Jeff Hawkins, author of the bestseller On Intelligence tells us about his latest research into how the neocortex produces intelligence. He proposes an exciting new model that could change the way we imagine cortical function.Read More
Brain Science 136 is a discussion of Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can’t, and What Can Be Done About It by Mark Seidenberg. We explore some recent discoveries from reading science and ponder why there is such a large gap between these scientific discoveries and current educational practices in the US.Read More
Olaf Sporns, PhD
Networks of the Brain by Olaf Sporns is an excellent comprehensive introduction to the use of Network Theory to study both the brain and the nervous systems of invertebrates.
In Episode 74 of the Brain Science Podcast, I interviewed Dr. Sporns (Indiana University) about some of the key ideas in his book. Network Theory is becoming increasingly important as a tool for dealing with the massive amounts of data being generated by current techniques, such as brain imaging. It is also a valuable tool for dealing with the fact that nervous systems consist of multiple scales (from the molecular level up to billions of neurons), which can not be reduced to a single scale.
While Networks of the Brain will be of greatest interest to those working in neuroscience and to those with a background in fields like engineering, mathematics, and computer science, this interview provides an introduction for listeners of all backgrounds.
How to get this episode:
- Olaf Sporns, PhD (Indiana University): website, email: osporns at indiana.edu.
- Brain Connectivity Toolbox.
- Human Connectome Project.
- Networks of the Brain, by Olaf Sporns (MIT Press, 2011).
- Rhythms of the Brain, by György Buzsáki.
- Watts, DJ, Strogatz SH. "Collective Dynamics of 'small-world' networks." Nature 393: 440-442 (1998).
- Fodor, JA. The Modularity of the Mind. (1983).
- BSP 31: Interview with György Buzsáki, author of Rhythms of the Brain.
- BSP 46: Discussion of Brain Imaging, including Diffusion Imaging.
- BSP 56: Interview with Dr. Eve Marder about the use of circuit theory in neuroscience.
- BSP 61: Mapping the Brain (and generating huge amounts of data).
- The Brain Science Podcast will be returning to a monthly schedule on July 1, 2011.
- Please join the new Brain Science Podcast Discussion Forum at GoodReads.com.
- Get show notes automatically via our Newsletter.
- Dr. Campbell gave a talk in London last month entitled "Why Neuroscience Matters." (Available here.)
- Dr. Campbell will be a speaker at The Amazing Meeting 9, July 14-17,2011 in Las Vegas, NV.
- Don't forget to check out the Books and Ideas podcast and SCIENCEPODCASTERS.ORG.
- The Brain Science Podcast app is available for iPhone, Android, and iPad. If you have purchased the iPhone version, it will now work on your iPad (no additional purchase needed). The iPad is the perfect device for reading episode transcripts, especially if you want to read along as you listen.
- Send Dr. Campbell email at email@example.com.
In his new book, Embodied Cognition, Dr. Lawrence Shapiro provides a balanced introduction to embodied cognition's attempts to challenge standard cognitive science. His interview in Episode 73 of the Brain Science Podcast is a discussion of a few of his book's key ideas. It also continues our ongoing exploration of the role of embodiment.
How to get this episode:
- BSP 25: Embodied Artificial Intelligence with Dr. Rolf Pfeifer.
- BSP 36: Introduction to Embodied Cognition with Dr. Art Glenberg.
- BSP 58: "Extended Mind" with philosopher Alva Noë.
- BSP 66: Computational cognitive science with Dr. Randy Gallistel.
Some scientists mentioned in this episode:
- Lawrence Shapiro (University of Wisconsin).
- James J Gibson: founder of ecological psychology and the theory of affordances.
- Jerry Fodor: a proponent of standard cognitive science.
- Noam Chomsky: linguist who greatly influenced standard cognitive science.
- Rodney Brooks (MIT): pioneer of embodied artificial intelligence.
- Rolf Pfeifer: embodied AI (interviewed in BSP 25).
- Art Glenberg: discussed embodied cognition in BSP 36.
- Andy Clark: along with David Chalmers he has proposed the idea of "extended mind".
- Alva Noë: philosopher intervied in BSP 58.
- Randy Gallistel: discussed the computational approach to cognitive science in BSP 66.
- Embodied Cognition, by Lawrence Shapiro.
- Radical Embodied Cognitive Science, by Anthony Chemero.
- How the Body Shapes the Way We Think: A New View of Intelligence, by Rolf Pfeifer and Josh C. Bongard.
- Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness, by Alva Noë.
- Memory and the Computational Brain: Why Cognitive Science will Transform Neuroscience, by C. R. Gallistel and Adam Philip King.
- Held, R. Hien, A. (1963) "Movement-Produced Simulation in the Development of Visually Guided Behavior," Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 56: 872-6. (Discussion)
- Brooks, R. (1991) "New Approaches to Robotics," Science 253: 1227-32.
- Brooks, R. (1991) "Intelligence without Representation," Artificial Intelligence 47: 139-59.
- Clark, A. and Chalmer, D. (1998) "The Extended Mind." Analysis 58: 7-19.
- Glenberg, A. and Kaschak, M. (2002) "Grounding Lanquage in Action," Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 9: 558-65.
- Ehrlich, S., Levine, S., and Golden-Meadows, S. (2006) "The Importance of Gesture in Children's Spatial Reasoning," Developmental Psychology 42: 1259-68.
- Thelan, E. and Smith,L. (1994) A Dynamical Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action (Cambridge: MIT Press).
- See Episode Transcript for additional references.
- Join the discussion of this episode in our new Discussion Group at Goodreads.com.
- Subscribe to the Brain Science Podcast newsletter to get detailed show notes for every episode.
- The next episode of the Brain Science Podcast will be an interview with Dr. Olaf Sporns, author of Networks of the Brain. I am also hoping to interview Antonio Damasio later this spring.
- The Brain Science Podcast application is now available for iPhone, iPad Touch, and Android Devices.
- Please listen to my other podcast Books and Ideas, which comes out in the alternate months between episodes of this podcast.
- I will be giving a live talk in London, UK on May 11. Visit the London Skeptics in the Pub website for more details, or send me email.
- For more science podcasts visit http://sciencepodcasters.org.
- Follow me on Twitter or join the Brain Science Podcast Fan Page on Facebook.
Send feed back to Dr. Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org
The latest episode of the Brain Science Podcast (BSP 71) is our 4th annual review episode. As usual, I review highlights from this year's interviews, but this year I added a new feature: my personal reflections on how the Brain Science Podcast has impacted my life. This episode also contains a special announcement for UK listeners.
How to get this episode:
Major Topics from Season 4:
- Emotions with Jaak Panksepp (BSP 65).
- Memory with Randy Gallistel (BSP 66).
- Consciousness with Thomas Metzinger (BSP 67).
- Alzheimer's Disease with Peter Whitehouse (BSP 68 and Books and Ideas 36).
- Glia Cells with R. Douglas Fields (BSP 69).
- Pop Psychology Myths with Scott Lilienfeld (BSP 70).
- Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions, by Jaak Panksepp (BSP 65).
- Memory and the Computational Brain: Why Cognitive Science will Transform Neuroscience, by C. R. Gallistel, Adam Philip King (BSP 66).
- The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self,by Thomas Metzinger (BSP 67)
- The Myth of Alzheimer's: What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis, by Peter J. Whitehouse and Daniel George (BSP 68 and Books and Ideas 36).
- The Other Brain: From Dementia to Schizophrenia, How New Discoveries about the Brain Are Revolutionizing Medicine and Science, by R. Douglas Fields (BSP 69).
- 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior, by Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio, Barry L. Beyerstein (BSP 70).
- For additional references: follow links to episode show notes.
- The Brain Science Podcast app is now available for both iPhone and ANDROID (NEW!)
- Be sure to subscribe to my Books and Ideas podcast. The next episode will come out in December.
- The next episode of the Brain Science Podcast will come out in January 2010.
- Sign up for our Newsletter so that you won't miss any episodes.
Send me feedback at email@example.com.
Episode 66 of the Brain Science Podcast is an interview with Randy Gallistel, PhD, Co-Director of the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science and co-author (with Adam Philip King) of Memory and the Computational Brain: Why Cognitive Science Will Transform Neuroscience.
We discuss why read/write memory is an essential element of computation, with an emphasis on the animal experiments that support the claim that brains must possess read/write memory. This is significant because current models, such as neural nets, DO NOT incorporate read/write memory in their assumptions about how brains work. It is not necessary to have any background in information theory or computation to appreciate the experiments that are discussed in this episode.
How to get this episode:
References and Links:
- Spikes: Exploring the Neural Code, by Fred Rieke, David Warland, Rob de Ruyter van Steveninck, William Bialek.
- Memory and the Computational Brain: Why Cognitive Science Will Transform Neuroscience, by C. R. Gallistel, Adam Philip King.
- Claude E. Shannon: His paper (A Mathematical Theory of Communication, Bell System Technical Journal, Vol. 27, pp. 379–423, 623–656, 1948) is a cornerstone of information theory.
- Rüdiger Wehner: Swiss researcher who has studied dead reckoning in insects.
- Nicky Clayton and Tony Dickinson: these researchers have performed elegant experiments that study scrub jay caching.
- Christof Koch: was interviewed in Episode 22 of the Brain Science Podcast.
- This was Dr. Campbell's 100th podcast (BSP 66 plus Books and Ideas 34)! How long have you been listening?
- Please sign up for the Brain Science Podcast Newsletter
- If you have an iPhone® or iPod Touch® check out the BSP application in the iTunes® Store.
Send feedback to gincampbell at mac dot com or leave voice mail at 205-202-0663.
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Episode 38 of the Brain Science Podcast is an interview with Jeff Hawkins, author of On Intelligence. Hawkins is well-known for founding Palm Computing and Handspring. He invented the Grafitti handwriting recognition system and helped develop the Palm Trio SmartPhone. Since he published his bestseller On Intelligence, he has devoted his work to his passion for neuroscience. His current company, Numenta, is developing software that models the hierarchical structure of the neocortex. In this interview we talk about the ideas in Hawkins book and how he is applying them to develop a computer model of cortical function. This is a follow-up to Episode 2, which first aired in December of 2006.
How to get this episode:
Links and References:
- Jeff Hawkins: Wikipedia entry
- On Intelligence, by Jeff Hawkins with Sandra Blakeslee.http://www.onintelligence.org.
- Dileep George: co-founder of Numenta and principal architect of the first prototype implementing the hierarchical temporal memory system (HTM) patterned after the human neocortex.
Vernon Montcastle: pioneer who proposed that all parts of the brain's cortex work the same way.
- Vernon Mountcastle (1978), "An Organizing Principle for Cerebral Function: The Unit Model and the Distributed System", The Mindful Brain (Gerald M. Edelman and Vernon B. Mountcastle, eds.) Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (Please let me know if you find this paper on-line!)
- Perceptual Neuroscience: The Cerebral Cortex, by Vernon B. Mountcastle. This 1998 is recommended by Jeff Hawkins, especially for those interested in the technical details of cortical function.
Redwood Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience (UC-Berkeley) founded by Jeff Hawkins.
Numenta: company website includes extensive educational information about hierarchical temporal memory system (HTM). The company's focus is practical implementation of HTM Theory.
Donations and Subscriptions are appreciated
It has been a while since I read Edelman's book. Edelman won the Nobel Prize in 1972 for important discoveries about the structure of antibodies, but he has devoted the last several decades to studying neuroscience. His two most well-known contributions are his theory of so-called 'neural Darwinism,' and his study of the importance of redundancy and feedback loops within the brain. He has written quite a few books on the subject including, Wider Than the Sky: The Phenomenal Gift of Consciousness (2005).
Second Nature is Edelman's attempt to address some of the philosophical issues about consciousness, while Wider than the Sky introduces some of his theories about how the brain generates consciousness.
This is a point I have emphasized repeatedly. Inman observes that approaches liked embodied artificial intelligence (which we discussed with Rolf Pfeifer in Episode 25) are really based on a different philosophy of mind that "good old-fashioned AI."
His paper, Philosophy of Mind Using a Screwdriver, is available as a PDF.
Brain Science Podcast #22 is an interview with Dr. Christof Koch of Cal Tech, one of the pioneers in the neurobiological study of consciousness. About two decades ago, when Koch and Francis Crick began looking for what they called the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC), such a quest was considered controversial; but now the field is increasing in popularity. In our interview, we talked a little about his book,The Quest for Consciousness, as well as his on-going research and his thoughts about what the future might bring.
How to get this episode:
Here is a list of some of the topics we discussed:
- Why Francis Crick was an outstanding mentor and colleague.
- A Working definition of consciousness.
- How consciousness relates to awareness.
- What are neural correlates of consciousness.
- Why vision is the focus of Koch's research.
- The search for the "footprints" of consciousness.
- The role of functional imaging and the use of monkeys.
- Neurons-"the atoms of perception".
- Why we need a theory of consciousness.
- The role of the frontal lobes in consciousness.
- Is consciousness an emergent property?
- What about zombies?
- Why do we need consciousness?
- Will artificial intelligence become conscious?
- The hard problem: how does the brain generate subjective experience (qualia).
Update on 2012-05-03 15:42 by Ginger Campbell, MD
Christof Koch returned to the Brain Science Podcast in Episode 84.
How to get this episode:
- Premium Subscribers now have unlimited access to all old episodes and transcripts.
- Buy mp3 for $1
- Buy Transcript for $1.
- New episodes of the Brain Science Podcast are always FREE. All episodes posted after January 1, 2013, are free. See the individual show notes for links the audio files.
Here are some of the questions we discussed:
- What is computational neuroscience?
- What is the computational theory of the mind (CTOM)?
- How isthe objection that the CTOM doesn't account for meaning answered ?
- What about choice and responsibility?
- Is there room for free will in this model?