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Category: brain

The Social Dilemma

The Social Dilemma

The title of a new documentary showing how the big social media companies use psychology for surveillance to manipulate users to unconsciously accept programming and buy products. It’s an important topic but fails in that the makers did not use any of the persuasive techniques the social media companies use to get their own points across. It’s just dry, boring fact after fact that lost my interest a third of the way through. At one point they did try a…

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Arendt on behaviorism, cognition, work, automation, and passivity

Arendt on behaviorism, cognition, work, automation, and passivity

“Arendt anticipated the destructive potential of behaviorism decades ago when she lamented the devolution of our conception of ‘thought’ to something that is accomplished by a ‘brain’ and is therefore transferable to ‘electronic instruments’: The last stage of the laboring society, the society of jobholders, demands of its members a sheer automatic functioning, as though individual life had actually been submerged in the over-all life process of the species and the only active decision still required of the individual were…

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Body representations, peripersonal space and the self: Humans, animals, robots.

Body representations, peripersonal space and the self: Humans, animals, robots.

Title of the new ebook from Frontiers in Science. The blurb: “The human self has many facets: there is the physical body and then there are different concepts or representations supported by processes in the brain such as the ecological, social, temporal, conceptual, and experiential self. The basis is constituted by the ecological or sensorimotor self that deals with the configuration of the body in space and its action possibilities. A number of concepts like body schema or body image…

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Pain and other feelings in human and animals

Pain and other feelings in human and animals

In this article the Damasios challenge Key that fish cannot feel pain because, counter to Key’s claim, pain is not the exclusive domain of the brain in humans or animals. The abstract: “Evidence from neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neuropsychology suggests that the experience of feelings in humans does not depend exclusively on structures of the cerebral cortex. It does not seem warranted to deny the possibility of feeling in animals on the grounds that their cerebral cortices are not comparable to…

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Developmental cognitive neuroscience

Developmental cognitive neuroscience

Official journal of Flux: The Flux Society for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Editor-in-Chief:Professor Beatriz Luna, Ph.D   The journal publishes theoretical and research papers on cognitive brain development, from infancy through childhood and adolescence and into adulthood. It covers neurocognitive development and neurocognitive processing in both typical and atypical development, including social and affective aspects. Appropriate methodologies for the journal include, but are not limited to, functional neuroimaging (fMRI and MEG), electrophysiology (EEG and ERP), NIRS and transcranial magnetic stimulation, as…

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Partisan Innumeracy

Partisan Innumeracy

In his memoir, China in Ten Words, writer Yu Hua recalled an event following the end of the cultural revolution. Literature had been banned for many years but the memory of its joys had lingered in much of the population. Hua’s formative years had been during the intellectually desiccated period. Emerging from a time when being seen with any book other than officially sanctioned volumes of or about Chairman Mao could have grave consequences, he and many others craved stories…

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Darwinian domain-generality

Darwinian domain-generality

Subtitle: The role of evolutionary psychology in the modularity debate. MA thesis (2017) by Michael Lundie, Georgia State University. The abstract: “Evolutionary Psychology (EP) tends to be associated with a Massively Modular (MM) cognitive architecture. I argue that EP favors a non-MM cognitive architecture. The main point of dispute is whether central cognition, such as abstract reasoning, exhibits domain-general properties. Partisans of EP argue that domain-specific modules govern central cognition, for it is unclear how the cognitive mind could have…

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The geometry of space

The geometry of space

Following up on this cogsci article, this new article in Nautilus supports the previous work about how spatial motor schemas extend into abstract conceptual mapping. Excerpts: “We, unlike our computers, represent information in geometrical space.[…] The brain represents concepts in the same way that it represents space and your location, by using the same neural circuitry for the brain’s ‘inner GPS.’ […] The hippocampus’ place and grid cells, in other words, map not only physical space but conceptual space. It…

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General and specific-domain contributions to creativity

General and specific-domain contributions to creativity

From this article in Europe’s Journal of Psychology (2016). “The general objective of this study was to reexamine two views of creativity, one positing that there is a general creative capacity or talent and the other that creativity is domain-specific.  […] Multiple regressions uncovered particular relationships consistent with the view that creativity has both general and domain-specific contributions. Limitations, such as the focus on one domain, and future directions are discussed.” Also see comments.

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