Magna Cortica: The Ethics of Brain Augmentation | Jamais Cascio
If intelligence, empathy, love, spirituality, or memories could be altered by taking a pill, implant, or even microbe, would you say yes?. Mind-enhancing drugs will be capable of manipulating our brains. They will also challenge our society’s morals, offset playing fields of business and global power, and what we consider “normal”. Futurist Jamais Cascio suggests a Magna Carta for the upcoming age of biohacking.
Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of their Top 100 Global Thinkers, Jamais Cascio explores the intersection of environmental dilemmas, emerging technologies, and cultural evolution, specializing in plausible scenarios of the future. Cascio is presently a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, and also serves as Senior Fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. In 2009, Cascio published Hacking the Earth: Understanding the Consequences of Geoengineering. Cascio’s written work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Policy, and the New York Times, among many others. He has been featured in a variety of television programs on future issues, including National Geographic’s 2008 documentary on global warming, “Six Degrees,” and the 2010 CBC documentary “Surviving the Future.”
Nancy Kanwisher: A neural portrait of the human mind
Brain imaging pioneer Nancy Kanwisher, who uses fMRI scans to see activity in brain regions (often her own), shares what she and her colleagues have learned: The brain is made up of both highly specialized components and general-purpose “machinery.” Another surprise: There’s so much left to learn.
Genius is our birthright and mediocrity is self-imposed | John Nosta
We live in a cognitive tyranny that suppresses our true capacity for thought and experience. This fundamental misperception–how genius it the domaine of the few and fortunate–is simple incorrect.
Yet, we experience these transcendent moment of magic and fail to make the connection to genius–a connection that is endowed within us all.
John is a thinker cut from a contrarian cloth. He is a driving force in helping shape the role of technology, cognition and medicine in transforming the human existence.
Cognitive prescription for blind hindsight | Richard Chalkley
We do not need to be blind to the source of our mistakes, but we are. As with glasses to correct myopia, Richard believes that there is a cognitive prescription for Blind Hindsight
Richard is now the Health and Safety Manager for the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh. He has looked after safety at the “sharp end” of research into infectious diseases and cancer in the public, private and charity sectors. He is a practitioner who strives to understand the human condition and why we get it wrong so often and so easily.
Why Talking To Little Kids Matters | Anne Fernald
For babies, good conversation is nourishment for the brain. Dr. Anne Fernald is the director of the Language Learning Lab of the Stanford Psychology Department and one of the world’s leading experts in infant-directed speech. In her TEDxMonterey talk she explains how the quality of our interactions with infants and young children effects their brain development for life.Anne Fernald is the Josephine Knotts Knowles Professor of Human Biology at Stanford University. As director of the Language Learning Lab in the Department of Psychology, she conducts experimental studies of language processing by infants and young children, as well as observational studies of parent-infant interaction. Fernald and her research team have developed sensitive measures of the time course of infants’ understanding as they learn to interpret language from moment to moment. In longitudinal studies with English- and Spanish-learning children from advantaged and disadvantaged families, this research reveals the vital role of early language experience in strengthening speech processing efficiency, which in turn facilitates language learning. Fernald is also conducting research in West Africa, examining speech to children in relation to language learning in rural villages in Senegal. A central goal of this research is to help parents understand that they play a crucial role in supporting children’s language growth – providing their infant with early linguistic nutrition and language exercise.
Ray Kurzweil: Get ready for hybrid thinking
Two hundred million years ago, our mammal ancestors developed a new brain feature: the neocortex. This stamp-sized piece of tissue (wrapped around a brain the size of a walnut) is the key to what humanity has become. Now, futurist Ray Kurzweil suggests, we should get ready for the next big leap in brain power, as we tap into the computing power in the cloud.
Dan Gilbert: The psychology of your future self
“Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.” Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the “end of history illusion,” where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we’ll be for the rest of time. Hint: that’s not the case.
The healing power of music: Robin Spielberg
Robin Spielberg, a renowned contemporary pianist and composer, tells a very personal story about the healing power of music. Her experiences inspired her to share how music makes an impact on our well-being and helps us through difficulties.
Cortney Warren: Honest Liars: The Psychology of Self-Deception
By providing content, resources, and connections, Dr. Cortney Warren’s goal is to support anyone who is brave enough to live a more conscious life. For when we are honest about who we really are, we have the opportunity to change.
Dr. Dean Ornish: Your genes are not your fate
Dr. Dean Ornish shares new research that shows how adopting healthy lifestyle habits can affect a person at a genetic level. For instance, he says, when you live healthier, eat better, exercise, and love more, your brain cells actually increase. And new findings show that a healthier lifestyle can turn off disease-provoking genes and turn on the good ones.