Tag Archives: Mind

Steven Pinker: From neurons to consciousness

This lecture from Steven Pinker has been around for a while, but it seems to get at a question a few people have asked me recently: how does the information processing of neurons and synapses lead to conscious perception?  Pinker doesn’t answer this … Continue reading

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Is consciousness only in the back of the brain?

There’s an interesting debate going on among some neuroscientists about which parts of the brain are involved in subjective experience.  On the one side are Christof Koch, Giuilio Tononi, and colleagues who argue that consciousness exists wholly in the back of … Continue reading

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Why fears of an AI apocalypse are misguided

In this Big Think video, Steven Pinker makes a point I’ve made before, that fear of artificial intelligence comes with a deep misunderstanding about the relationship between intelligence and motivation.  Human minds come with survival instincts, programmatic goals hammered out … Continue reading

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What about subjective experience implies anything non-physical?

Mary’s room is a classic philosophical thought experiment about consciousness.  The Wikipedia article on what’s called the knowledge argument quotes Frank Jackson, the originator of the argument, as follows: Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced … Continue reading

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What do scientific theories actually tell us about the world?

One of the things that’s exciting about learning new things, is that often a new understanding in one area sheds light on what might seem like a completely separate topic.  For me, information about how the brain works appears to have shed … Continue reading

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Being a beast machine

In my post on consciousness possibly being a simulation engine, I noted Anil Seth’s excellent Aeon article as one of the inspirations.  As it turns out, Seth talked at a TEDx conference and covered many of the same topics he … Continue reading

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Two brain science podcasts worth checking out

As my long time readers will know, I’m very interested in the mind, and my preferred way to explore it is through science, notably neuroscience or cognitive psychology, or with science oriented philosophy.  With that in mind, I want to … Continue reading

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