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  • October 14, 2014
  • 09:34 AM
  • 72 views

What do we share with other primates in terms of cognition?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Below a beautiful summary of the recent literature on the neurobiology of action imitation/understanding, language, and rhythmic processing/auditory timing (Mendoza & Merchant, in press). The neural circuitry that is thought to be involved in all three higher cognitive functions is shown here for three closely related primates: the macaque monkey, chimpanzee and human brain.... Read more »

Merchant, H., & Honing, H. (2013) Are non-human primates capable of rhythmic entrainment? Evidence for the gradual audiomotor evolution hypothesis. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7(274). info:/

  • October 5, 2014
  • 11:45 PM
  • 85 views

Models and metaphors we live by

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s Metaphors we live by is a classic, that has had a huge influence on parts of linguistics and cognitive science, and some influence — although less so, in my opinion — on philosophy. It is structured around the thought that “[m]etaphor is one of our most important tools for trying […]... Read more »

Narayanan, S. (1997) Embodiment in language understanding: Sensory-motor representations for metaphoric reasoning about event descriptions. PhD Thesis (University of California, Berkeley). info:/

  • September 27, 2014
  • 01:29 PM
  • 178 views

Are Black Holes just in Our Imagination?!

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Black holes, physicists have been fighting over them forever, heck there is even a book entitled the black hole war! (which I do recommend for anyone interested) It’s no real surprise since they are the ultimate unknown – the blackest and most dense objects in the universe that do not even let light escape. And as if they weren't bizarre enough to begin with, now add this to the mix: they don’t exist.... Read more »

Laura Mersini-Houghton, Harald P. Pfeiffer. (2014) Back-reaction of the Hawking radiation flux on a gravitationally collapsing star II: Fireworks instead of firewalls . Physics Letters B. info:/arXiv:1409.1837

  • September 15, 2014
  • 04:50 PM
  • 192 views

Religion And Morality: Belief Isn't Better

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

It's no secret that when it comes to what the public thinks, atheists are usually at the bottom of the "nice" list. A survey in 2006 found that atheists were the least trusted minority group in America. Similar studies find that atheists are mistrusted and are seen as more immoral than their religious counterparts. But are these views justified? A new study by Hofmann et al. (2014) suggests they aren't, and this conclusion is consistent with other available data.... Read more »

Gervais WM, Shariff AF, & Norenzayan A. (2011) Do you believe in atheists? Distrust is central to anti-atheist prejudice. Journal of personality and social psychology, 101(6), 1189-206. PMID: 22059841  

Hofmann W, Wisneski DC, Brandt MJ, & Skitka LJ. (2014) Morality in everyday life. Science (New York, N.Y.), 345(6202), 1340-3. PMID: 25214626  

  • September 11, 2014
  • 11:00 PM
  • 160 views

Transcendental idealism and Post’s variant of the Church-Turing thesis

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

One of the exciting things in reading philosophy, its history in particular, is experiencing the tension between different schools of thought. This excitement turns to beauty if a clear synthesis emerges to reconcile the conflicting ideas. In the middle to late 18th century, as the Age of Enlightenment was giving way to the Romantic era, […]... Read more »

Post, E.L. (1936) Finite combinatory processes -- formulation 1. Journal of Symbolic Logic, 1(3), 103-105. info:/

  • September 10, 2014
  • 09:40 AM
  • 184 views

Midi-chlorians gave Jedi knights their power. Is there something like this on Earth?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

A strange and provocative paper by Alexander Panchin and colleagues proposes an unorthodox new idea called the “biomeme hypothesis”, which posits that the impulse behind some religious rituals could be driven by mind-altering parasites.... Read more »

  • September 1, 2014
  • 11:15 PM
  • 169 views

Falsifiability and Gandy’s variant of the Church-Turing thesis

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

In 1936, two years after Karl Popper published the first German version of The Logic of Scientific Discovery and introduced falsifiability; Alonzo Church, Alan Turing, and Emil Post each published independent papers on the Entscheidungsproblem and introducing the lambda calculus, Turing machines, and Post-Turing machines as mathematical models of computation. The years after saw many […]... Read more »

Gandy, R. (1980) Church's thesis and principles for mechanisms. Studies in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics, 123-148. DOI: 10.1016/S0049-237X(08)71257-6  

  • August 31, 2014
  • 06:36 PM
  • 172 views

Whitman Was Not a Neuroscientist

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Do I contradict myself?Very well then I contradict myself,(I am large, I contain multitudes.)-Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself" (from Leaves of Grass)Science is the search for objective truth based on physical laws of the universe. Scientific theories try to explain the consistent and predictable behavior of natural systems. They are generally reductionist, meaning that complex systems are reduced to simpler and more fundamental elements. The principles of physics, for instance, are expressed in th........ Read more »

  • August 28, 2014
  • 07:56 AM
  • 253 views

Feminism Not Funny? Women In American Sitcoms

by Nura Rutten in United Academics

Compared to the beginning of the sitcom-area, in the 1950′s/1960′s, the roles of women and men sometimes seem to be reversed. However, in every sitcom, the woman who wants to be funny has only two options.... Read more »

  • August 23, 2014
  • 03:04 PM
  • 233 views

Pseudoscience And Ad Hominems: Is Religion a Mental Illness?

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

Many anti-theists claim that religion is a mental illness or a mental disorder, sometimes linking it to schizophrenia, and thus state it should be treated as such. Is it, though? Claiming that religion is a mental disorder does nothing for productive discussion in the fields of theology and philosophy, and is simply incorrect. In this post, I examine the arguments made by proponents of this hypothesis and rebut them, citing the DSM-V and relevant scientific literature.... Read more »

Siddle, R., Haddock, G., Tarrier, N., & Faragher, E. (2014) Religious delusions in patients admitted to hospital with schizophrenia. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 37(3), 130-138. DOI: 10.1007/s001270200005  

  • August 9, 2014
  • 12:46 PM
  • 222 views

Terminal Lucidity: Myth, Mystery or Miracle?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Can sick people gain mental clarity just before they die? University of Virginia researchers Michael Nahm and Bruce Greyson explore this issue in a gripping (if macabre) paper published in the journal Omega: The death of Anna Katharina Ehmer: a case study in terminal lucidity.The authors discuss the case of Anna Katharina Ehmer, a German […]The post Terminal Lucidity: Myth, Mystery or Miracle? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • July 12, 2014
  • 01:42 PM
  • 334 views

Media and the Mind: Emotional Contagion

by JBSheppard in Antisense Science

Facebook recently carried out an experiment to change the emotions of over 600,000 users through a known psychological process called "emotional contagion". ... Read more »

  • July 10, 2014
  • 01:59 PM
  • 282 views

Don’t Listen to the Voices: Understanding Consciousness

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

There is a voice in my head. Don't worry it's mine... I think [a story for another time I'm sure], but why is my voice inside my head? What causes me to hear myself while I type these very words, or even better you to hear them in your voice as you read them? Consciousness is a complex and very confusing thing. I think therefore I am? Science has had trouble cracking that nut and philosophy just won't cut it in the realm of neuroscience. [...]... Read more »

Paller, K., & Suzuki, S. (2014) The source of consciousness. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2014.05.012  

  • July 9, 2014
  • 03:28 AM
  • 266 views

Do chimps like to listen to African and Indian music?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

“While preferring silence to music from the West, chimpanzees apparently like to listen to the different rhythms of music from Africa and India, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.” ... Read more »

Mingle, M., Eppley, T., Campbell, M., Hall, K., Horner, V., & de Waal, F. (2014) Chimpanzees Prefer African and Indian Music Over Silence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition. DOI: 10.1037/xan0000032  

Merchant, H., & Honing, H. (2013) Are non-human primates capable of rhythmic entrainment? Evidence for the gradual audiomotor evolution hypothesis. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7(274). info:/

  • June 25, 2014
  • 12:00 PM
  • 213 views

ANIMAL TESTING: COSMETICS, BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH AND ETHICS

by Robb Hollis in Antisense Science

Animal testing is an incredibly controversial subject, with strong opinions on both sides. Whilst animal testing for cosmetics has now been banned in the EU, animals continue to be used in science, where they serve a vital role in biomedical research and drug development. Their importance is often overshadowed by the ethical issues surrounding the treatment of animals in research environments, and it’s important that people understand why and how they are used, as well as what measures ar........ Read more »

Hajar, R. (2011) Animal testing and medicine. Heart Views, 12(1), 42. DOI: 10.4103/1995-705X.81548  

  • June 17, 2014
  • 11:49 AM
  • 318 views

Quantum Conundrum, Puzzling People, and Survey Statistics

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Order matters, we all know this when it comes to math, but did you know the order of questions asked can affect how you answer them? It’s true and it isn’t new news, the question-order effect is why survey organizations normally change the order of questions between different respondents, hoping to cancel out this bias. But that isn’t the interesting part, not by a long shot.... Read more »

Zheng Wang, Tyler Solloway, Richard M. Shiffrin, & Jerome R. Busemeyerb. (2014) Context effects produced by question orders reveal quantum nature of human judgments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. info:/10.1073/pnas.1407756111

  • June 16, 2014
  • 09:48 PM
  • 335 views

There Was No Couch: On Mental Illness and Creativity

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

A study of the prevalence of mental illness published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 2005 estimated that roughly half of all Americans will have been diagnosed with a mental illness by time they reach the age of 75. This estimate was based on the DSM-IV criteria for mental illness, but the newer DSM-V manual will be released in 2013 and is likely to further expand the diagnosis of mental illness. The DSM-IV criteria had made allowance for bereavement to avoid diagnosing people who were........ Read more »

Kyaga, S., Landén, M., Boman, M., Hultman, C., Långström, N., & Lichtenstein, P. (2013) Mental illness, suicide and creativity: 40-Year prospective total population study. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 47(1), 83-90. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2012.09.010  

  • June 9, 2014
  • 05:15 PM
  • 293 views

Tracking Conscious Perception in Real-Time With fMRI?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

What if it were possible to measure your conscious experience, in real time, using a brain scanner? Neuroscientists Christoph Reichert and colleagues report that they have done just this, using fMRI – although in a limited fashion. Their research has just been published in Frontiers in Neuroscience: Online tracking of the contents of conscious perception […]The post Tracking Conscious Perception in Real-Time With fMRI? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Reichert C, Fendrich R, Bernarding J, Tempelmann C, Hinrichs H, & Rieger JW. (2014) Online tracking of the contents of conscious perception using real-time fMRI. Frontiers in neuroscience, 116. PMID: 24904260  

  • June 8, 2014
  • 01:22 AM
  • 324 views

What the pug is going on?

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Hi Julie,thanks for that awesome list of canine-related citizen science projects that anyone can sink their teeth into. I have a question for you: What do you see when a pug comes into your field of vision?I'm asking you because (at the risk of inciting wrath of many) - honestly? I'm really bamboozled by some pedigree breeds and their popularity with so many people. How I feelI'm not hating on pugs or pedigree dogs, and I don't mean any offence to people who hold their love o........ Read more »

  • May 30, 2014
  • 05:40 PM
  • 371 views

Should Doctors ‘Google’ Their Patients?

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Beware of what you share. Employers now routinely utilize internet search engines or social network searches to obtain information about job applicants. A survey of 2,184 hiring managers and human resource professionals conducted by the online employment website CareerBuilder.com revealed that 39% use social networking sites to research job candidates. Of the group who used social networks to evaluate job applicants, 43% found content on a social networking site that caused them to not hire a ca........ Read more »

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