Ig Nobel Prize winner Chris Frith lecturing at Harvard this week

The long-named Harvard Mind/Brain/Body Interfaculty Initiative announces: MBB 2013 Distinguished Lecture Series Uta Frith and Chris Frith (University College London) Uta Frith – Autism: The First Fifty Years Wednesday, April 24th, 5:15 p.m., Science Center Hall D Chris Frith – How the Brain Creates Culture Thursday, April 25th, 5 p.m., Science Center Hall D BACKGROUND: Chris Frith, […]

Advanced brain research using Neo-Nazis and a cup

Research about the brain tries to measure — and interpret — ever-more-complex kinds of phenomena. Dr. Aziz-Zadeh tells, in a recorded talk for Academic Minute, about an advanced investigation: …looking at the brain activity of Jewish individuals while they watched videos of Anti-Semetic Neo-Nazis performing simple actions, like reaching for a cup. BONUS: the 2012 Ig Nobel […]

Roi’s brain numbers improvement zapper machine

Roi Cohen Radosh of Oxford has applied for a patent for his method of zapping (so to speak) the brain with electricity. “APPARATUS FOR IMPROVING AND/OR MAINTAINING NUMERICAL ABILITY” is the title of international patent #WO 2011/098789 Al, published on August 18, 2011. Here’s a detail from the document: The patent document itself demonstrates a comfort […]

A Measured, Cerebral Investigation of Pleasant Caressing Speeds

A touch of pleasure receives more than a touch of careful study in this report, which the researchers perhaps did prepare with a touch of pleasure: “Vicarious responses to social touch in posterior insular cortex are tuned to pleasant caressing speeds,” India Morrison, Malin Björnsdotter and Håkan Olausson, Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 31, no. 26, […]

Childish: 2nd-hand looks at brain activity

Some brain scientists use their brains to explain how they think other people’s brains are used. They also use (in addition to their brains) fMRI [functional magnetic resonance imaging], a technique in which complex equipment measures some of the things that happen inside a brain while a person is using that brain. (NOTE: the technique has […]

Brainwaves – recorded

“The closer I examine the brain, the less I learn about the mind. Rather, what has been most informative about the mind is how people—neuroscientists and non-neuroscientists alike—interpret neuroscience data. Some cognitive neuroscientists have proposed the qualities we hold most precious as humans, like morality and free will, exist only in the context of human […]

Experiments show we quickly adjust to seeing everything upside-down

In the middle of the 20th century, an Austrian professor turned a man’s eyesight exactly upside-down. After a short time, the man took this completely in his stride. Professor Theodor Erismann, of the University of Innsbruck, devised the experiment, performing it upon his assistant and student, Ivo Kohler. Kohler later wrote about it. The two of […]

Brainy ambition: Connecting this and that, and readability

There’s new hope, in one quarter, about understanding the human brain. Ian Sample reports in the Guardian: Quest for the connectome: scientists investigate ways of mapping the brain Researchers have a goal so ambitious it is almost unthinkable – learning how all 85bn neurons in the human brain are wired up … A human connectome […]