Archive for January, 2014

Radical plasticity thesis

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The radical plasticity thesis: How the brain learns to be conscious Axel Cleeremans Frontiers of Psychology (2011) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3110832/ Summary and review of this article Cleeremans starts by discussing the thermostat and by extension other simple automated equipment, which the philosopher, David Chalmers, suggested to be capable of being conscious because they processed information. Cleeremans argues that processing of information, such as levels of Read more […]

Far from the madding brain

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The Robotics Primer Maja J. Mataric MIT Press (2007) Summary and review of this book Introduction:  In the 1960s and 1970s there was an emphasis on building robots that thought, reasoned or deliberated in the manner of humans. The computational load involved made the robots too slow for real world conditions. Since then, and despite the Moore’s law increase in computing power, robotocists have moved away from from anything that has a close resemblance to the human brain. The most common Read more […]

Control of spatial attention

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Midbrain and forebrain systems for bottom-up control of spatial attention Eric Knudsen, Stanford University In:- The Neuroscience of Attention – Ed. George R. Mangun Oxford University Press (2012) Summary and review of the above chapter Spatial attention allows organisms to concentrate information processing on a limited spatial region. This concentration or control can be top-down or bottom-up. Top-down control is related to working memory and frontoparietal areas tuning sensory neurons Read more […]

Orienting to the environment

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Orienting to the environment: Separate contributions to the Dorsal and Ventral frontoparietal attention networks Carlo Sestieri, Gordon L. Shulman & Maurizio Corbetta, Washington University School of Medicine In: The Neuroscience of Attention – ed. George R. Mangun Oxford University Press (2012) Summary and review of the above chapter The brain coordinates ongoing goals and expectations with new sensory inputs. Internal neural signals are seen to modulate the perceptions that result Read more […]