Decisions, Decisions

March 22nd, 2012 in Article, News 4 comments

Decisions at their finest

What kind of day would you rather have?

A decision is a fact of life. Both the good and the bad, the wrong and the right, one seemingly unjust turn waiting to happen amid the uncertain crossroads of life. Lets be honest, making a decision will always provide the answer, that is the ideal outcome, nothing goes wrong, everything is perfect, happily ever after. On the contrary, there is the undesirable result, which you would rather keep trapped in a cage and have thrown into a river in order to prevent ‘it’ from ruining your party. Now with making a decision comes the possibility for his arch-nemesis “regret” to appear in the equation. Lets look at it this way, if your friend ‘decision’ calls and asks if you want to see this movie which you assume is going to be terrible, you’d probably say “No,” thereby rejecting ‘decision.’ A week later ‘regret’ sends you a letter saying ‘decision’ went to the movie that day, saw your partner, they both hit it off, ‘decision’ slept with them, and now your partner never wants to see you again. See why you should have gone to the movie! That my friends is exactly, to a tee, the comic strip you will see when you look up decision in the dictionary. More

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The Finger Phenomenon

March 21st, 2012 in Article 1 comment

We all know androgens and estrogens as sex hormones, right? You know, those chemicals that regulate reproductive behavior and ensure the continuation of species. There is definitely behavioral evidence of the biological importance of these steroid hormones, but could there be a way to quantitatively measure exposure to them? There is research that says yes, or at least, possibly. More

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"I for one welcome our new computer overlords"

March 20th, 2012 in Article 1 comment

The parting words of Ken Jennings in last year’s Jeopardy match against Watson, a computer seemingly able to decipher and process language, are a milestone for robotic innovations. Advancements in neuroscience and robotics have focused on giving robots human-like intelligence and processing skills. This concept has been depicted numerous times in popular culture, many times in terms of robotic rebellion, for example in movies such as I, Robot or WALL-E.

Recent robotics research leaves us with a couple of questions. Are really focusing on the right aspects of advancing in robotic technologies? Instead of perfecting intelligence and processing, why not instead focus on perfecting human emotion? More

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Brain-Machine Interface: Creating Mind Controlled Robots

March 13th, 2012 in Article 0 comments

In the United States alone there are about a quarter of a million people affected by spinal cord injury with over 10,000 new injuries resulting in conditions such as paraplegia and quadriplegia each year. Spinal cord injuries can be completely debilitating and can occur when least expected. Drawing from a high school memory of mine, a hockey player from a town nearby was pushed head first into the boards one night during a game and sustained a severe neck injury, permanently impairing his motor skills and changing the course of his life. More

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Internal Voices Decoded by Scientists at UC Berkeley

March 9th, 2012 in News 1 comment

Researchers have developed a technique that reconstructs the words patients are thinking of that could help locked-in or comatose patients communicate.

A newly developed computer model reconstructs the sounds of words that patients think of. Over the past few years, scientists have been coming closer to being able to listen in to our thoughts.  This study achieved that goal by implanting electrodes directly into patients’ brains. In an earlier 2011 study, test subjects with electrodes in their brains were able to move a cursor around a screen just by thinking of different vowel sounds. Another study, conducted in September of that year by Jack Gallant at the University of California, Berkeley, was able to guess images being thought of through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).



March 7th, 2012 in News, Pop Culture 0 comments

Are there REALLY parts of the brain dedicated to categories of thoughts like some reports say?

Are there REALLY parts of the brain dedicated to categories of thoughts like some reports say?

The field of neuroscience has undoubtedly expanded over the past two decades, and the explosion of all this cutting-edge discovery has inevitably lead to its proliferation in our culture. However, the spread of interest to the general population has begun to instigate the problematic phenomenon of what some scientists deem “neurobabble”. It refers to the overly simplified and misinterpreted information that many contemporary writers use to appeal to the public. Neurobabble in recent pop-science books and articles often engenders false conclusions and denies proper understanding about how the brain really works. More

An Intersection between Neuroscience and Magic!

March 2nd, 2012 in Arts + Media 0 comments

Luigi Anzivino speaks at the 2011 Technology Horizons Fall Research Exchange. Anzivino is a scientific content developer at the Exploratorium.

Other topics that took place at this conference included the idea of invisibility cloaks, quantum consciousness, designers lifeforms, etc. Anzivino’s presentation fit right in. Check out his presentation below.

Click here for the video.

Luigi Anzivino: Science of Magic –