Site-Wide Activity

  • BMAI friends. The following ramble is my first cut at making sense of the grave role racial (and other) bias is playing in the world today. This was prompted by comments I see daily from my family and friends on […]

  • An MIT Technology Review article introduces the man responsible for the 30-year-old deep learning approach, explains what deep machine learning is, and questions whether deep learning may be the last significant […]

  • According to this article in Applied Cognitive Psychology. The summary follows. The entire article can be accessed at Sci-Hub.

    “Although supernatural beliefs often paint a peculiar picture about the physical […]

    • Glad to know about this paper. I will probably use it in my Evolution of Religiosity & Human Coalitional Psychology this coming spring semester. Knowing about physical world may be confounded with analytical thinking style, which increases religious disbelief. (Let me know if you want related papers.) It would be very cool if knowledge about how physical world works was independent predictor. Thanks, Edward.

  • Lakoff’s last article was published in this open access Ebook edited by Seana Coulson and Vicky T. Lai, published by Frontiers Media SA in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (March, 2016). The blurb:

    Metaphor has […]

  • By George Lakoff, Frontiers in Human Neureoscience, Hypothesis and Theory Article (link), 2014. Introduction: “An overview of the basics of metaphorical thought and language from the perspective of Neurocognition, […]

  • In this 4-minute clip Lakoff summarizes how philosophy is changed by cognitive science. Particular philosophies get attached to a root metaphor (or blend) that entails certain premises and conclude that it is […]

    • This video is the lecture Lakoff gave prior to that Q&A — Cascade Theory: Embodied Cognition and Language from a Neural Perspective.

    • I’ll have to dig into your previous posts (and Lackoff’s books) more before it is clear to me. At a very high level, I hear him saying each concept (government, democracy, etc.) has its own unique frame (which I assume is a context) and that concepts interact with each other in specific ways that can’t be fully understood without application of a particular analytic technique. Obviously, this is more than we can expect of the average blogger or Facebook commenter, but I do know Lackoff’s insights were applied by right-wing perception manipulators during the past several election cycles. Those who do understand these principles and how to apply them are able to shape perceptions and influence voting and other actions that have significant impact on our welfare.

  • I know, to free will or not to free will, that is the hackneyed question debated in philosophical circles since we learned how to talk. But here’s a cognitive neuroscientist’s research on “how neuronal code […]

    • Brent replied 1 month ago

      A very good video. A lot of information to assimilate. I like the model. It’s comforting that he is making the case that humans have the capability to respond differently to future events. I also like the notion of a middle path between determinism and free will.

  • BMAI members,

    I’m integrating a file-sharing capability into this site. For it and posts, I would like to implement a hierarchy of topical categories. A structured set of terms (taxonomy) will make it easier […]

    • In the evolution category you have ‘group selection,’ which sounds more biological than cultural. Given recent posts there is also top-down memetic or framing selection more appropriate as sub-categories to cultural selection.

    • Expanding on cultural evolution, there is also cultural cognition. Thompson calls it more properly 4E: embodied, embedded, enacted and extended.

    • Yes to neuroscience as a general category. Sub-categories: cognitive, consciousness, computational, developmental, evolutionary, neuroimaging, neurolinguistics, neuroplasticity.

    • Also under cognition sub-category linguistics. I read a lot about cognitive linguistics from Lakoff et al.

  • Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2017; 11: 126. Some excerpts:

    “In this article we suggest the idea that the processing of self-referential stimuli in cortical midline structures (CMS) may represent an […]

    • I would be very happy to discuss this paper and related “embodied” self / mind materials. I do think one can go too far with it. Slippery slope which can cause one to end up in woo-woo muck. To make the most of this important perspective on mind, must think hard about what natural selection would favor in a mind, remembering that natural selection designs and regulates all organismal traits and capacities to help the individual maximize lifetime gene propagation or “inclusive fitness.” — Paul

      PS: I will miss the next meeting (October) due to travel, but will begin attending regularly thereafter. Best wishes to all.

    • This article, as well as the Lakoff article, were published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, so hardly woo woo. As to judging everything according to natural selection and inclusive fitness, Dennett makes a good point in a previously posted video that humans are now intelligent designers, which supplements natural selection. I know, some don’t think much of Dennett, but other scientists are on board with this notion of top-down causation given human evolution. We could even make that a future topic, at which time I’ll provide sources from respected scientific journals.

    • I am not rejecting or trying to minimize the importance of this line of thinking. Just saying we must be very careful. Human minds are designed to become mired in the woo-woo muck, especially when it comes to any aspect of self-understanding. Care is always called for. Best — Paul

    • Agreed. And if I engage is such muck I expect to be challenged. Although I am making a conscious effort to clean up as much messy woo muck as possible. Pass the sanitary wipes please!

  • It occurred to me that memes are a lot like frames as Lakoff describes them. Lakoff has done extensive cognitive scientific work on schemas, metaphors and frames. Check out this lengthy article in Frontiers in […]

  • The Google talk on his new book, From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds. The blurb:

    “How did we come to have minds? For centuries, this question has intrigued psychologists, physicists, poets, […]

    • Dennett is not just a philosopher without scientific support. The Scientific American (274(2), 34–35) bio of him said he “is an American philosopher, writer, and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science.”

      He is also co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. Which is not to say whether I agree with him or not; just saying he has a scientific basis for his arguments.

      There has been hot and at times rancorous debates in the scientific community about the existence of cultural memes ever since Dawkins proposed them. And Dennett expands on them in his new book. But can we scientifically measure them? See what this article has to say: “Can we measure memes?” Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience, 25 May 2011.

    • I have read most of Dennett’s stuff and should read this as well. I’m a “critical fan” of his. So, I would be glad read this book in the context of this group. — paul

  • Several of us met on Labor Day with the goal of identifying topics for at least five future monthly meetings. (Thanks, Dave N, for hosting!) Being the overachievers we are, we pushed beyond the goal. Following are […]

    • “Could embodied cognition influence brain differences?” (Whoever (Brent?) suggested this, please clarify.) Wasn’t Brent that suggested this one.

  • An article in Wired cites two studies that show carb-free diets improved the memories and extended the lives of lab mice. While there are many DIY human experiments underway, scientific trials are needed to c […]

  • From this article, which first describes the progress in grounded cognition theories, then goes into how this should be applied to robotics and artificial intelligence. Some excepts:

    “Grounded theories assume […]

  • Here is Thompson’s talk on the topic. As a dancer and martial artist, as well as an embodied cognitioner, this talk is particularly relevant to me. I’ve been saying since forever that these arts are meditative […]

  • Should it surprise us that human biases find their way into human-designed AI algorithms trained using data sets of human artifacts?
    Machine-learning software trained on the datasets didn’t just mirror those b […]

    • What is surprising is the biased data associations are bolstered by the machine learning programs. I question the ethics of misrepresenting the data “to change reality to make our systems perform in an aspirational way”. In philosophy this would be considered a noble lie? 😉

  • I was reminded today of this seminal paper by Evan Thompson with the above title. The premise:

    “Human consciousness is not located in the head, but is immanent in the living body and the interpersonal social […]

  • See this New Scientist article. Excerpt:

    When the group looked at each individual brain scan, however, they found that very few people had all of the brain features they might be expected to have, based on […]

  • Ted Talk by neuroscientist Anil Seth. The brain processes the outer world via the senses, then organizes it and projects that organization back on to the world. Perception itself is an active, constructive […]

    • The Ted Talk is a summary of this talk below. It is an hour long and packed with info.

  • Below is a summary of recent topic suggestions  to consider for the next meeting.

    Paul – We should revisit, at some point, dfn’s of consciousness, components of consciousness, and what human style […]

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