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LSD-induced states

Two recent articles: Journal of Neuroscience Results demonstrate first, that LSD reduced activity in brain areas important for self-processing, but also social cognition, second that change in brain activity was linked to subjective experience, and third that LSD decreased the efficiency of establishing joint attention. Frontiers in Neuroscience We have applied techniques from natural language…

Form and Function in Human Song

Here’s a recent open access paper in Current Biology along with a journalistic write-up in The Harvard Gazette. The present research provides evidence for the existence of recurrent, perceptible features of three domains of vocal music across 86 human societies and for the striking consistency of form-function percepts across listeners from around the globe—listeners who presumably…

India meets NOLA

As a Brit living in North America if ever there were a cuisine that I have regular cravings for it is Indian, Indian long-since becoming the national cuisine, a most welcome antidote to the grimness of the then-British cuisine of the early ’70s. Inevitably, there is so much schlock out there or if one goes…

Sea Urchin Sashimi

Had I had tried Sea Urchin before then it would have been at Le Bernardin or The Willows Inn — but surely I’d have remembered the experience. Anyway, recently I tried Sea Urchin at a Japanese restaurant and it was one of the most compelling flavours I’ve had in several years. I can’t describe it but others…

Island of the Colorblind

Photographer Sanne de Wilde’s The Island of the Colorblind investigates a Pacific atoll where an unusually high percentage of the population has total color blindness. This phenomenon will of course be familiar to those who have read Oliver Sacks’ book and have seen the accompanying documentary. Cognitive scienceColorOliver SacksphotographyqualiaSanne de Wilde

The Nature of Consciousness

Sam Harris speaks with Thomas Metzinger about the scientific and experiential understanding of consciousness. Jump to 26:32 for the consciousness discussion proper — the first 26 minutes are for the most part a well-trodden exercise in mutual virtue-signalling. Discussion of the phenomenology of intuition . . . now that is interesting. Artificial intelligenceconsciousnessmeditationneurosciencephilosophy mindphilosophy of…