Blogging on the Brain: 1/07

Highlights from recent brain blogging:

Top 5 Robots of 2006 - the top 5 that we know about, that is. #1 gives you a taste of the current state of robotics.

Along those lines, this video about a few precautions we should all take.

The Neurophilosopher covers augmented cognition by DARPA, and a recent film commissioned by the same agency "to tell the story of AugCog science and technology, with an eye to how it will mature and be used in the coming decades."

MindHacks provides a history of research bearing on the topic of free will, while MindBlog covers focuses on a essay in the New York Times. Also check out a short article at the Economist reviews how neuroscience may be "eroding the idea of free will."

Neurodudes covers the problem of time in computational neuroscience.

Large-scale oscillatory neural synchrony identified through MEG, along with computational models, via MindBlog.

Cognitive Daily reviews a interesting paper on visual cueing - give it a try yourself, and see if your data match up with theirs!

A recent fMRI study in Nature Neuroscience uses seriously faulty math, but is not retracted. Neurocritic covers the fallout.

As if there weren't already enough problems with survey-based research, BPS Research Digest reviews new evidence about the influence of left-ward bias on survey results.

Also via BPS Research Digest, the 2006 National Brain-Science Writing Prize winners, and an article on Freud's current standing in western culture.

SharpBrains anounces a new blog carnival: "Carnival of Brain Fitness"

Don't forget the brain fitness guide from SharpBrains, written by Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, Alvaro Fernandez, and Caroline Latham.

An interesting blog carnival called the "Circle of Skeptics" covers topics like Intelligent Design, astrology-as-science, and other bizarre ideas. Interesting despite not having much related to the brain (imagine that!).

The perennial question of possible gender differences in intelligence is reignited in an interview at La Griffe du Lion. Gene Expression analyzes the data in question a little more deeply.

Brain Ethics gives a brief review of a new book from Oxford University Press: The Handbook of Binding and Memory.

Neurofuture discovers art made by neural networks!

According to research reviewed at MindBlog, being happy "widens" your scope of attention.

Have a nice weekend!


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Thanks for the links - very informative.

If I might add something to your robots link: as far as I can tell, there is a real trend toward embodied cognitive robots, where embodiment is considered to be essential to 'intelligence'. These ideas are very well discussed in the book "Understanding Intelligence" by Pfeifer and Scheier (1999). A number of humanoid robots have been built roughly using these ideas, for example the famous Cog, and Owen Hollands Cronos ( In addition to this, it is not only humanoid robots which are studied/constructed in this manner.

Also, if I may, a paper which might be interesting (although it is just a short review paper), is "Historical and Current Machine Intelligence", Warwick and Nasuto, 2006 (full ref here -

Again, thanks for your highly informative blog - keep up the good work!

Thanks Paul! I have had Understanding Intelligence recommended to me before; I'll have to get my hands on a copy now.

I'll also definitely take a look at that paper you've suggested.

By Chris Chatham (not verified) on 08 Jan 2007 #permalink