Additional Show Notes for BSP 25

On the last episode of the Brain Science Podcast, I promised to list previous episodes that related to the discussion of embodied artificial intelligence.  For the sake of those of you who rely on the RSS feed to get the show notes, I am going to list those below. They have also been added to the original show notes.

Related Episodes of the Brain Science Podcast::Another thing I did not get into the original notes was a reference for the pivotal paper by Rodney Brooks. Here is  that reference:

Embodied Intelligence with Rolf Pfeifer (BSP 25)

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How the Body Shapes the Way We Think, by Rolf Pfeifer and Josh Bongard

Brain Science Podcast  Episode 25 is an interview of author Rolf Pfeifer, director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Zurich.  The focus of our conversation was the importance of embodiment.  Brains (and intelligence) cannot be understood separate from their interaction with the body and the physical world.  Pfeifer explains how this realization has led the field of artificial intelligence away from a pure computational approach to one he calls embodied artificial intelligence.  His interview is spiced with numerous examples that demonstrate why this approach is relevant to those of us who are interested in the human brain. 

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.

Episode Highlights:

  • A brief overview of artificial intelligence.
  • Introduction to biorobotics.
  • Why artificial intelligence and biorobotics are relevant to understand the brain.
  • The meaning of complexity and emergence.
  • Why the close coupling of the sensory and motor systems is essential to intelligence.
  • Applying design principles to understanding intelligence.
  • Numerous examples make these potentially intimidating topics accessible to all listeners.
  • I also introduced a new way for listeners to support the Brain Science Podcast 

Related episodes of the Brain Science Podcast:

Scientists mentioned in the podcast:

    Rodney Brooks

    Books by Rodney Brooks:

    Where to learn more about Pfeifer's work:

    Sandra Blakeslee (BSP 23)

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    This episode is an interview with Sandra Blakeslee, co-author (with her son Matthew) of The Body Has a Mind of Its Own: How Body Maps Help You Do (almost) Everything Better, which we discussed in Episode 21.

    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.

    Show Notes

    I asked Blakeslee to tell me a little bit of her background as a science writer.  She wrote for the New York Times for many years and was the co-author of both Jeff Hawkins groundbreaking book, On Intelligenceand VS Ramachandran's modern classic Phantoms in the Brain (1998), which was one of the first books to explore neuroplasticity.

    In this interview, we explored the relationship between body maps and neuroplasticity, as well as questions from listeners about out of body experiences and other oddities once considered "paranormal."  We talked about how body maps are relevant to understanding why some methods of alternative healing appear to be effective.

    I asked her to tell me which scientist she met made the biggest impression.  Here are a few of those she mentioned:

    Blakeslee told me about some of the pioneering work that Merzenich is doing to apply his discoveries to help people, both those with disabilities and those who just want to combat aging.  You can learn more about his work at http://www.positscience.com/.

    If you would like to contact Sandra Blakeslee to give her feedback or ask her questions, she has a contact form on her books website at http://www.thebodyhasamindofitsown.com/.  She is going to let me know when she gets the references posted on the site.

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    A review of "The Body Has a Mind of Its Own" (BSP 21)

    Featured in this episode: The Body has a Mind of Its Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Almost) Everything Better (2007), by Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee.  (Also available on from Audible.com)

    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.

    SHOW NOTES

    Topics:

    • Body maps and the role of embodiment.
    • Basic ideas about the body maps in the brain.
    • Mapping the world around us.
    • How body maps differ between species.
    • Body schema and body image.
    • The role of body maps in disease.
    • The role of belief in health and illness.
    • How body maps explain non-traditional healing methods and unusual experiences.
    • The role of motor imagery in improving motor skills.
    • Mirror Neurons and grid neurons in the hippocampus  (see more on Scholarpedia).
    • How sensation and emotions come together (the role of the insula).

    Scientists mentioned in the podcast:

    Other scientists mentioned in The Body has a Mind of Its Own:

    Note: This list is not exhaustive.  I know I left off VS Ramachandran and several others, but those listed above did work that was addressed, directly or indirectly, in my podcast.

    Brain Structures (links include diagrams of the brain):