The Frontal Cortex

Archives for August, 2008

Lehrer Squared

I was on the Brian Lehrer show (no relation) this morning talking about insight, firefighters and the right hemisphere. Give it a listen. And I’m curious how readers engineer their own insights. Warm showers? Long walks? Richard Feynman preferred strip clubs, a cognitive strategy I have yet to test.

Proposition Two

One of the great themes of post-Darwinian science is the inter-relatedness of life. From the perspective of our neurons, there is little difference between a human and a rat, or even a sea slug. All animals use the same ionic cells and the same neurotransmitters. Pain receptors in different species share a similar design. Blood…

Sleepy

This ridiculously adorable video cheered me up today: Via Ezra Klein and Zooillogix

Morality and Distractions

Over at Mind Matters we recently featured an interesting article by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Adina Roskies (two philosophers at Dartmouth) reviewing a recent paper by Joshua Greene, et. al. The paper tested the dual-process model of morality, which argues that every moral decision is the result of a tug-of-war between the “rational” brain (centered in…

Coffee

The history of science is littered with surprising discoveries that forever changed our conception of the unvierse and ourselves. The earth is a sphere, even though it appears flat. Life has no designer, even though it looks designed. But this may be the most surprising discovery yet, a fact that seems to undermine one of…

Obesity and Food Culture

Razib has a super-interesting post on the prevalence of obesity among individuals of mixed race. His post was based on this paper: The sample included 215,000 adults who reported one or more ethnicities, height, weight, and other characteristics through a mailed survey. … The highest age-adjusted prevalence of overweight (BMI greater than or equal to…

Virginia Woolf and the Self

Robert Krulwich had a really lovely piece on Weekend Edition discussing Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, split-brain patients and the emergent self. Much of the piece was drawn from my chapter on Woolf in Proust Was A Neuroscientist. Here is how I summarize the paradox in the book, using the phenomenon of blindsight to make my…