Monthly Archives: February 2014

Building the greatest artificial intelligence lab on Earth

The Guardian has an article on technologist Ray Kurzeil’s move to Google that also serves to review how the search company is building an artificial intelligence super lab. Google has gone on an unprecedented shopping spree and is in the throes of assembling what looks like the greatest artificial intelligence laboratory on Earth; a laboratory […]

The Society of Mutual Autopsy

The Society of Mutual Autopsy was an organisation formed in the late 1800s to advance neuroscience by examining dead members’ brains and to promote atheism by breaking sacred taboos. It included some of the great French intellectuals and radicals of the time and became remarkably fashionable – publishing the results in journals and showing plaster-casts […]

Snow-fuelled neurophilosophy

Pete Mandik is a professor of philosophy and was due to give a class on neurophilosophy before his class got snowed out. Instead of ditching the class he made a fantastic and funny video lecture for his students. The pipe-chewing Mandik gives a great introduction to this particular philosophical approach to integrating neuroscience and concepts […]

2004-02-14 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Cocaine use increases stroke risk in young people reports Science News. Risk of being a giant knob-end already well established. The New York Times has an interesting piece on how musical hallucinations are giving researchers clues about the workings of the brain. For the […]

Respect is a medicine

Aeon magazine has an excellent article on how social interactions among medical team members affect clinical outcomes, patient well-being and the number of medical errors that occur. It’s probably worth saying that the vast majority of doctors and warm and respectful people but it remains one of the last professions where teaching though humiliation is […]

A reality of dreams

The journal Sleep has an interesting study on how people with narcolepsy can experience sometimes striking confusions between what they’ve dreamed and what’s actually happened. Narcolepsy is a disorder of the immune system where it inappropriately attacks parts of the brain involved in sleep regulation. The result is that affected people are not able to […]

2004-02-07 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Science News has an extended piece on progress with the still-not-entirely-clear-what’s-going-on billion dollar BRAIN initiative. There might be a little synesthesia in each of us. Nautilus looks at how our senses combine and cross. The LA Times reports that boxing and ultimate fighting promoters […]

Heroin, addiction and free will

The death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman has sparked some strong and seemingly contradictory responses. What these reactions show is that many people find it hard to think of addiction as being anything except either a choice or a loss of free will. The fact that addiction could involve an active choice to take drugs but […]

Revenge is not sweet

An interesting paper in the snappily titled International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology examines what we know about the psychology of revenge. It has a fascinating section where it discusses how often people take vengeful actions and whether they actually bring any relief. It seems that taking revenge is rare, but when it […]

2014-01-31 Spike activity

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: Nautilus discusses how music hijacks our perception of time. What the Dunning-Kruger effect is and isn’t. Good in-depth discussion of this often misunderstood effect from [citation needed]. The Atlantic has a fascinating piece on mental illness in Ancient Greece and Rome. Should a robot […]

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