Thinking About Thinking

… on Skeptically Speaking:

This week, we’re diving back into neuroscience, to learn how common conceptions of the brain stand up to real research. Desiree Schell speaks to neurologist and author Robert Burton, about his book A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind: What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves. She’s joined by neuroradiologist Jeff Anderson, to get the scientific perspective on the differences between the brain’s right and left hemispheres. And she’ll speak to cognitive scientist Gary Marcus, about the promise and peril of the push back against pop neuroscience.

Comments

  1. #1 G.
    California USA
    September 23, 2013

    Fortunately the audio link works easily even for those of us who have our privacy & security settings turned up to 11.

    This is what we need more of: much more. And much less of the kind of shrill superiority & name-calling that one sees in many places.

    People will listen to these programs to learn something about the subject matter. If they learn enough about the subject matter, their BS-detectors will improve. Slow steady progress.

    Re. the specifics: Yes it’s also important when scientists talk about what isn’t known, and where the puzzles are, as much as talking about what is known and what puzzles have been solved. And it adds much when there’s “credit where credit is due” for other fields e.g. in this case, psychology, sociology, philosophy.

    We do need multiple sets of language to refer to phenomena at different levels: brain, mind, society, empirical facts, experiential facts, logical reasoning, value judgements, moral codes. That doesn’t mean that these are mutually exclusive, only that they’re useful in different ways and for different purposes, and syntheses between them are as well, just as long as one doesn’t over-extend conclusions.

    Skeptically Speaking just made it onto my list of “periodicals” for regular reading/listening. Hopefully they maintain the kind of tone throughout, that they have in the present piece.

  2. #2 James Ainoris
    brooklyn ny
    October 15, 2013

    I would hope more research would be done in neuro chemistry and how it effects behaviour and emotion Much can be learned from Positron emission tomography and fMRI using various radionuclide tracers…sadly many of the recent horrific massacres were committed by mentally I’ll people….society needs to find real cures for such maladies and put major private and govt funding into brain and behaviour research and stop sending rockets to mars already…lol