Posts Tagged ‘learning’

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“Learning How Brains Learn” — Podcast 9: Jeff Hawkins

On Episode 9 of the Connectome podcast, I’m joined by Jeff Hawkins, a computer engineer and neuroscience geek who’s obsessed with understanding how the brain learns. Jeff is the inventor of the Palm Pilot and the founder of Palm Computing – as well as another computing company called Handspring – but in addition to his […]

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“Engineering a Mind (Part 2)” — Podcast 7: David Saintloth and Wai Tsang

On Episode 7 of the Connectome podcast, we rejoin our two-part roundtable discussion on the nature of intelligence, on the differences between biological and artificial intelligence, and on the ways in which the idea of digital intelligence can inform our understanding of how our own minds work. (Here’s the link to Part 1 of this […]

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Science Fights Back With Open Access

A major paradigm shift is taking the science world by storm. Open source is taking over. For more than a century, scientists have depended on peer-reviewed journals to keep them up to date on the latest research. But as many of these journals have raised their subscription fees to bank-breaking levels, and locked life-saving research […]

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Brains and Brilliance

Where in the brain, exactly, is intelligence? Is a high I.Q. just a result of a flawed test – or do high-I.Q. brains have specific, measurable differences from others? Answers await, Intrepid Reader – but first we have to make sure we’re asking the right questions. Let’s start with the big news: a study just published […]

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Memories on a Microchip

Are your memories real? How do you know? These sound like questions from a mind-bending thriller – Total Recall, say; or Inception. But this isn’t science fiction. Researchers around the world are implanting memories, turning them on and off – and, according to one team, storing them on microchips. Wow. Okay. Let’s back up here. […]

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Aliens in the Lab

Researchers are creating new lifeforms that are chemically unrelated to any other life on earth. In fact, for the first time ever, scientists in Japan have built an artificial synapse, from the molecules up. What?! How can this be? Read on, intrepid voyager of the unknown, and discover for yourself. The basic idea is that […]

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“Habits: Making ‘Em & Breaking ‘Em” — Podcast 3

On episode 3 of the Connectome podcast, I dig into our habits: why they form, why they stick, and how to break ‘em. But he also shares some insights on making your habits work for you – to motivate you to stay fit and productive.   Click here to play or download: Enjoy, and feel […]

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The Depths of Decisions

Our brains – and the brains of other animals – actually run through superfast replays of past experiences as we make decisions, says a new study. This process isn’t one we usually have conscious access to – but without it, we might not be able to learn from the past at all. Memory seems pretty […]

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Memory Control

Scientists can now turn a particular memory “on” and “off” by controlling the specific neurons that help encode it, a new study reports. Thanks to cutting-edge technology that allows researchers to control individual brain cells, a team has found a way to activate and deactivate memories of certain environments in mouse brains. The past few […]

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Reward Lasers

Our ability to feel pleasure in rewarding situations depends on a delicate balance of two specific types of brain circuits, a new study reports. By using targeted lasers to activate specific cells in a mouse brain, researchers can disrupt and reactivate small sections of that brain’s reward pathway, causing mice to drastically change their behavior. […]

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