Posts Tagged ‘learning’

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Researchers “Copy and Paste” Fear From One Memory to Another

In this article for Discover Magazine, I explore a new set of experiments that sound like the plot of a bizarre sci-fi movie: Researchers taught a group of mice to fear a certain section of a maze, then electronically copied the mice’s fear from that memory and pasted it onto a different memory! How the hell did […]

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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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How Your Mind Organizes Reality

In this article for Scientific American, I break down the basics of a new type of mind-mapping project: One that aims to map connections between the meanings we assign to objects in our world. A research team led by Alex Huth showed volunteers hours of video footage of thousands of everyday objects and scenes – […]

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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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