Archive for July, 2014

Orbitofrontal encoding regret

Posted by

The orbitofrontal cortex and ventral striatum encode expected outcomes during decision taking. Activity in these brain regions also reflects the perception of missed opportunities. Neural signals related to regret at missed opportunities are encoded here.

Brain areas involved with consciousness

Posted by

Even at the very early stage of the retina, an important division arises between two parallel visual streams, the dorsal stream and the ventral stream. The dorsal stream projects to the parietal cortex, and is responsible for movements in relation to objects, many of them of a routine or reflex nature. It is also seen as an answer to the ‘where is it?’ location question. The processing of the dorsal is unconscious, and is faster than the consciousness-related processing of the ventral stream.

Consciousness and the claustrum

Posted by

Consciousness – we hit its sweet spot New Scientist, 5 July 2014, Helen Thomson, based on Koubeisse et al Summary and review of the above article A recent study suggests that a particular brain area, the claustrum, is at least necessary, although probably not sufficient, for consciousness. The claustrum is a sheet of neurons just below the cortex, and is connected to much of the cortex. Most consciousness theorists agree that there is a need to integrate activity from spatially separate Read more […]

Kauffman on recoherence

Posted by

In this interview with Ryan Cochrane, Kauffman outlines the mind-body problem in classical (i.e. non-quantum) physics. If the brain is a classical physical system, the current state of the brain, plus classically described inputs from the external environment, is entirely sufficient to causally determine the next state of the brain and the next state after that and so on.

Dehaene on reading in the brain

Posted by

Dehaene describes how a specialised area of the temporal cortex processes the written word, and then projects to other brain regions that deal with the sound and with the meaning of words. This specialist area of the visual cortex originally evolved for some other function, so modern literate humans may have suffered some offsetting cognitive loss.