Spike activity 04-09-2015

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news:

Go get your gramophonic digital podcast player and listen to this amazing BBC Radio 4 programme on how the social discussion of dreams has changed through history.

The Atlantic on what Google’s trippy neural network-generated images tell us about the human mind.

Ignore the fact that this is yet another article on mental health that says this particular condition is much more common than you think, and you’ll find an interesting piece on depersonalisation in The Guardian.

Nature has a tribute and article collection in memory of Oliver Sacks.

Architecture’s brief love affair with psychology is overdue a revival. Good piece in The Conversation.

The New York Review of Books has Oliver Sacks’s last piece on Klüver-Bucy syndrome, the temporal lobes and unruly urges.

One of the great debates in neuroscience: are all neurodegenerative diseases caused by prions? Interesting post from Brainblogger.

4 thoughts on “Spike activity 04-09-2015”

  1. Hey Vaughan, your neural network and depersonalisation links are broken – leading to a different article than the ones you intended I think.

  2. I’m amazed that article on Google’s ANNs by The Atlantic failed to mention form constants, as those images absolutely look just like them: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Form_constant

    Admittedly, I’m not sure if there is empirical evidence of form constants. I’m not aware of any much empirical work on the topic, actually (I know o f a few papers which tie-in the concept of form constants with symmetry breaking, such as: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/356/1407/299.short). I suspect this much to do with the current climate against studying hallucinogens, especially for purely theoretical purposes (as opposed to the clinical trials currently ongoing).

    I’m also amazed that that article on Architecture doesn’t mention the J.J. Gibson’s concept of affordances, which was embraced by Architects and (especially) urban planners far more readily than by Gibson’s own colleagues in Psychology. In fact, Ecological Psychology has far more relevance for architecture than other areas of Psychology that aren’t concerned so much with the relation between perceivers and their environment, (i.e. those that are currently obsessed with the brain).

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