Friday, 20 July 2007

Eric Kandel - Nobel Laureate

If the century just passed was “the province of the gene,” then the next hundred years shall be “the province of the mind,” believes Eric Kandel. Brain science is poised to reveal the biology of conscious and unconscious mental processes involved in perception, emotion, thought and action. There will also be “a revolution in understanding mental illness,” with animal models revealing the “mechanism of pathogenesis.” Here's hoping we don't find ourselves limited by closed minds and frightened egotism aka stem cells

Can a New Theory of the Neocortex Lead to Truly Intelligent Machines?

The hyperactive kid of the Neuroscience class, Jeff Hawkins says he’s mapped out the way the human brain works, and has begun to fashion thinking machines to emulate the process. It comes down to Hierarchical Temporal Memory (HTM). Basically, he says, our brains take sensory inputs from the world and build a set of beliefs around the causes of those inputs. “Discovering causes is the pinnacle of what brains do,” says Hawkins. But getting good at this kind of “fancy pattern recognition” is something developing humans seem to do effortlessly, and computers only with immense labor.

Steven Pinker leaves MIT

In this personal and reflective event, Pinker looks back at twenty plus years at MIT and shares his deep appreciation for the place where "ideas and content always come first."

Hindu Superman

Just like the original Superman, only with more dancing and about a billionth the CGI budget.

Mood logic - How does your iPod library feel?

MoodLogic Mixes change the way you think about your MP3 collection, whether it is on your computer or on your MP3 Player device. Over the last three years, tens of thousands have contributed to MoodLogic more than a billion survey answers on how they feel about music. MoodLogic has assembled these answers and created the world's largest music database. After years of research and development creating complex computer algorithms to clean up the user-contributed data MoodLogic built an industrial-strength infrastructure to serve it back to you. Now you can experience your music in ways you never thought was possible*. Automatic music organization, intuitive MP3 mix generation, and robust ID3 tag cleanup are just a few of the highlights of MoodLogic

Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames

Ian Bogost argues that video games are not only a mirror to our culture but create ways to play with and manipulate important social and political questions. How? Videogames are an expressive and persuasive medium: they represent how real and imagined systems work, and they invite players to interact with those systems and form judgments about them. The field of media studies already analyzes visual rhetoric, the art of using imagery and visual representation persuasively-yet videogames open a new domain for persuasion; they realize a new form of rhetoric. We call this new form ?procedural rhetoric?

Do Brains Make Minds?

From genetics to cosmology to nanotechnology, science is on the brink of numerous and extraordinary mega-revolutions that will change the very nature of life. Closer to Truth brings together leading scientists, scholars and artists to debate many of today's fundamental issues. Joining host Robert Kuhn is consciousness expert David Chalmers; philosopher of mind John Searle; anthropologist Marilyn Schlitz; theoretical physicist Fred Alan Wolf; and neuropsychologist Barry Beyerstein. The panelists discuss the connection between the gray matter called a brain, the thoughts we think, the mind-body connection, and whether there's something more to the human mind than what resides in the brain.

Understanding Visual Scenes in 200 milliseconds

One of the remarkable aspects of human image understanding is that we are able to recognize the meaning of a novel image very quickly and independently of the complexity of the image. This talk will review findings in human perception that help us understand which mechanisms the human brain uses to achieve fast visual recognition, accurate visual search and adequate memorization of visual information. It also will describe the limits of human perception, as well as how to use our understanding of the pros and cons of these mechanisms for designing artificial vision systems and visual displays for human use.


Schizophrenia has been an often-misunderstood neurobiological brain disorder. Dr. Janet Finlay shares information from cutting-edge research that points to the cause of schizophrenia and newly developed treatments.

Why is Music So Significant?

Every known human culture has music, and how the brain recognizes and appreciates music -- a field known as the neurobiology of music - reveals that there is no one 'music center' in our brain. Although specific parts of the brain are dedicated to the sense of sound, vast areas must work together to generate the complex experience we call music, including areas of working memory, forethought, movement and emotion. Host Robert Kuhn is joined by Jeanne Bamberger, Musicologist, MIT; Robert Freeman, Dean, College of Fine Arts, University of Texas at Austin; and Mark Jude Tramo, Harvard Medical School

Divided Attention -Driving and Talking

Ever wondered why men turn off the radio when they park their cars? A recent brain study by Johns Hopkins University researchers suggests the answer is no. Professor Steven Yantis explains why the brain can’t simultaneously give full attention to both the visual task of driving and the auditory task of listening.

Understandnig teenagers - A neuroscientists guide

Any parent of a teenager knows the brain of a 13-year-old is different than that of a 9-year-old. Pinning down those differences in a scientific way has been elusive—until now. Dr. Jay Giedd, of the National Institute of Mental Health, examines recent findings from magnetic resonance imaging of the teen brain and explores the implications these findings have for parents, teachers, society and the teens themselves.
From my own experience, greeting teenagers with the phrase, "word up dawg" will all but induce gang violence.

Vision and the Brain: Unseen Complexities – Part 1

Dr. Murray explores the problems in the context of object size and brightness perception, and discusses computational challenges in sight that require extensive neural processing.

Vision and the Brain: Unseen Complexities – Part 2

Why do we need vision? As it turns out, there are two answers to this question. On the one hand, we need vision to give us detailed knowledge of the world beyond ourselves, knowledge that allows us to recognize things from minute to minute and day to day. On the other hand, we also need vision to guide our actions in that world at the very moment they occur. These are two quite different job descriptions, and nature seems to have given us two different visual systems to carry them out. Dr. Goodale discusses how separate but interacting visual systems have evolved for the perception of objects on the one hand and the control of actions directed at those objects on the other, examining how both systems process information but each using the information in different ways.

Daniel Levitan - Music and the brain

Daniel Levitin offers this exploration of the relationship between music and the mind, and the role of melodies in shaping our lives

Are our musical preferences shaped in utero?
Is there a cutoff point for acquiring new tastes in music?
Is musical pleasure different from other kinds of pleasure?

TED lecture - Helen Fisher

Anthropologist Helen Fisher studies love: its evolution, its biochemical foundations and its vital importance to human society. She outlines the three stages of love (lust, infatuation and long-term attachment).

TED lecture - Sir Ken Livingstone

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining (and profoundly moving) case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity, rather than undermining it. With ample anecdotes and witty asides, Robinson points out the many ways our schools fail to recognize -- much less cultivate -- the talents of many brilliant people. "We are educating people out of their creativity,"

Mirror Neurons - PBS

An introduction to mirror neurons. I am you and you are you and you are me and we are both firing mirror neurons. Neat huh.

How to download Real Audio streams and convert Real Audio to MP3s

Swen at Antville has this very handy advice page for saving real audio files onto your computer and for converting them into iPod friendly files. Download the free getflash software and you'll be able to watch all these video streams in your lunch break al fresco not al desko.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Cheoptics - 360 degree Free floating video

Free standing video. This is so cool it makes my website feel poor.

Google Scholar - Stand on the shoulders of giants

Search through journal articles, abstracts and other scholarly literature. For the studious amoung you.

Humble good stuff - Paul Potts

Regular guy sings Nessun Dorma on "Britain's got talent". It's just straight up, awesome. It makes me want to cry. (In a manly way)

Akiyoshi's Latest Illusion

John Nesbitt - Have beard, will predict the future.

John Naisbitt discusses his new book Mind Set! Reset Your Thinking and See the Future, which discloses his secret of forecasting.

John Naisbitt is an American writer in the area of futures studies. He is best known for authoring the international bestsellers Megatrends, which was written in 1982 and Re-inventing the Corporation. Megatrends was translated and published in 57 countries and was for many weeks in the first place as non-fiction book in the bestseller lists in the USA, Japan and Germany. The New York Times had it on its bestseller list for more than 2 years, it sold more than 8 million copies.

What women want - Louann Brizendine

Louann Brizendine talks about The Female Brain. Brizendine established the first clinic in the country to study and treat women's brain functions. This revolutionary book combines two decades of her work and the latest information from the scientific community to provide a truly comprehensive look at the way women's minds work.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

How The Brain Controls The Body - The Royal Society

The effortless ease with which humans move our arms, our eyes, even our lips when we speak masks the true complexity of the control processes involved. This is evident when we try to build machines to perform human control tasks. While computers can now beat grandmasters at chess, no computer can yet control a robot to manipulate a chess piece with the dexterity of a six-year-old child. (which is why I play chess against 6 year olds).

Professor Daniel Wolpert explains how the brain deals with this and demonstrated that a key feature of skilled human motor performance is the ability of the brain to perform optimally in the presence of uncertainty.

Bill Bryson's talk at the Aventis Awards

Awww, who doesn't love Bill Bryson? Here's a talk the world's most lovable bumbling goon gave after winning the Aventis prize for Science writing for his awesomely funny and very interesting book, A brief history of almost everything, (which you might be interested to know, I read while on a deserted beach in Thailand while my wife braided my toe hair. Ahh, memories).

Nano technology - Royal Society

What is nanotechnology? How are nanotechnologies being used? Are nanotechnologies safe? These questions and more are answered in a round table discussion from The Royal Society in London.

Everyone in Stockholm is calling your name

New banner ad from the Swedish tourism council and the funny fellows at the Far Far Agency.

For Lukey.

Water even Cooler

Check out this cool water fountain designed by the MIT megabrains

via adverlab

Human Brain Cloud - Word association

Human brain cloud an multiplayer word association "game" that connects word associations into bulbous cloud of a network. via neatorama

DIY Jackson Pollock

Release the innner artist within. Make your own Blue Poles. Here

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Brain science tech

Here's a good overall intro on how BrainScience works. - There goes the TV license.

Network TV takes another body blow. finds all the TV, movies, cartoons and more you could ever find on TV, and legally streams them straight to your laptop for the price of a packet of ones and oh's. Oh boy.

Ideafixa - The now NOW of illustration

IdeaFixa, a virtual e-magazine, has launched its 7th issue devoted to colour. The “book” is filled with vibrant full-page spreads of photos and illustrations all on the subject of colour.

Google - Goo Cool

Forget the flying car. This is the future. Get lost? Do you? Well, yet another bright young designer from the U.K is developing a system that will have tag and name exactly what your staring at. Google Vision is a conceptual product developed by Callum Peden, for the worlds favorite search engine. The product provides the user with a truly unique information hub by combining GPS, OLED technology and advanced image recognition in the form of a retractable screen device. via coolhunter

Murray Gell-Mann - On Getting Creative Ideas

This man has five brains. He was admitted to Yale at 15, got his PhD from MIT at 21, he speaks 13 languages fluently and has expertise in such far reaching fields as natural history, historical linguistics, archeology, bird watching, depth psychology and the theory of complex adaptive systems, he coined the word "quark" and is probably part ninja.

In this talk he gives his thoughts on getting creative ideas.

Tenzin Matthieu Ricard - Happiness

Scientist turned Buddhist Monk talks about the key to creating authentic happiness. (The sound isn't great on this one).

William Softky - Hacking the brain.

William Softky worked with Jeff Hawkins at the Redwood Institue of Neuroscience to develop the ideas in this talk. I like the Redwood guys. They're like Ritalin.

This talk is pretty detailed. Essentially, William argues that the brain seems to carry out nearly all its sensory perceptuion using generic, interchangeable modules, each of which learns (from scratch) to represent and process whatever signals it is exposed to. (i.e The bits in your brain that perform high level brain functions are structurally and organically the same as the bits that perform the easy stuff).

William discusses his ideas about how the brain does this and how these different modules work and learn in harmony with another.
via the google techtalks.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Scientific Frontiers - The Hidden Motives

The US station PBS has a Scientific American 'Frontiers' on programme on hidden motives available for viewing online. The first section is on what's cool and not cool, the second programme reveals that many of us have implicit biases that are in direct conflict with our stated views and the third examines moral choices and judgements.

Plus it's presented by Hawkeye from Mash.

Big Idea. Tiny mailbox.

CityMail is a new Danish postal service. They were looking for an event to proudly show their flexibility and their ability to mail anything and everything - as long as it could trough a letter slot. Over a two-weeks they mailed a log hut to a craftsman located inside the shop. Nails, beams, screws, paint and roof grass went through the letter slot. A web cam documented the event, so everyone could follow the building process at CityMail's web site.

Robert Cildini - The six elements of persuasion

This link comes directly from the awesome neural artillery of my growing Army of neurobloggers on the Mind Head Facebook group. Big ups (whatever they are) to Sgt. Brad Ferguson for this podcast on the six elements of persuasion by Robert Cildini, the Godfather of persuasion.

Seth Godin - All marketers are liars.

The flammable pants of advertising.