Neurophilosophy

Archives for June, 2008

The idea that memory is reconstructive and not reproductive – which dates back at least to the 1930s, when Frederic Bartlett published his classic book Remembering – has profound implications for the criminal justice system, as it raises questions about the reliability of eyewitness testimonies. The BBC now reports that cognitive psychologist Martin Conway of…

How to power nap & why you should

The Boston Globe has an infographic containing tips on how to nap effectively. But why would you want to run the risk of being thought of as lazy by sleeping during the day? Recent research shows that power napping enhances memory consolidation and increases alertness and productivity.

No! Don’t do it!

I just logged in to my email to find this worrying comment on my post about trepanation: I have been very interested in this procedure for quite some time and I am curious to find someone that has had the procedure done. I am a Reiki Master I work with stones and crystals as a…

Solstice moon illusion tomorrow night

Photo: Edmund E. Kasaitis. Tomorrow night’s full moon will be very low in the sky, and will give a strong illusion of being far bigger than it actually is. Exactly why we experience this phenomenon is unclear; NASA provides several explanations, including this one: A similar illusion was discovered in 1913 by Mario Ponzo, who…

An overview of corticogenesis

The winners of the first Kavli Prize were announced a couple of weeks ago. One of the three recipients of the prize for neuroscience was Pasko Rakic, a professor of neurobiology and neurology at the Yale School of Medicine. Rakic has spent most of his career investigating the development of the cerebral cortex of man…

Designed and built by IBM, at a cost of some $130 million, Roadrunner is the world’s fastest supercomputer. It contains 12,960 IBM PowerXCell 8i central processing units, 6,480 AMD dual-core processors, and occupies nearly 6,000 square feet at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Roadrunner will primarily be used to simulate the behaviour…

Anatomy of a false memory

WE BELIEVE THAT memory provides us with a faithful record of past events. But in fact, it is well established that memory is reconstructive, and not reproductive, in nature. In retrieval, a memory is pieced together from fragments, but during the reconstruction errors creep in due to our own biases and expectations. Generally, these errors…

Artificial MIND

Click to enlarge From the August 1962 issue of Science and Mechanics: Artificial MIND–Next from Science COMPUTER experts keep reassuring us that Man and his mind will never be replaced by their electronic marvels. But a small, doughnut-shaped electronic neuron has been announced that artificially duplicates part of the human nervous system. And it carries…

A reader sent me a link to this report on today’s NPR Morning Edition, about the potential benefits of voluntary work for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. The program describes the work of Peter Whitehouse, who founded a school in Cleveland, Ohio 8 years ago, which regularly engages people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and…

Paraskavedekatriaphobia

Paraskavedekatriaphobia is an irrational fear of Friday 13th; it is a form of triskaidekaphobia (a fear of the number 13 in general).