
We have 9.8 million crime records from NYC, and 3.1 from Houston…pick some crimes, set your parameters, see what you can find and let me know. You can do it here. 
We are processing 5.3 million data points from Miami, and the entire states of New Mexico and Alabama are up next.

Just picked out a crime (harassment), years on the X, rate on the Y, color of dismissals in green, looked up what caused the spike in the mid 90s (new harassment law) and they ya go. Crime reporting soared - but what’s that mean in terms of convictions?

We have 9.8 million crime records from NYC, and 3.1 from Houston…pick some crimes, set your parameters, see what you can find and let me know. You can do it here. 

We are processing 5.3 million data points from Miami, and the entire states of New Mexico and Alabama are up next.

Mind Machine

An engineer wears a helmet of sensors at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging—part of a brain scanner requiring almost as much power as a nuclear submarine. Antennas pick up signals produced when the scanner’s magnetic field excites water molecules in the brain. Photo - Robert Clark (via NatGeo)

Great, it does amazing things. But is this best we can do, design wise? Why does every cap need to look like a Doc Brown creation? You guys have been so busy with minimalistic living & your cool pants, this is what we are left with. 

Mind Machine

An engineer wears a helmet of sensors at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging—part of a brain scanner requiring almost as much power as a nuclear submarine. Antennas pick up signals produced when the scanner’s magnetic field excites water molecules in the brain. Photo - Robert Clark (via NatGeo)

Great, it does amazing things. But is this best we can do, design wise? Why does every cap need to look like a Doc Brown creation? You guys have been so busy with minimalistic living & your cool pants, this is what we are left with. 

Message received, and now publicly promising to work on my side project.

Combat is combat. Killing is killing. This isn’t a video game.
The landscape of western Montana, (…) bears a striking resemblance to the Hindu Kush of eastern Afghanistan—a place he’s seen only pixelated on a monitor. It was a cognitive dissonance he had often felt flying missions, as he tried to remind himself that the world was just as real when seen in a grainy image as with the naked eye, that despite being filtered through distance and technology, cause and effect still applied. 
We look through them at the world, and ultimately stare back at ourselves.  

 Confessions of a Drone Warrior

Message received, and now publicly promising to work on my side project.

Combat is combat. Killing is killing. This isn’t a video game.

The landscape of western Montana, (…) bears a striking resemblance to the Hindu Kush of eastern Afghanistan—a place he’s seen only pixelated on a monitor. It was a cognitive dissonance he had often felt flying missions, as he tried to remind himself that the world was just as real when seen in a grainy image as with the naked eye, that despite being filtered through distance and technology, cause and effect still applied. 

We look through them at the world, and ultimately stare back at ourselves.  

 Confessions of a Drone Warrior

If there’s a better place to work…….. there’s not.

If there’s a better place to work…….. there’s not.

Yes, this is my data and we should talk.
Frankly, I’m not sure if you guys understand what’s going on here. I’m starting to think I might actually get to do this “dream come true” business. My hopes are officially high. We’re at the half-way pointof reaching my fellowship fundraiser goal and I have one week left to keep trying.
To this end, the following (incomplete list) of incredible humans, are turning me into an I CAN DO THIS MAYBE! monster:
monkeyfrog
approachingsignificance

gradmom 

karsonk

awordoraline

thoughtcontainment

portorock

aatombomb

dextercolt

psycholar

thecallus

theycallmewettdoggy

prerana123

Thank you,
Mgmt.

Yes, this is my data and we should talk.

Frankly, I’m not sure if you guys understand what’s going on here. I’m starting to think I might actually get to do this “dream come true” business. My hopes are officially high. We’re at the half-way pointof reaching my fellowship fundraiser goal and I have one week left to keep trying.

To this end, the following (incomplete list) of incredible humans, are turning me into an I CAN DO THIS MAYBE! monster:

monkeyfrog

Thank you,
Mgmt.
The number of neurolaw cases rose from 100 to 250 a year over the eight-year survey. In 2005, neuroscience appeared in 30 felony cases that did not involve homicide. That number rose to more than 100 in 2012.
"Legal expert to Obama tells Society for Neuroscience meeting those on trial mounting ever more sophisticated defenses" via
Drawing of Purkinje cells (A) and granule cells (B) from pigeon cerebellum by Santiago Ramón y Cajal,1899.

“Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculptor of his own brain” - Santiago Ramón y Cajal

 

Drawing of Purkinje cells (A) and granule cells (B) from pigeon cerebellum by Santiago Ramón y Cajal,1899.

“Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculptor of his own brain” - Santiago Ramón y Cajal

 

Philosophy may someday dissolve into psychology and psychology into neurology, but since the lesson of neuro is that thoughts change brains as much as brains thoughts, the reduction may not reduce much that matters. As Montaigne wrote, we are always double in ourselves. Or, as they say on the Enterprise, it takes all kinds to run a starship.
MINDLESS - The new neuro-skeptics. I wish more philosophers would come out of the woodwork. As you know, I haven’t agreed with anyone since 1989, and I don’t agree with parts of this article…but that’s me and there you are. Good read.
Face-to-face diplomacy has long been the lynchpin of international politics, yet it has largely been dismissed as irrelevant in theories of cooperation and conflict—as “cheap talk” because leaders have incentives to dissemble. However, diplomats and leaders have argued for years that there is often no substitute for personally meeting a counterpart to hash out an agreement. This article argues that face-to-face diplomacy provides a signaling mechanism thatincreases the likelihood of cooperation. Face-to-face meetings allow individuals to transmit information and empathize with each other, thereby reducing uncertainty, even when they have strong incentives to distrust the other. The human brain has discrete architecture and processes devoted to parsing others’ intentions via cues in face-to-face interaction. These processes enable actors to directly access the intentions of others with a higher degree of certainty than economic and gametheoretic models of bargaining predict.
The Atlantic asks: Do We Judge Music More on Sight Than on Sound? after a recent study that suggested that:

 “… people actually depend primarily on visual information when making judgments about music performance.”

So I guess the formula now is, find a study (I don’t even think that was the 1st step here, but work with me) read the abstract and then see how the trusty neuro bloggers break it down (real 1st step), then have the author clear up details. Science writing!
Ok, but I feel like I have linguistic problems with the experiment vs the interpretation. The experiment was limited to “relative influence of vision versus audition" in regards to the question: who do you think won the piano competition? So, who do I think a professional judge said won, or who do I think should have won? I think those are two distinct questions that would require a different sort of decision making schema. The subjects were shown a video with no sound, heard music with no video or video clips with sound, then asked the question. I say there’s a difference in the question being asked and the pop interpretation.
But hey, check these guys out. A couple of my fancy friends from an orchestra college in a place called the south. They kinda win all the awards for this promo shot and they haven’t blown a toot, so what do I know. ba da bump.

The Atlantic asks: Do We Judge Music More on Sight Than on Sound? after a recent study that suggested that:

 “… people actually depend primarily on visual information when making judgments about music performance.”

So I guess the formula now is, find a study (I don’t even think that was the 1st step here, but work with me) read the abstract and then see how the trusty neuro bloggers break it down (real 1st step), then have the author clear up details. Science writing!

Ok, but I feel like I have linguistic problems with the experiment vs the interpretation. The experiment was limited to “relative influence of vision versus audition" in regards to the question: who do you think won the piano competition? So, who do I think a professional judge said won, or who do I think should have won? I think those are two distinct questions that would require a different sort of decision making schema. The subjects were shown a video with no sound, heard music with no video or video clips with sound, then asked the question. I say there’s a difference in the question being asked and the pop interpretation.

But hey, check these guys out. A couple of my fancy friends from an orchestra college in a place called the south. They kinda win all the awards for this promo shot and they haven’t blown a toot, so what do I know. ba da bump.

Sympathy for the Devils: Should Sex Offenders Have More Rights or None at All?
Aside from the disdain for this type of question when so many factors are involved precluding it from being an all or nothing situation, it’s worth the read if you’re interested in how at least one state who is the most compliant in sex offender registry and notification act also has the one of the highest recidivism rates…or would like to consider how the registry punishes sex offenders the same as sex predators. Or if you want to know the kinda stuff related to what I’m researching…. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Sympathy for the Devils: Should Sex Offenders Have More Rights or None at All?

Aside from the disdain for this type of question when so many factors are involved precluding it from being an all or nothing situation, it’s worth the read if you’re interested in how at least one state who is the most compliant in sex offender registry and notification act also has the one of the highest recidivism rates…or would like to consider how the registry punishes sex offenders the same as sex predators. Or if you want to know the kinda stuff related to what I’m researching…. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯