MachineMachine /stream - tagged with brain en-us LifePress <![CDATA[Francis Gooding · From Its Myriad Tips: Mushroom Brain · LRB 20 May 2021]]>

Try​ to imagine what it is like to be a fungus. Not a mushroom, pushing up through damp soil overnight or delicately forcing itself out through the bark of a rotting log: that would be like imagining the grape rather than the vine.

Mon, 17 May 2021 23:55:07 -0700
<![CDATA[Computers Evolve a New Path Toward Human Intelligence]]>

In 2007, Kenneth Stanley, a computer scientist at the University of Central Florida, was playing with Picbreeder, a website he and his students had created, when an alien became a race car and changed his life.

Sat, 09 Nov 2019 10:51:26 -0800
<![CDATA[Daniel Dennett interview]]>

Daniel Dennett talks to Jim Al-Khalili about the evolution of the human brain.

Thu, 15 Aug 2019 04:35:08 -0700
<![CDATA[Orion Magazine | Deep Intellect]]>

ON AN UNSEASONABLY WARM day in the middle of March, I traveled from New Hampshire to the moist, dim sanctuary of the New England Aquarium, hoping to touch an alternate reality. I came to meet Athena, the aquarium’s forty-pound, five-foot-long, two-and-a-half-year-old giant Pacific octopus.

Sun, 26 Nov 2017 07:31:04 -0800
<![CDATA[Orion Magazine | Deep Intellect]]>

ON AN UNSEASONABLY WARM day in the middle of March, I traveled from New Hampshire to the moist, dim sanctuary of the New England Aquarium, hoping to touch an alternate reality. I came to meet Athena, the aquarium’s forty-pound, five-foot-long, two-and-a-half-year-old giant Pacific octopus.

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:51:04 -0800
<![CDATA[Small brown pebble found on East Sussex beach is pickled dinosaur brain]]>

The first fossilised dinosaur brain has been found on a beach in East Sussex and could show that the extinct giants were more intelligent than first thought. The small brown pebble was spotted by amateur fossil hunter Jamie Hiscocks on the coastline near Bexhill-on-Sea.

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 07:07:14 -0700
<![CDATA[Towards a statistical mechanics of consciousness: maximization of number of connections is associated with conscious awareness]]>

Authors: R. Guevara Erra, D. M. Mateos, R. Wennberg, J.L. Perez Velazquez Abstract: It has been said that complexity lies between order and disorder. In the case of brain activity, and physiology in general, complexity issues are being considered with increased emphasis.

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 04:56:19 -0700
<![CDATA[Beyond humans, what other kinds of minds might be out there? | Aeon Essays]]>

In 1984, the philosopher Aaron Sloman invited scholars to describe ‘the space of possible minds’. Sloman’s phrase alludes to the fact that human minds, in all their variety, are not the only sorts of minds.

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 03:05:12 -0700
<![CDATA[Are Humans the Greatest Things Made by the Human Hand? - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus]]>

What a waste are two thumbs on the space bar. There they sit, nearly flaccid, punctuating the end of each word, awaiting the call to crack stone or to use sharp flakes to incise wood. It is easy to think of other traits as making us human.

Mon, 09 May 2016 01:16:29 -0700
<![CDATA[The octopus genome and the evolution of cephalopod neural and morphological novelties : Nature : Nature Publishing Group]]>

Soft-bodied cephalopods such as the octopus (Fig.

Sun, 23 Aug 2015 07:55:32 -0700
<![CDATA[Consciousness Began When the Gods Stopped Speaking - Issue 24: Error - Nautilus]]>

Julian Jaynes was living out of a couple of suitcases in a Princeton dorm in the early 1970s. He must have been an odd sight there among the undergraduates, some of whom knew him as a lecturer who taught psychology, holding forth in a deep baritone voice.

Sun, 31 May 2015 05:38:43 -0700
<![CDATA[Phys.Org Mobile: Bee brain simulation used to pilot a drone]]>

Bee brain simulation used to pilot a drone Apr 14, Technology/Hi Tech & Innovation Full size image Credit: Green Brain Project The team of researchers working on the The Green Brain Project has advanced to the point of being able to use what they've created in mimicking a honeybee brain, to actua

Thu, 23 Apr 2015 00:26:46 -0700
<![CDATA[Ritual and the Consciousness Monoculture]]>

Sarah Perry is a guest blogger who blogs at Carcinisation and is the author of Every Cradle is a Grave: Rethinking the Ethics of Birth and Suicide.

Sat, 24 Jan 2015 06:50:45 -0800
<![CDATA[Moxon's Master/Bierce]]>

I got no immediate reply; Moxon was apparently intent upon the coals in the grate, touching them deftly here and there with the fire-poker till they signified a sense of his attention by a brighter glow.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 01:48:05 -0800
<![CDATA[How Movies Synchronize the Brains of an Audience | Science | WIRED]]>

HOLLYWOOD, California—Picture a movie theater, packed for the opening night of a blockbuster film. Hundreds of strangers sit next to each other, transfixed. They tend to blink at the same time. Even their brain activity is, to a remarkable degree, synchronized. It’s a slightly creepy thought.

Sat, 30 Aug 2014 06:04:05 -0700
<![CDATA[According to neuroscientists, the future of cinema will eliminate the use of cuts]]>

Since the beginning of cinema, filmmakers have relied on cutting from one image to another in order to tell a visual story. The human brain naturally fills in the gaps between images, and the narrative proceeds smoothly despite the choppy visuals. Now one neuroscientist’s research may change all that. Sergei Gepshtein wants to eliminate the need for cuts—not with long-takes, but by using his research into human perception to create a brand new cinematic language. If Gepshtein’s work sounds confusing, that’s because we don’t really have the vocabulary to discuss it yet. Jennifer Ouellette, however, has done her best to detail his complex ideas in articles for Scientific American and Pacific Standard. As she explains, the best point of comparison may be optical illusions that allow viewers to see an image in two different ways depending on where they put their focus. Gepshtein hopes to harness the brain’s natural tendency to organize visual information so that directors can seamlessly blend scenes together without the use of cuts. “In effect, one scene may emerge in the middle of the other without cuts, and without the artificial tools of image morphing or dissolves,” he says. Essentially, Gepshtein is arguing that filmmakers have yet to unlock the potential of digital technology, because they are still using old-fashioned cinematic tools (like cuts). He argues that the quick-cutting style that is so popular with today’s blockbusters keeps the audience at a distance, rather than drawing them into the world of the film. He wants to take a ground-up approach and build a whole new cinematic method from “first principles,” not just evolve existing technology through trial and error. That technology wouldn’t just be limited to film; it could be used in all sorts of practical ways. For instance, information boards at airports could be constructed to reveal urgent information to viewers standing far away and more detailed information to those up close. Given that we at The A.V. Club are fans of weird technology, long-tak

Wed, 07 May 2014 13:35:38 -0700
<![CDATA[How the Movies of Tomorrow Will Play With Your Mind - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society]]>

Since the dawn of cinema, the cut has been one of the most powerful tools in a director’s kit. If we see a man walk through a door and turn his head to the right, and the scene immediately cuts to an image of an apple on a side table, our brain fills in the gap, and we understand that this man is looking at the apple. That’s because the brain has a natural propensity for smoothing over interruptions of stimuli. Whenever we blink, our eyes close for up to half a second, but we don’t notice the breaks. We also make rapid eye movements called saccades several times a second as we adjust to a constantly shifting environment, and we lose access to visual information until the eye movement settles down. This may why we generally don’t notice cuts in movies—they work like saccades. But neuroscientist Sergei Gepshtein dreams of a new visual vocabulary for cinema—one that relies much less on the cut, or perhaps even eliminates the cut altogether. “The film industry rests on a narrow selection of possibilities that got discovered early on and then got canonized by the force of inertia and entrenched by filmmaking technology and habit,” he says. Gepshtein sees some of the most disagreeable traits of entrenched movie technology in today’s blockbuster action movies. In these films, shots last only seconds, and there are regular barrages of rapid-fire cuts. Think Transformers, Battleship, the Bourne trilogy, or Pacific Rim. As Scott Derrickson, director of recent thrillers like Sinister and The Day the Earth Stood Still, laments, “The story is happening to you, but you are not interacting with the story.” But Gepshtein thinks he can offer an alternative to this trend—and it doesn’t necessarily involve long takes in the style of directors like Alfonso Cuarón, who recently snagged a directing Oscar for Gravity. Instead, it involves harnessing the modern science of vision. In December, I paid a visit to Gepshtein at his workplace, the Systems Neurobiology Laboratories of the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, its sleek whi

Wed, 07 May 2014 13:33:58 -0700
<![CDATA[Seen and Unseen: Could There Ever Be a “Cinema Without Cuts”? | Cocktail Party Physics, Scientific American Blog Network]]>

Astronauts on a routine repair mission for the Hubble Space Telescope find themselves coping with more than they bargained for in the pulse-pounding opening sequence of Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar-winning film, Gravity. Debris from the destruction of a defunct Russian satellite kills one colleague and detaches Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) from the repair shuttle, sending her tumbling in a freefall through space as veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) frantically shouts instructions over the comlink. Most astonishing is that Cuaron shot the scene as a seamless whole. The camera zooms in and around the screen, focusing first on one character, and then another, pulling back occasionally to capture the full jaw-dropping panoramic vista of near-earth orbit. “It is visual poetry,” marveled director Scott Derrickson (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Sinister) when we chatted back in December, all the more noteworthy because Cuaron’s technique is in such sharp contrast to the visual style that dominates most blockbuster action movies these days, in which the average shot length is typically less than five seconds. Think Transformers, Battleship, the Bourne trilogy, or Pacific Rim, all of which feature long action sequences comprised of a series of short, rapid cuts – pure sensory stimulus. Yet Gravity’s action sequences run as long as 17 minutes without a single cut, giving the film a very different feel for audiences accustomed to a more frenetic visual pace. Small wonder the Director’s Guild of America awarded Cuaron its top prize for a feature film, and he just snagged the Oscar for Best Director this year. For instance, here’s the opening sequence from Quantum of Solace: Now compare the look and feel of that scene with this extended three-minute sequence from Gravity, without a single cut: Cuaron has flirted with this approach before: he used a method called stitching to create the illusion of seamless shots in key battle scenes in his 2006 film Children of Men; Gravity takes it to the next level, thanks to

Wed, 07 May 2014 13:28:34 -0700
<![CDATA[Ants Swarm Like Brains Think - Issue 12: Feedback - Nautilus]]>

Deborah Gordon spent the morning of August 27 watching a group of harvester ants foraging for seeds outside the dusty town of Rodeo, N.M. Long before the first rays of sun hit the desert floor, a group of patroller ants was already on the move.

Mon, 28 Apr 2014 05:28:04 -0700
<![CDATA[The brain’s data compression mechanisms]]>

Researchers have hitherto assumed that information supplied by the sense of sight was transmitted almost in its entirety from its entry point to higher brain areas, across which visual sensation is generated.

Tue, 18 Mar 2014 12:44:59 -0700