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Magna Cortica: The Ethics of Brain Augmentation | Jamais Cascio

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

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

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

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.

Rewiring Your Brain: Michael Weisend

Rewiring Your Brain: Michael Weisend

 

A neuroscientist at the Wright State Research Institute, Michael Weisend is an expert in neuroimaging with magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG) both in a clinical setting and for research into the mechanisms of learning, memory and epilepsy. In recent years, he has used this expertise to develop neuroimaging-guided, non-invasive brain stimulation strategies to enhance memory and other aspects of human performance.  

The Brain is Wired for Unity: Zoran Josipovic

zoran josipovic

Zoran Josipovic, PhD, is a Research Associate and Adjunct faculty at the Psychology Department and Center for Neural Science, New York University. He is Director of Contemplative Science Lab at NYU, the founding director of the Nonduality Institute, and the founding member of MARGAM — metro-area research group on awareness and meditation. Zoran is a long-term practitioner of meditation in the nondual traditions of Dzogchen, Mahamudra and Advaita Vedanta. In his previous life he worked as a clinical psychotherapist, a bodyworker and has taught meditation seminars at Esalen.  

Neuroscience: Finally mapped: The brain region that distinguishes bits from bounty

neurosciencestuff:

In comparing amounts of things — be it the grains of sand on a beach, or the size of a sea gull flock inhabiting it — humans use a part of the brain that is organized topographically, researchers have finally shown. In other words, the neurons that work to make this “numerosity” assessment are…

Neuroscience: Finally mapped: The brain region that distinguishes bits from bounty

 

Robert Burton: “A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind”

Robert Burton: “A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind”

Despite 2500 years of contemplation by the world’s greatest minds and the more recent phenomenal advances in basic neuroscience, neither neuroscientists nor philosophers have a decent understanding of what the mind is or how it works. Nevertheless, with powerful new tools such as the fMRI scan, neuroscience has become the de facto mode of explanation of behavior.

In A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind, Robert Burton brings together clinical observations, practical thought experiments, personal anecdotes, and cutting-edge neuroscience to decipher what neuroscience can tell us about ourselves– and where it falls woefully short. At the same time, he offers a new vision of how to think about what the mind might be and how it works.

A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind is a critical, startling, and expansive journey into the mysteries of the brain and what makes us human.

As an introduction, you can also catch his discussion of his previous book, On Being Certain, at Authors at Google, June 9, 2008 here.

About the Author: Robert Burton, M.D. graduated from Yale University and University of California at San Francisco medical school, where he also completed his neurology residency. At age 33, he was appointed chief of the Division of Neurology at Mt. Zion-UCSF Hospital, where he subsequently became Associate Chief of the Department of Neurosciences. His non-neurology writing career includes three critically acclaimed novels and On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not. He lives in Sausalito, California.

 

Colin Camerer: Neuroscience, game theory, monkeys

Colin Camerer: Neuroscience, game theory, monkeys

When two people are trying to make a deal — whether they’re competing or cooperating — what’s really going on inside their brains? Behavioral economist Colin Camerer shows research that reveals just how little we’re able to predict what others are thinking. And he presents an unexpected study that shows chimpanzees might just be better at it than we are. 

Colin Camerer is a leading behavioral economist who studies the psychological and neural bases of choice and strategic decision-making.

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?

Colin Camerer focuses on brain behavior during decision making, strategizing and market trading. He is the Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Finance and Economics at the California Institute of Technology. A child prodigy in his youth, Camerer received a B.A. in quantitative studies from Johns Hopkins when he was just 17 and a PhD in decision theory from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business when he was 22. Camerer’s research departs from previous theory in that it does not assume the mind to be a rational and perfect system, but rather focuses on the limitations of everyday people when they play actual games, and seeks to predict how they will behave in situations that involve strategy. His studies focus on neurological findings from economic experiments in the lab (on humans — and monkeys!) Camerer is the author of Behavioral Game Theory.

 

 

Dr. Ron Stotts: The Creativity Crisis

Dr. Ron Stotts: The Creativity Crisis

The greatest minds throughout history agree that everything we create begins with imagination. We are currently in crisis — financial, environmental, health, relational, and spiritual — which indicates just how disconnected we have become from our inspired imagination.

What keeps us shut off from our innate creative abilities? Is there a way to bypass the gatekeepers of our brain? Dr. Ron Stotts will present you with the keys to unlock those gates and access your creative genius.