A neural network with two inputs and one output. We can discuss convolutional neural networks (CNNs) as they relate to biological vision in a way that captures how close these neural networks simulate biological reality and how they depend on artificial techniques. Understanding the relationships between CNNs and the visual system will bring us closer … Continue reading Deep convolutional neural networks as models of the visual system
Once upon a time, in a small country by the sea, at the highest point of its highest castle, atop two thrones adorned with precious metals, there lived a King and a Queen. Theirs was a long and blessed reign: their people lived in good health, at peace with their neighbors, enjoying brief winters, generous … Continue reading The King’s Headache: a story about artificial intelligence
Da Vinci's "The Skull" Mental illnesses are much more than biological, physiological phenomena. Any attempt to reduce them down to the same features as other illnesses such as fever or cancer is inherently flawed. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS, pronounced "gee wahs"), attempts to scan individuals for thousands of genes to determine which variations lead to … Continue reading A humanistic paradigm for mental illness
A celestial map from the 17th century, by the Dutch cartographer Frederik de Wit In addressing threatening problems of climate change, population growth, nuclear warfare, and other issues of today's era, we need a type of rationality that embraces ideas from both science and philosophy. Towards this goal, philosopher Nicholas Maxwell has argued for education … Continue reading Aim-oriented thinking for a wiser tomorrow
Scientists and philosophers have discussed the assumptions and premises in fMRI research as they relate to features of the mind. fMRI tends to rely on localizing functions to various parts of the brain, such as the motor cortex being responsible for controlling muscle groups. Psychologists Stephen Hanson and Russell Poldrack and philosopher Martin Bunzl argued … Continue reading Finding meaning from fMRI research
Examining arguments of how neuroscience and psychology relate to philosophy by looking at how skeptics and enthusiasts have touched upon the subject. We're going to take apart how psychology and cognitive science can be reduced to neuroscience. Principled skepticism These skeptics may argue there is a distinctive mental dimension that is not reducible to anything … Continue reading Are mental states reducible to neurobiological states?
I take a sip from my coffee mug and lean back as I stare at my writing. Through libraries, coffee shops, hospitals, and other venues, I write and hack away on my laptop. On the intersection of neuroscience and philosophy, I present An introduction to ethics, An introduction to philosophy, and Contextual emergence. I hope … Continue reading Describing our world through philosophy, science, and coffee
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Pew pew pewHow can we create frameworks of practical moral reasoning in the absence of free will? Can neuroscience research shed light on how we make moral judgements? What are the general implications of neuroscience research itself? How can we differentiate between the study of the mind or the brain to begin with? In the … Continue reading Neuroethics: the delicate balance of neuroscience and morality
Memory storage in the language learning process shows how we make inferences about language in our communication. If our brains were like computers, we could process information like a machine would. It takes about 1.5 megabytes of memory to learn a language, enough for a computer to save an image, according to researchers Francisca Mollica … Continue reading The brain uses about 1.5 megabytes to learn a language