Archive for May, 2013

Beyond Laterality: A Critical Assessment of Research on the Neural Basis of MetaphorGwenda L. Schmidt, Alexander Kranjec, Eileen R. Cardillo, and Anjan ChatterjeeAuthor information ► Copyright and License information ►The publishers final edited version of this article is available at J Int Neuropsychol SocSee other articles in PMC that cite the published article.Go to:AbstractMetaphors are a fundamental aspect of human cognition. The major neuropsychological hypothesis that metaphoric processing relies primarily on the right hemisphere is not confirmed consistently. We propose ways to advance our understanding of the neuropsychology of metaphor that go beyond simple laterality. Neuropsychological studies need to more carefully control confounding lexical and sentential factors, and consider the role of different parts of speech as they are extended metaphorically. They need to incorporate recent theoretical frameworks such as the career of metaphor theory, and address factors such as novelty. We also advocate the use of new methods such as voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping, which permits precise and formal tests of hypotheses correlating behavior with lesions sites. Finally, we outline a plausible model for the neural basis of metaphor.

via Beyond Laterality: A Critical Assessment of Research on the Neural Basis of Metaphor.

THIS IS WATER – By David Foster Wallace

via THIS IS WATER – By David Foster Wallace on Vimeo.


Welcoming His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, and some of the world’s most respected thought leaders to discuss how neuroscience, environments, economics, and healthcare can combine to make the world a healthier, happier place

MAY 15, 2013

Visit on May 15 to watch the event live!

Morning session: Conversations on Global Health and Well-being: 9:30 a.m. US-CST

Afternoon session: Conversations on Science, Happiness and Well-being: 2:00 p.m. US-CST

#Imagineaworldwhere…Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

via Change Your Mind Change The World 2013 Event with the Dalai Lama.

The Dynamically Extended Mind – A Minimal Modeling Case Study

This from Froese, Gershenson, and Rosenblueth.

The extended mind hypothesis has stimulated much interest in cognitive science. However, its core claim, i.e. that the process of cognition can extend beyond the brain via the body and into the environment, has been heavily criticized. A prominent critique of this claim holds that when some part of the world is coupled to a cognitive system this does not necessarily entail that the part is also constitutive of that cognitive system. This critique is known as the “coupling-constitution fallacy”. In this paper we respond to this reductionist challenge by using an evolutionary robotics approach to create a minimal model of two acoustically coupled agents. We demonstrate how the interaction process as a whole has properties that cannot be reduced to the contributions of the isolated agents. We also show that the neural dynamics of the coupled agents has formal properties that are inherently impossible for those neural networks in isolation. By keeping the complexity of the model to an absolute minimum, we are able to illustrate how the coupling-constitution fallacy is in fact based on an inadequate understanding of the constitutive role of nonlinear interactions in dynamical systems theory.

via The Dynamically Extended Mind – A Minimal Modeling Case Study | manwithoutqualities.

Tim O’Reilly

If we’re going to get science policy right, it’s really important for us to study the economic benefit of open access and not accept the arguments of incumbents. Existing media companies claim that they need ever stronger and longer copyright protection and new, draconian laws to protect them, and meanwhile, new free ecosystems, like the Web, have actually led to enormous wealth creation and enormous new opportunities for social value. And yes, they did in fact lead in some cases to the destruction of incumbents, but that’s the kind of creative destruction that we should celebrate in the economy. We have to accept that, particularly in the area of science, there’s an incredible opportunity for open access to enable new business models.


The basic assignment, also called the 3-2-1, has three requirements:

Requirement 1: Students read what is assigned, then choose and describe the three most important aspects (concepts, issues, factual information, etc.) of the reading, justifying their choices.

Requirement 2: Students identify two aspects of the reading they don’t understand, and briefly discuss why these confusing aspects interfered with their general understanding of the reading. Although students may identify more than two confusing elements, they must put them in priority order and limit themselves to the two most important ones. Students seldom understand everything in a reading and, knowing that they must complete this part of the assignment, will reflect on their level of understanding of all the reading’s content.

Requirement 3: Students pose a question to the text’s author, the answer to which should go beyond the reading content and does not reflect the areas of confusion in requirement 2. The question reflects students’ curiosity about the topic and reveals what they think are the implications or applications of the reading content. This last requirement lets you know how well students understood the article’s intention.

The completed assignment is submitted on an electronic template before the class when the reading will be discussed. I grade and return the assignment electronically before the class, as well, although this is not critical if you find yourself short on time to complete the grading. With larger numbers of students, I review the assignments before class to identify the areas of difficulty and misunderstanding, and grade later. The grading process is minimal; three marks for part 1, two for part 2 and one for part 3, all based on a simple rubric, also provided to students.

via The Little Assignment with the Big Impact: Reading, Writing, Reflection, and Discussion – – Armstrong Atlantic State University Mail.

How did feathers evolve? – Carl Zimmer

via TED-Ed | How did feathers evolve? – Carl Zimmer.

Wonderful animation on the likely pattern of feather evolution, and how that led to flight.

Because the brain operates in a completely different way than traditional computing systems, the first step was to try to make sense of how the brain integrates and responds to data. To do so, Venayagamoorthy enlisted the expertise of neuroscientist Steve Potter, Ph.D., director of the Laboratory for NeuroEngineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.Potter recently pioneered a new method for understanding how the brain integrates and responds to information at the network level. The technique involves growing neurons in a dish containing a grid of electrodes that can both stimulate and record activity. The electrodes connect the neuronal network to a computer, allowing two-way communication between the living and the electronic components.Potter’s group has had success with this approach in the past, having shown that living neuronal networks can be made to control computer-simulated animals and simple robots. In the current project, the network is trained to recognize and respond to voltage and speed signals from Venayagamoorthy’s power grid simulation.“The goal is to translate the physical and functional changes that occur as living neuronal network learns into mathematical equations, ultimately leading to a more brain-like intelligent control system,” says Venayagamoorthy.The purpose is to develop brain-inspired computer code. The investigators have successfully “taught” a living neuronal network how to respond to complex data, and have incorporated these findings into simulated versions called bio-inspired artificial neural networks BIANNS. They are currently using the new and improved BIANNS to control synchronous generators connected to a power system.

via Network of brain cells models smart power grid | KurzweilAI.