Check out The Broth — it’s a "global mosaic" in which you can move tiles around in real time with other people to create emergent artworks. It’s really cool to watch images grow and morph from the combined imagination of people around the Net.… Read More “Cool Collective Intelligence Group Drawing Game”
US military researchers are working on devices that augment human sensory perception, through the tongue:
By routing signals from helmet-mounted cameras, sonar and other
equipment through the tongue to the brain, they hope to give elite
soldiers superhuman senses similar to owls, snakes and fish.
… Read More “Seeing with your Tongue”
My father, Mayer Spivack, has written an interesting piece on managing thinking styles in organizations. He points out the difference between the thinking styles in early and later stage companies, and the challenge of managing and integrating these two aspects of the organization’s cognitive process.… Read More “Managing Different Thinking Styles in Organizations”
New research into the mathematical properties of whale songs reveals that they have a complex language:
The songs of the humpback whale are among the most complex in the
animal kingdom. Researchers have now mathematically confirmed that
whales have their own syntax that uses sound units to build phrases
that can be combined to form songs that last for hours.
… Read More “Study Discovers Whale Song Syntax”
Researchers continue to make progress in fusing living neurons with computer chips:
line between living organisms and machines has just become a whole lot
blurrier. European researchers have developed "neuro-chips" in which
living brain cells and silicon circuits are coupled together.
… Read More “Neuro-Chips”
The Edge has published mini-essays by 119 "big thinkers" on their "most dangerous ideas" — fun reading.
The history of science is replete with discoveries
that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally
dangerous in their time; the Copernican and
Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious.
… Read More “Big Thinkers' Most Dangerous Ideas”
I recently read a report of new neuroscience research in which researchers are able to predict what a person will recall by analyzing their brainstate. You can read a summary here.
This reminds me of an idea I had a while back for using biofeedback to guide brainstates, in order to improve memory.… Read More “A New Kind of Memory Aid”
A group of computer scientists have come up with a mathematical
technique to detect surprising features in dense information streams.
They tested their method by comparing it to what human’s considered
surprising, and the results were… surprisingly good! A mathematical
model of surprise could be very useful in next-generation information
systems, user-interfaces, situation rooms, and even fighter jet
cockpits, for filtering signal from noise and helping to focus
attention on what’s most important at a given time.
Japanese researchers have developed a technology for the remote control of humans. Hmm… sounds kind of creepy. The system uses weak electrical stimulation of the vestibular system, causing the subject to shift balance and change direction. This technology can also be used to create vestibular illusions — for example, it can be used to make a person playing a computer game think they are experiencing motion.… Read More “Remote Control Humans”
A cutting-edge research program is injecting human brain cells into monkey brains, to investigate whether this causes their brains to become more "human." This poses a potential ethical challenge: If the monkeys do become more human, would they be considered "human subjects" and be protected by ethical guidelines governing research onto humans?… Read More “Human-Brained Monkeys Pose Ethical Challenge”
Alex is a very smart parrot indeed. To the surprise of researchers, he understands the concept of zero, something which human children don’t grasp until they are 2 or 3 years old. Read more about Alex here.
Fascinating article about research which has successfully extracted video from monitoring cat neurons. They have actually reconstructed what the cat actually saw from its neural signals. This opens the door to recording our day-to-day perceptions (lifelogs) and perhaps even to recording our dreams.… Read More “Extracting Video from Cat Brains”
In a very interesting new finding, researchers have discovered the people’s brains contain individual neurons, or small groups of neurons, that seem exist only to recognize particular people or concepts. This would imply that there is one neuron, or at least a small group of neurons, in our brains for every unique thing that we know.… Read More “Brain Has Particular Neurons for Recognizing Celebrities and Other Concepts”
Researchers in Europe have completed the first phase of what may be the largest computational physics experiment in history: They built and ran a simulated universe through 14 billion years of development. The experiment used up 25 million megabytes of memory, and the biggest supercomputer in Europe for a month.… Read More “Simulated Universes and the Nature of Consciousness”
NASA’s research on subvocalization technology is moving forward. Their system intercepts nerve signals to the vocal cords before the speaker makes a sound and then figures out what words they signify. This technology will enable people to speak silently on the phone or to their computers, without moving their lips or making a sound.… Read More “Silent Speech Technology”
A number of readers sent me links this week about the new Sony patent for ultrasonic neural stimulation. It is definitely interesting and could represent a useful new approach to non-invasive brainstate manipulation. However, it is by no means anywhere near being useful for entertainment, virtual reality, or mind control.… Read More “About Sony's Brain Stimulation Patent”
After 30 years of research, a very interesting new theory of cognition has been announced. The theory posits that all human cognition and behavior is based on just one simple, non-algorithmic procedure that has been named confabulation. If the theory is correct it could offer a radical new approach to artificial intelligence, knowledge discovery, and knowledge management.
Dr. Ian Stevenson has amassed 3000 documented cases of children remembering events from past lives.
In each case of children’s past life memory, Dr. Stevenson methodically documents the child’s statements. Then he identifies the deceased person the child remembers being, and verifies the facts of the deceased person’s life that match the child’s memory.
… Read More “Past Life Memories of Children”
Years ago I read about Persinger’s work on the induction of unusual states of consciousness using magnetic stimulation of the temporal lobe and always wanted to try it — unfortunately the only way to do that was to go to his lab (assuming you could get invited).… Read More “Brain Stimulation Helmet for your PC”
MIT neuroscientist, Guosong Liu, has found that human neurons compute in trinary, using signals that are the equivalents of -1, 0 and 1. By contrast, all computers compute in binary, using just 0 and 1. Because the units of trinary computation can in some cases be additive (e.g.… Read More “New Finding: Brain Computes in Trinary not Binary”
This article provides an overview of the Global Consciousness Project at Princeton, which has found that the behavior of a network of specially shielded random number generators deviates from stasticial randomness prior to major world events. I have been following this project for several years and have made various suggestions for further experiments to test the system.… Read More “A Machine That Sees The Future?”
A new study demonstrates the power that other people’s beliefs have over a person’s behavior. Specifically it found that parents may unwittingly cause self-fulfilling prophecies in their children’s behavior…
Time and again, research has demonstrated the power of an individual’s self-fulfilling prophecies – if you envision
yourself tripping as you walk across a stage, you will be more likely to stumble and fall.
… Read More “Scientific Study Probes Self-Fulfilling Prophecies”
The New York Times has published a wonderful and fascinating set of mini-essays by leading scientists about their beliefs in the unknkown and unexplained — from consciousness, to God, to life on other worlds, and the existence of true love. There are some terrific thoughts in it — one of thoses rare articles that breaks through stereotypes and opens the door to new paradigms.… Read More “Scientists Discuss their Beliefs in the Unknown”
This just in: Read this article about an amazing child prodigy who may be one of the greatest musical geniuses in 200 years. Not only can he compose like a master, but he can compose multiple pieces of music at once!… Read More “The Next Mozart?”
In an interesting convergence of scientific disciplines, physicists in Germany have turned their attention to linguistics, and have come up with a statistical model that predicts the distribution and mutation of languages over time.