Developing Intelligence

Archives for June, 2009

How many times did Pavlov ring the bell before his dogs’ meals until the dogs began to salivate? Surely, the number of experiences must make a difference, as anyone who’s trained a dog would attest. As described in a brilliant article by C.R. Gallistel (in Psych. Review; preprint here), this has been thought so self-evident…

Don’t think of a white bear. Doesn’t work so well, does it? Yet under some circumstances, people appear to be able to do precisely this: as described last week, young adults are thought (by some) to actually suppress the neural activity related to to-be-ignored stimuli, and even delay the peak of this neural activity, relative…

An interesting video interview with the author of (the excellent) Mind Wars. Here are direct links to the videos.

The cognitive neurosciences have had high frequency oscillations on the brain: so called “gamma-waves”, as recorded on the scalp, have been linked to working memory processes (via their interaction with slower “theta waves”), to cognitive insight, and even to consciousness. (I think there’s an unwritten rule that whenever someone mentions consciousness, they’ll be made to…

By many current theories, we accomplish control over behavior by using the prefrontal cortex to “bias” the competitive dynamics playing out in the rest of the brain. By some models, this bias is positive – it helps the goal-relevant representations win the competition. By other models, the bias is also negative – it can help…