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"The Brain" Sort by
Mind reading might sound like pseudoscientific, but its scientific counterpart, thought identification, is very much a real thing. It's based in neuroimaging and machine learning, and what's really cool is that experiments in mind reading aren't just about spying on what someone is thinking. They're about figuring out what thoughts are even made of.
When you think of something, what does that mental picture actually look like? What resolution is it in? How high fidelity is a memory, and how do they change over time? In this episode, we are going to look at how reading people's minds can help us answer these questions.
The Stilwell Brain
A single microscopic brain cell cannot think, is not conscious, but if you bring in a few more brain cells, and a few more, and connect them all, at a certain point, the group itself will be able to think and experience emotions and have opinions and a personality and know that it exists. How can such astonishing things be made from such simple ingredients? Well, answering that question means learning not only who we are but, more importantly, how we are.
Today, using what neuroscientists know so far, we are going to make a town function like a brain, using people as neurons.
Moral psychology isn't always an easy thing to study. Experiments that actually puts people in what feels like a real scenario may get realistic results, but researchers must always balance the benefits of what we could learn with the safety and well-being of the people they study. Often what we learn from moral psychology experiments doesn't make humans look good.
We are imperfect creatures. But the more we learn about why and how we make the moral choices that we do, the better we'll be able to tackle difficult questions in the future.
The Cognitive Tradeoff Hypothesis
Join us on a journey into the mysterious depths of the human psyche as we investigate the strange and surprising terrain of the Mind Field.
Chimps and Humans can be traced biologically back to a common ancestor. The Cognitive Tradeoff Hypothesis theorizes about the two different paths of development - particularly cognitive development - that occurred in these two species after the split. Chimps stayed in the trees and developed some extraordinary cognitive capabilities which are shown by the research work of Japanese scientists, while humans came down into the savanna and developed social capabilities and language.
The hypothesis is that humans 'traded' some aspects of cognitive capabilities by re-purposing areas of the brain that had evolved in the context of other uses. Those capabilities are kept in chimps and are far surpassing that of normal humans. This is shown by the research work of scientists at the Primate Research Center connected with Kyoto University.
What makes us human is the squishy triple-pounder inside our heads. It lets us build skyscrapers, and lift a special few of us into space. We are the only species on this planet that can construct realities in our mind and then go actually build it. The story of how our mind evolved on this one strange rock is one of chance, coincidence and impossible odds.
This episode is an investigation into the mystery of the human brain and the chain of events that produced the anomaly of human intelligence.
One Strange Rock
The Real History of Science Fiction
Secret History of Comics
The Art of Russia
Earth, the Power of the Planet
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