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Tag: cognition

Book: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Book: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

In his new book, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, David J. Epstein investigates the significant advantages of generalized cognitive skills for success in a complex world. We’ve heard and read many praises for narrow expertise in both humans and AIs (Watson, Alpha Go, etc.). In both humans and AIs, however, narrow+deep expertise does not translate to adaptiveness when reality presents novel challenges, as it does constantly.  As you ingest this highly readable, non-technical book, please add your…

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The info processing (IP) metaphor of the brain is wrong

The info processing (IP) metaphor of the brain is wrong

Psychologist Robert Epstein, the former editor of Psychology Today, challenges anyone to show the brain processing information or data. The IP metaphor, he says, is so deeply embedded in thinking about thinking it prevents us from learning how the brain really works. Epstein also takes on popular luminaries including Ray Kurzweil and Henry Markram, seeing both exemplifying the extremes of wrongness we get into with the IP metaphor and the notion mental experience could persist outside the organic body. The…

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Can memes bypass rationality to manipulate you?

Can memes bypass rationality to manipulate you?

We’ve had a few discussions about what ‘memes’ are and how they work. We didn’t reach a consensus on whether they are true replicators in their own rights, as genes (or gene collectives) seem to be. Consider the following excerpt (author permission obtained) with the less rigorous working definition of a meme in mind: a unit of information with the capacity to shape perception and belief (or a  unit of ‘culture transmission’). Also, consider the conversations and readings we’ve had about…

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Informative neuroscience presentations at NYU Center for Mind, Brain & Consciousness

Informative neuroscience presentations at NYU Center for Mind, Brain & Consciousness

The NYU Center for Mind, Brain & Consciousness hosts presentations, including topical debates among leading neuroscience researchers. Many of the sessions are recorded for later viewing. The upcoming debate among Joseph LeDoux (Center for Neural Science, NYU), Yaïr Pinto (Psychology, University of Amsterdam), and Elizabeth Schechter (Philosophy, Washington University in St. Louis), will tackle the question, “Do Split-brain patients have two minds?” Previous topics addressed animal consciousness, hierarchical predictive coding and perception, AI ‘machinery,’ AI ethics, unconscious perception, research replication issues,…

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Can we understand other minds? Novels and stories say: no

Can we understand other minds? Novels and stories say: no

by Kanta Dihal This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons. Cassandra woke up to the rays of the sun streaming through the slats on her blinds, cascading over her naked chest. She stretched, her breasts lifting with her arms as she greeted the sun. She rolled out of bed and put on a shirt, her nipples prominently showing through the thin fabric. She breasted boobily to the stairs, and titted downwards. This particular…

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Book discussion event on embodied cognition

Book discussion event on embodied cognition

Our discussions all, to some extent, relate to cognition. An important area of inquiry concerns whether some form of physical embodiment is required for a brain to support cognition in general and the self-aware sort of cognition we humans possess. THE BOOK Philosophy In The Flesh: The Embodied Mind And Its Challenge To Western Thought, by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. Please note, while the title includes “Philosophy,” we are not a philosophy group and the book and discussion will…

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Elephant neural variation suggests a contemplative mind

Elephant neural variation suggests a contemplative mind

An article in The Conversation explores the variety of neuron structures in the elephant brain. Taken together, these morphological characteristics suggest that neurons in the elephant cortex may synthesize a wider variety of input than the cortical neurons in other mammals. In terms of cognition, my colleagues and I believe that the integrative cortical circuitry in the elephant supports the idea that they are essentially contemplative animals. Primate brains, by comparison, seem specialized for rapid decision-making and quick reactions to…

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The evolutionary and present significance of reading

The evolutionary and present significance of reading

In her new book, Reader Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World, author Maryanne Wolf explores how reading affects the brain and mind. What different effects result from consuming digital media rather than print media and long forms rather than tweets, posts, and other microcontent? In her excellent recent article, she says, Will new readers develop the more time-demanding cognitive processes nurtured by print-based mediums as they absorb and acquire new cognitive capacities emphasized by digital media? For example, will…

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Next discussion meeting Apr 2: Brain-Computer Interface, now and future

Next discussion meeting Apr 2: Brain-Computer Interface, now and future

During our next discussion meeting, we’ll explore the status, future potential, and human implications of neuroprostheses–particularly brain-computer interfaces. If you are local to Albuquerque, check our Meetup announcement to join or RSVP. The announcement text follows. Focal questions What are neuroprostheses? How are they used now and what may the future hold for technology-enhanced sensation, motor control, communications, cognition, and other human processes? Resources (please review before the meeting) Primary resources • New Brain-Computer Interface Technology (video, 18 m) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgFzmE2fGXA • Imagining…

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Query on interest in concept mapping

Query on interest in concept mapping

I like using concept maps to organize my thoughts and to plan articles and projects. I would like to share member-editable concept maps through this website. I’ve used the free Cmap Tools program for many years. Unfortunately, Cmap Tools is developed on the Java platform and I have been unable to get it to work on my Mac for about two years. (Apparently, it needs an older version of the Java Runtime Environment and several other tools I use need a…

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