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human brain

Michael Egnor: Why the mind cannot just emerge from the brain

Egnor: Thoughts have emotional states; matter doesn’t have emotional states, just matter. So it’s not clear that you can get an emergent property when there is no connection whatsoever between that property and the thing it supposedly emerges from. Read More ›

Parasites as “invisible designers” of the human brain

Apparently, design is okay if microbes do it: It seems so obvious that someone should have thought of it decades ago: Since parasites have plagued eukaryotic life for millions of years, their prevalence likely affected evolution. Psychologist Marco Del Giudice of the University of New Mexico is not the first researcher to suggest that the evolution of the human brain could have been influenced by parasites that manipulate host behavior. But tired of waiting for neurologists to pick up the ball and run with it, he has published a paper in the Quarterly Review of Biology that suggests four categories of adaptive host countermeasures against brain-manipulating parasites and the likely evolutionary responses of the parasites themselves. The idea has implications Read More ›

J.P. Moreland on the reality of the mind tested by psychiatric disorder

Moreland: We are a unity of body, mind, spirit, emotions, and will and they all affect one another. And so, if my brain is damaged and it’s not producing the kinds of chemicals that it needs to help me have a good mood, then medication feels like oiling the engine or vitamins for your brain. Read More ›

At Inference Review: Human language is much more than a system of signals

University of maryland linguist: The formal structures of linguistics and neurophysiology are disjoint, a point emphasized by Poeppel and David Embick in a widely cited study. There is an incommensurability between theories of the brain and theories of the mind… Read More ›

Researchers: Complex tools don’t show ancient humans were smart

Experience from recorded history is clearly of humans getting just such ideas as the authors claim to be impossible in remote antiquity — and to make their point, they use modern students! Most likely, the felt need to identify a subhuman state of mind lies behind such a claim. Unlike the claim that the Neanderthals never produced art, this one can’t just be exploded. It can never be demonstrated either but in the present environment, that doesn’t matter. If the claim is made enough times, it will become orthodoxy. Read More ›

Are there “dark” neurons in the brain left over from a “Jurassic Park” past?

Notice that the neurons aren’t being called “junk neurons,” as in the exploded concept of vast libraries of “junk DNA.” Quite the contrary, they are given the somewhat glamorous cachet of “dark" neurons, as in “dark matter.” Perhaps something has been learned from the collapse of the concept of “junk DNA.” Read More ›

Jonathan Bartlett: AI and the Future of Murder

He wonders: If I kill you but upload your mind into an android, did I murder you or just modify you? Is it even possible to upload your consciousness to a computer and, if so, is it still really you? The sci-fi TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013– ) tackled this question in an episode titled “Self Control”.  Scientist Holden Radcliffe has an android assistant appropriately named Aida (Artificial Intelligence Digital Assistant). Together, they build a virtual world that people could be plugged into and uploaded into, called The Framework. “More.” at Mind Matters See also: McDonald’s, meet McPathogen Robert J. Marks: What happens when the drive to automate everything meets the Law of Unintended Consequences?: I have a wager with a Read More ›