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Daniel Dennett’s Science of the Soul

Long write-up in The New Yorker Dennett does not believe that we are “mere things.” He thinks that we have souls, but he is certain that those souls can be explained by science. Andy ClarkCognitive scienceDaniel DennettDavid ChalmersdualismGilbert RyleMaterialismneural correlatesNeurophilosophyneurosciencePhilosophy of mindquineReligion

Risky business

A new article in the latest issue of the PNAS entitled “Predicting risky choices from brain activity patterns“ (h/t to Shannon Selin). This study reminds me of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky’s work: Prospect theory concerns the psychophysics of wealth utility: that is, the perceived tradeoffs between potential outcomes and the probability of some outcome occurring. Kahneman…

fMRI Study of Jazz Improvisation

Though there is much talk about this study, check out this study that goes back a few years: Our results strongly implicate a distinctive pattern of changes in prefrontal cortical activity that underlies the process of spontaneous musical composition. Our data indicate that spontaneous improvisation, independent of the degree of musical complexity, is characterized by widespread deactivation…