Archive for March, 2014

Turing, Consciousness and Thought

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Stephen Baxter’s short article in the science magazine, Focus, highlights some of the problems that arise in dealing with consciousness in a scientific forum. Baxter suggests that Turing made a correct, or at least insightful decision, in deciding to aim at a test as to whether robots/computers could think like humans, while avoiding the possibly unscientific or undefined area of consciousness. This is not strictly speaking true. Turing appeared to have believed that having a robot/computer that Read more […]

Gravitational Waves

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The recent detection of gravitational waves, as predicted by relativity theory, also tends to confirm that a period of rapid inflation of the volume of space occurred in the very early universe. The observation by a telescope at the South Pole indicates a spiral twisting of primordial light waves, as a result of an inflationary phase shortly after the Big Bang. This discovery is somewhat comparable to the detection of the Higgs boson, which has also been predicted by physical theories, but was until Read more […]

Neuroscience of Attention

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Ed. George R. Mangun. Oxford University Press (2012) Summary and review of the above book INTRODUCTION:  Voluntary attention is shown to be involved with slower and more deliberative processing, as opposed to the quick reaction of involuntary attention. Voluntary attention involves the frontal brain regions dealing with both emotional/evaluative and planning/working memory processing; these are some of the areas most closely correlated to conscious experience. They are thought to influence Read more […]

Emotional influences on attention

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By Harlan M. Fichtenholtz & Kevin S. Labar, YaleUniversity and DukeUniversity. Published In:-  The Neuroscience of Attention Ed. George R. Mangun, Oxford University Press (2012) Summary and review of the above chapter INTRODUCTION:-  Attention and emotion are argued to be parallel processes interacting at many stages in the brain. Some brain regions are more involved with emotional response and others more with attentional control. Limbic regions act so as to bias sensory processing, Read more […]

Top-down biases in short-term memory

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Mark G Stokes & Anna C Nobre, Oxford University Published In:- “The Neuroscience of Attention” Ed. George R. Mangun, Oxford University Press (2012) Summary and review of the above chapter INTRODUCTION:  Top-down influences direct visual attention, and common neural mechanisms decide the items that are held in visual short-term memory, which is in turn a crucial driver of behaviour. Cognitive functions are seen as depending on information being retained in the brain after the original signal Read more […]