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Innate: How the Wiring of Our Brains Shapes Who We Are

Published today — this should get some regressive knickers in a twist. In the past century, the tradition of Freudian psychology popularized the idea that our psychological dispositions could be traced to formative childhood experiences. In many areas of modern academic sociology and psychology this belief is still widespread, though it has been extended to…

The Evolution of Computationalism

A terrific discussion of computationalism by the very excellent Marcin Miłkowski, freely available in Minds and Machines. [i]t is less misleading to think of computationalism as a diverse research tradition composed of multiple, historically variable computational theories of mind (or brain). By conflating the research tradition with one of the early theories, one could be tempted…

From cybernetics to brain theory, and more: A memoir

My chum, Péter Érdi, editor of Cognitive Systems Research, has alerted me to the open access memoir (63 pages) by neuroscience grandee Michael Arbib. Giving me the opportunity to talk to these visitors was one of the ways in which McCulloch contributed more to my graduate education than any other professor at MIT. When I thanked him, he…

First synthesized LSD trip

On this date in 1943 Albert Hofmann accidentally ingested LSD. Check out this documentary entitled Hofmann’s Potion. Strong Saskatoon connection to LSD research. Albert HofmannAldous HuxleyAlfred Matthew HubbardchemistryconsciousnessdrugsLSD hallucinogenicsneurosciencephilosophical psychologyPhilosophy of mindPsychedelicpsychiatryqualiaReligion & SpiritualityschizophreniaTimothy Leary

Brain connectivity reflects human aesthetic responses to music

Freely available paper in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Humans routinely experience pleasure in response to higher order stimuli that confer no clear evolutionary advantage. Aesthetic responses through pursuit of and engagement with the arts activates the same reward network in the brain that responds to the basic, sensory pleasures associated with food, sex and drugs…