Science & Consciousness Review http://sciconrev.org News from the Scientific Study of ConsciousnessFri, 03 Jun 2011 16:26:44 +0000enhourly1http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.4Trends in Cognitive Sciences: Table of Contents June 2011 http://sciconrev.org/2011/06/trends-in-cognitive-sciences-table-of-contents-june-2011/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/06/trends-in-cognitive-sciences-table-of-contents-june-2011/#commentsFri, 03 Jun 2011 16:23:15 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2853The June issue of Trends in Cognitive Sciences is available online.

Volume 15, Issue 6, pp. 241-288
Letters
Letters Response
Book Review
Opinion
Review

____________________________________________________________________



Letters

Frontal pole function: what is specifically human? p241

Etienne Koechlin

Full TextPDF (82 kb)

Frontopolar cortex: constraints for theorizing p242

Paul W. Burgess

Full TextPDF (64 kb)

Letters Response

Appreciating the differences: response to Burgess p243

Satoshi Tsujimoto, Aldo Genovesio

Full TextPDF (66 kb)

Book Review

From theory of mind to divine minds p244

Justin L. Barrett

Full TextPDF (76 kb)

Opinion

The Interactive Account of ventral occipitotemporal contributions to reading p246

Cathy J. Price, Joseph T. Devlin

AbstractFull TextPDF (468 kb)

The unique role of the visual word form area in reading p254

Stanislas Dehaene, Laurent Cohen

AbstractFull TextPDF (1051 kb)

Review

The role of testosterone in social interaction p263

Christoph Eisenegger, Johannes Haushofer, Ernst Fehr

AbstractFull TextPDF (563 kb)

Reciprocal relations between cognitive neuroscience and formal cognitive models: opposites attract? p272

Birte U. Forstmann, Eric-Jan Wagenmakers, Tom Eichele, Scott Brown, John T. Serences

AbstractFull TextPDF (390 kb)

Stress and emotional memory: a matter of timing p280

Marian Joëls, Guillen Fernandez, Benno Roozendaal

AbstractFull TextPDF (537 kb)

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Consciousness and Cognition: Table of Contents June 2011 http://sciconrev.org/2011/06/consciousness-and-cognition-table-of-contents-june-2011/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/06/consciousness-and-cognition-table-of-contents-june-2011/#commentsWed, 01 Jun 2011 23:55:13 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2835The June issue of Consciousness and Cognition is available online.

Volume 20, Issue 2, pp.173-488

_________________________

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REGULAR ARTICLES


What you cannot see can help you: The effect of exposure to unreportable stimuli on approach behavior
Pages 173-180
Joel Weinberger, Paul Siegel, Caleb Siefert, Julie Drwal
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Very brief exposure II: The effects of unreportable stimuli on reducing phobic behavior
Pages 181-190
Paul Siegel, Jason F. Anderson, Edward Han
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Processing fluency of the forms and sounds of Chinese characters
Pages 191-203
Siyun Liu, Xujin Zhang, Yi Ren, Qiong Yu
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The uncanny mirror: A re-framing of mirror self-experience
Pages 204-213
Philippe Rochat, Dan Zahavi
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Incidental and online learning of melodic structure
Pages 214-222
Martin Rohrmeier, Patrick Rebuschat, Ian Cross
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Accessing the meaning of invisible words
Pages 223-233
Yung-Hao Yang, Su-Ling Yeh
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Lucid dreaming and ventromedial versus dorsolateral prefrontal task performance
Pages 234-244
Michelle Neider, Edward F. Pace-Schott, Erica Forselius, Brian Pittman, Peter T. Morgan
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Attention and time constraints in perceptual-motor learning and performance: Instruction, analogy, and skill level
Pages 245-256
Johan M. Koedijker, Jamie M. Poolton, Jonathan P. Maxwell, Raôul R.D. Oudejans, Peter J. Beek, Rich S.W. Masters
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Specific and nonspecific thalamocortical functional connectivity in normal and vegetative states
Pages 257-268
Jingsheng Zhou, Xiaolin Liu, Weiqun Song, Yanhui Yang, Zhilian Zhao, Feng Ling, Anthony G. Hudetz, Shi-Jiang Li
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Conscious awareness is necessary for processing race and gender information from faces
Pages 269-279
Ido Amihai, Leon Deouell, Shlomo Bentin
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Does subliminal priming of free response choices depend on task set or automatic response activation?
Pages 280-287
Patrick A. O’Connor, W. Trammell Neill
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Transcranial magnetic stimulation of early visual cortex interferes with subjective visual awareness and objective forced-choice performance
Pages 288-298
Mika Koivisto, Henry Railo, Niina Salminen-Vaparanta
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REPLY


Consciousness might still be in business, but not in this business
Pages 299-300
Ran R. Hassin
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RESPONSE TO REPLY


The moderating business of the conscious central executive
Pages 301-302
Yossi Guterman
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SHORT COMMUNICATION


Recalling episodic information about personally known faces and voices
Pages 303-308
Catherine Barsics, Serge Brédart
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COMMENTARY TO SHORT COMMUNICATION


The face advantage in recalling episodic information: Implications for modeling human memory
Pages 309-311
Ljubica Damjanovic
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TARGET ARTICLE


Can suggestion obviate reading? Supplementing primary Stroop evidence with exploratory negative priming analyses
Pages 312-320
Amir Raz, Natasha K.J. Campbell
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COMMENTARIES


Hypnosis and the control of attention: Where to from here?
Pages 321-324
Colin M. MacLeod
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Brain states and hypnosis research
Pages 325-327
Michael I. Posner, Mary K. Rothbart
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Using hypnosis to gain insights into healthy and pathological cognitive functioning
Pages 328-331
David A. Oakley, Peter W. Halligan
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Prospects for de-automatization
Pages 332-334
John F. Kihlstrom
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Suggestibility and suggestive modulation of the Stroop effect
Pages 335-336
Irving Kirsch
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TARGET ARTICLE


Oneiric activity in schizophrenia: Textual analysis of dream reports
Pages 337-348
Marco Zanasi, Fabrizio Calisti, Giorgio Di Lorenzo, Giulia Valerio, Alberto Siracusano
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COMMENTARY


Dreaming and waking experiences in schizophrenia: How should the (dis)continuity hypotheses be approached empirically?
Pages 349-352
Valdas Noreika
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REPLY


Reply to Valdas Noreika’s commentary on Zanasi, M., Calisti, F., Di Lorenzo, G., Valerio, G., & Siracusano, A. (2011). Oneiric activity in schizophrenia: Textual analysis of dream reports
Pages 353-354
Marco Zanasi, Fabrizio Calisti, Giorgio Di Lorenzo, Giulia Valerio, Alberto Siracusano
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TARGET ARTICLE


Boosting or choking – How conscious and unconscious reward processing modulate the active maintenance of goal-relevant information
Pages 355-362
Claire M. Zedelius, Harm Veling, Henk Aarts
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COMMENTARY


Can a 50 cents reward really choke working memory maintenance process?
Pages 363-365
Manuel Vidal, Matteo Mossio
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REPLY


Beware the reward – How conscious processing of rewards impairs active maintenance performance
Pages 366-367
Claire M. Zedelius, Harm Veling, Henk Aarts
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TARGET ARTICLE


Learning of predictive relations between events depends on attention, not on awareness
Pages 368-378
Ruud Custers, Henk Aarts
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COMMENTARY


The mechanics of implicit learning of contingencies: A commentary on Custers & Aarts’ paper
Pages 379-381
Baruch Eitam
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REPLY


Disentangling attention and awareness: The case of predictive learning
Pages 382-383
Ruud Custers
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TARGET ARTICLE


A replication of the 5–7 day dream-lag effect with comparison of dreams to future events as control for baseline matching
Pages 384-391
Mark Blagrove, Josie Henley-Einion, Amanda Barnett, Darren Edwards, C. Heidi Seage
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COMMENTARY


A commentary on Blagrove et al.’s dream-lag replication: Implications for memory sources
Pages 392-393
Caroline L. Horton
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TARGET ARTICLE


Natural suggestibility in children
Pages 394-398
Serge Nicolas, Thérèse Collins, Yannick Gounden, Henry L. Roediger III
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COMMENTARY


The influence of suggestibility on memory
Pages 399-400
Serge Nicolas, Thérèse Collins, Yannick Gounden, Henry L. Roediger III
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TARGET ARTICLE


Frankfurt and the folk: An experimental investigation of Frankfurt-style cases
Pages 401-414
Jason S. Miller, Adam Feltz
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COMMENTARY


Empirical tests of philosophical intuitions
Pages 415-416
Robert L. Woolfolk
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Short Communications


Acquisition of conscious and unconscious knowledge of semantic prosody
Pages 417-425
Xiuyan Guo, Li Zheng, Lei Zhu, Zhiliang Yang, Chao Chen, Lei Zhang, Wendy Ma, Zoltan Dienes
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Properties of spatial attention in conscious and nonconscious visual information processing
Pages 426-431
Evelina Tapia, Bruno G. Breitmeyer, Elizabeth C. Broyles
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Misdirected by the gap: The relationship between inattentional blindness and attentional misdirection
Pages 432-436
Gustav Kuhn, Benjamin W. Tatler
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The sound of time: Cross-modal convergence in the spatial structuring of time
Pages 437-443
Daniël Lakens, Gün R. Semin, Margarida V. Garrido
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Is there a “special relationship” between unconscious emotions and visual imagery? Evidence from a mental rotation test
Pages 444-448
Nicola Mammarella
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REVIEWS


Are there unconscious perceptual processes?
Pages 449-463
Berit Brogaard
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The thalamic dynamic core theory of conscious experience
Pages 464-486
Lawrence M. Ward
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CORRIGENDUM


Corrigendum to “Illusory own body perceptions: Case reports and relevance for bodily self-consciousness” [Consciousness and Cognition 19 (2010) 702–710]
Page 487
Lukas Heydrich, Sebastian Dieguez, Thomas Grunwald, Margitta Seeck, Olaf Blanke
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Short Video: Before and After Deep Brain Stimulation http://sciconrev.org/2011/05/short-video-before-and-after-deep-brain-stimulation/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/05/short-video-before-and-after-deep-brain-stimulation/#commentsSun, 29 May 2011 05:42:22 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2846Although there is still a lot to be learned about deep brain stimulation (DBS), the potential use of DBS seems like it could be promising. Click here to watch a video of a Tourette syndrome patient before and after his DBS operation. After the stimulation is turned on, it appears as if the patient’s Tourette symptoms disappear. However, despite the positive results of DBS for this particular patient, it is important to keep in mind the DBS is not a cure and that it is highly invasive. ]]>http://sciconrev.org/2011/05/short-video-before-and-after-deep-brain-stimulation/feed/0A Conversation on the Neuroethics of Deep Brain Stimulation http://sciconrev.org/2011/05/a-conversation-on-the-neuroethics-of-deep-brain-stimulation/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/05/a-conversation-on-the-neuroethics-of-deep-brain-stimulation/#commentsSat, 28 May 2011 22:27:12 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2820In this webcast provided by the Dana Foundation, Drs. Philip Campbell, Joseph Fins, Jonathan Moreno and Helen Mayberg discussed the ethical considerations of using deep brain stimulation. The topics covered in this interesting discussion included surgical experimentation, consciousness, depression, technology and public policy. Dr. Judy Illes served as the moderator.

Click here for the webcast.

Click here for an edited transcript of the discussion.

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Trends in Cognitive Sciences: Table of Contents May 2011 http://sciconrev.org/2011/05/trends-in-cognitive-sciences-table-of-contents-may-2011/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/05/trends-in-cognitive-sciences-table-of-contents-may-2011/#commentsThu, 05 May 2011 22:29:55 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2828The May issue of Trends in Cognitive Sciences is available online.

Volume 15, Issue 5, pp. 185-240
Letters
Letters Response
Opinion
Review
Feature Review

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Letters


A minimalist approach to comparative psychology
Pages 185-186
Charlotte K. Hemelrijk, Johan J. Bolhuis
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Self and brain: what is self-related processing?
Pages 186-187
Georg Northoff
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Letters Response


Clarifying the self: Response to Northoff
Pages 187-188
Kalina Christoff, Diego Cosmelli, Dorothée Legrand, Evan Thompson
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Book Review


I do not exist
Pages 189-190
Peter Carruthers
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Opinion


A framework for local cortical oscillation patterns
Pages 191-199
Tobias H. Donner, Markus Siegel
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Understanding complexity in the human brain
Pages 200-209
Danielle S. Bassett, Michael S. Gazzaniga
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The medial temporal lobe and the attributes of memory
Pages 210-217
John T. Wixted, Larry R. Squire
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Review


Culture–gene coevolution, norm-psychology and the emergence of human prosociality
Pages 218-226
Maciej Chudek, Joseph Henrich
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Feature Review

The neural mechanisms of inter-temporal decision-making: understanding variability
Pages 227-239
Jan Peters, Christian Büchel
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Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting: 2011 http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/society-for-neuroscience-annual-meeting-2011/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/society-for-neuroscience-annual-meeting-2011/#commentsThu, 28 Apr 2011 17:33:07 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=280241st Annual Meeting

Nov. 12-16, 2011, in Washington, DC.

Click here for the conference website

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The Society for Neuroscience annual meeting is the premier venue for neuroscientists from around the world to debut cutting-edge research.

Since 1971, the meeting has offered attendees the opportunity to learn about the latest breakthroughs and network with colleagues at top destinations throughout North America. Read about Neuroscience 2010, which took place Nov. 13-17, 2010 in San Diego, Calif.

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Toward a Science of Consciousness 2011: Final Announcement http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/toward-a-science-of-consciousness-2011-final-announcement/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/toward-a-science-of-consciousness-2011-final-announcement/#commentsWed, 27 Apr 2011 04:24:39 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2778 Toward a Science of Consciousness

Brain, Mind and Reality

Stockholm, Sweden, May 3-7, 2011

Sponsored by the Center for Consciousness Studies
The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
and Perfjell Foundation
www.consciousness.arizona.edu

The nature of consciousness is the most interesting and important question we face. Consciousness is awareness, subjective experience of internal and external worlds, of understanding, feeling, meaning, sense of self and choice. Our views of reality, of the universe, of ourselves depend on consciousness. Consciousness defines our existence.

How the brain produces consciousness is an open question, as is its place in the universe. Most scientists and philosophers assume consciousness emerged during evolution as a by-product of complex computation among brain neurons, that neurons and synapses are fundamentally no different than bit states and switches in computers. However this neurocomputational view pays a price. It requires consciousness to be an after-the-fact illusion, merely along for the ride, a helpless spectator. Free will is deemed impossible.

Neurocomputation also precludes the possibility of non-local conscious phenomena, including oft-reported backward time effects, near-death and spiritual experiences, altered states and feelings of connection to a deeper reality. Accordingly, some believe that neurocomputation is incomplete, that consciousness is in some way intrinsic to the universe, in accord with not only ancient writings, but also modern physics, cosmology, non-locality and quantum brain biology. This view questions consciousness as a biological adaptation of evolution, and suggests consciousness has, in some sense, been here all along. Long considered ‘non-scientific’, such views have been bolstered in recent years by experimental evidence, and deserve to be aired and debated.

Such issues will be approached in this week-long conference. The ‘main course’ is the 5-day Plenary Program, held in the famous Aula Magna Hall, May 3-7, 2011. The Plenary Program, described below with a summary description of each session, will be preceded by two days of pre-conference activities.

Pre-Conference

On Sunday May 1 Pre-conference workshops on Synesthesia (sensory cross-over common among creative individuals), and Neural Correlates of Consciousness (brain activities, network architectures and testable predictions regarding consciousness) will be held. On Monday May 2 a special pre-conference workshop  (9 am to 4 pm in the Aula Magna Hall) by the famed Deepak Chopra will address ‘Consciousness: The Ultimate Reality?’ Following the Chopra workshop, a Public Forum will take place Monday evening.

Public Forum: Science, Consciousness and Spirituality

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Aula Magna

Moderator: Mia-Marie Hammarlin, Lund University

Descriptions and teachings of spiritual phenomena have seemed irrational, pushing scientists toward atheism or dualism. However non-locality has entered brain biology, and end-of-life brain activity defies conventional explanations. Can quantum physics bridge science and spirituality?

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Short talks

End-of-Life Conscious Experience, Peter Fenwick, Psychiatry, London

God and Quantum Mechanics, Ignacio Silva, Theology, Oxford

Quantum Physics and Eastern Philosophy, Tarja Kallio-Tamminen, Physics, Helsinki,

Consciousness and Ultimate Reality, Deepak Chopra, Physician, NY/California

6:00-6:30 pm, Panel/Commentary

Leonard Mlodinow, Physics, Pasadena; Lluis Oviedo, Franciscan Theologian, Rome; Paola Zizzi, Physics, Padua; Giorgio Innocenti, Neuroscientist, Karolinska; Menas Kafatos, Physics, Chapman University; Stuart Hameroff, Physician, Arizona

6:30-7:00 pm, Audience questions, General discussion

Toward a Science of Consciousness 2011

Conference Program

The conference opens Tuesday morning May 3, 2011. Plenary Sessions will be held in the famous Aula Magna, co-moderated by Swedish TV producer and host Annika Dopping, along with a scientist, e.g. Stuart Hameroff, Peter Fenwick and Lars-Göran Nilsson. Musical interludes by John Kluge.

TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2011

Plenary 1, 8:30 am to 10:40 am

Brain Electromagnetic Fields and Consciousness
David McCormick, Yale

Endogenous Electric Fields Guide Cortical Network Activity
Sue Pockett, Auckland

E-M Field Theory of Consciousness: The Shape of Conscious  Fields
Johnjoe McFadden, Surrey

The Continuous E-M Information (CEMI) Field Theory of Consciousness

Does consciousness derive from complex neuronal computation in the brain, as is generally assumed? Or is consciousness embedded in the brain’s electromagnetic field, the field associated with that computation? In recent years evidence has shown brain-generated E-M fields can feed back upon and regulate other brain activities. Neuroscientist Sue Pockett and biologist JohnJoe McFadden have each, separately, for many years argued for consciousness as identical to the brain’s complex electromagnetic field. Neuroscientist David McCormick has recently shown that the brain’s generated electromagnetic field can indeed feed back upon, and regulate neuronal activities, apparent evidence in support of Pockett and McFadden.

Plenary 2, 11:10am to 12:30 pm

Time and Consciousness I
Harald Atmanspacher, Freiberg

Temporal Nonlocality In Bistable Perception
Sara Gonzalez-Andino, Geneva

Backward Time Referral in the Amygdala of Primates

The famous Libet experiments and many others have long suggested backward time referral of conscious experience in the brain. Does backward referral require quantum physics? Can it salvage free will? Would it be an evolutionary advantage? Physicist Harald Atmanspacher considers temporal nonlocality, states of a system that are smeared out in time, in bistable perceptions such as the famous Necker cube. Neuroscientist/physicist Sara Gonzalez-Andino considers backward time referral in firings of neurons in the amygdala ‘fear center’ in primates.

Plenary 3, 2:00 pm to 4:10 pm

Consciousness and Reality I

Deepak Chopra, The Chopra Foundation

Vedic Approaches to Consciousness and Reality
Leonard Mlodinow, Pasadena

The Grand Design of Our Universe
Paola Zizzi, Padua

Consciousness In The Early Universe

Three views of consciousness in the universe will be put forth. Following ancient Vedic philosophy, author and spiritualist Deepak Chopra maintains consciousness is primary, that consciousness is all there is. Physicist and author Leonard Mlodinow (e.g. Grand Design with Stephen Hawking) sees consciousness as epiphenomenal happenstance of this one particular universe among multitudes, as proposed in M-theory. Physicist Paola Zizzi will suggest consciousness came with the ‘Big Bang’, that consciousness is intrinsic to spacetime geometry, the fabric of reality.

Tuesday May 3 afternoon/evening; Concurrent Sessions 1-8, Opening Party

After the Tuesday Plenary program will be 8 Concurrent talk sessions, each on specific topics, 5 speakers per session, from 4:30 to 6:35 pm. Sessions and topics are (see program for speakers and locations): 1.Representation/Higher order theories; 2. Knowledge/Hard Problem; 3. Free will/Libet; 4. Synesthesia; 5   Neural Correlates of Consciousness I (NCC I); 6 Medicine I; 7. Quantum I; 8. Altered states I

Following Concurrent sessions 1-8, the Opening Welcome Party will take place in the Aula Magna Plaza. See full conference program for details.

Artistic and Technological Exhibits featuring interactive and expressive approaches to conscious experience will run throughout the conference in the Aula magna lobby, with a special Jol Thomson Installation in the Polstjanan room. Curators: Nancy Clark, Maureen Seaberg and Abi Behar Montefiore.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011

Plenary 4, 8:30 am to 10:40 am

Transcranial Therapies
Eric Wassermann, NIH

Transcranial Stimulation and Consciousness
Allan Snyder, Sydney

Accessing Beyond Conscious Awareness by Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation
William J Tyler, Virginia Tech Carilion Institute

Mechanical Waves and Consciousness

A new genre of noninvasive, inexpensive transcranial therapies applied at the scalp is safely able to modulate brain activities and regulate mental states. Studies of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) and transcranial ultrasound stimulation (TUS) aimed at learning, mood, brain injury, synaptic plasticity, entertainment and personal lifestyle will be discussed, as will their potential mechanisms of action. Eric Wasserman will discuss applications of TES and TMS, and Allan Snyder will describe his findings that TES can markedly enhance memory capability. William J Tyler will discuss mechanical signaling, i.e. ultrasound vibrations in the brain somehow connected to consciousness.


Plenary 5, 11:10am to 12:30 pm

Neural correlates of consciousness I
Rafi Malach, Weizmann Institue

Local Neuronal Ignitions and the Emergence of Perceptual Awareness
Dietmar Plenz, NIH

Neuronal Avalanches, Coherence Potentials, and Cooperativity

What specific neuronal activities are responsible for consciousness? Rafi Malach and Dietmar Plenz present converging evidence that consciousness is distinguished by highly coherent activities of large number of brain neurons acting in unison. How do these neurons interact and cooperate? How do their activities, and consciousness, relate to the E-M fields they generate? Why is coherence essential to consciousness?

Plenary 6, 2:00 pm to 4:10 pm

Consciousness and Reality II
Menas Kafatos, Chapman

Consciousness and the Universe: Non-local, Entangled, Complementary Reality
Tarja Kallio-Tamminem, Helsinki

Quantum Physics and Eastern philosophy
Paavo Pylkkanen, Skovde, Helsinki

Bohmian view of consciousness and reality

What is reality? Does consciousness occur strictly in the materialist realm of classical physics? Or does consciousness somehow involve the nonlocal weirdness of quantum mechanics? Does the conscious observer collapse the wave function? Or is consciousness the collapse itself? What is entanglement? Menas Kafatos describes what is known about the universe, and how strange it really is. Tarja Kallio-Tamminem finds similarities between quantum physics and Eastern spiritual traditions. Paavo Pylkkanen bridges the gap with the perspective of David Bohm.

Wednesday May 4 afternoon/evening Concurrent Sessions 9-16 and 17-24, Poster Session 1

After the Wednesday Plenary program will be Concurrent talk sessions 9-16, each on specific topics, 5 speakers per session, from 4:30 to 6:35 pm. Sessions and topics are (see program for speakers and locations): 9. Phenomenology/Content of Consciousness; 10. Panpsychism; 11. Time and Consciousness; 12. NCC II; 13. Medicine II; 14. Quantum II; 15. Religion and Consciousness; 16. Experiential I

From 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Concurrent sessions on specific themes 17-24 will be held (6 speakers each) on specific themes (see program for speakers and locations): 17. Language/Reporting; 18.  AI/Computationalism; 19. Open; 20. Microtubules I; 21.  Altered States II; 22.  Integrative models I; 23. Experiential II: 24. Eastern Approaches I.

Poster Session 1 will also take place Wednesday 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm in the Aula Magna lobby. Posters will be grouped in the following categories : Philosophy, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science and Psychology, Physical and Biological Sciences, Experiential Approaches, Culture and Humanities.

THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011

Plenary 7, 8:30 am to 10:40 am

Varieties of Religious Experience
Mario Beauregard, Montreal

Neuroscience of Transcendent Experiences

Alexande

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Addiction and Brain Circuits http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/addiction-and-brain-circuits/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/addiction-and-brain-circuits/#commentsThu, 21 Apr 2011 03:19:11 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2764From Brain Briefings:

Humans have always struggled with addictions to mind-altering substances. Yet, only in the past few decades have neuroscientists begun to understand precisely how these substances affect the brain — and why they can quickly become a destructive and even deadly habit. 

For a long time, society viewed addiction as a moral failing. The addict was seen as someone who simply lacked self-control. Today, thanks to new advances in brain imaging and other technologies, we know that addiction is a disease characterized by profound disruptions in particular routes — or circuits — in the brain.

Scientists are learning how genetics and environmental factors, such as stress, contribute to these neural disruptions and increase the risk of addiction. This ongoing research is allowing researchers to:

  • Understand how addictive substances affect the brain’s reward system.
  • Develop more effective therapies for treating drug abuse and addiction.
  • Establish better methods of detecting people at risk of developing addictions.

Click here to read the complete article.

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Scientists find way to map brain’s complexity http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/scientists-find-way-to-map-brains-complexity/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/scientists-find-way-to-map-brains-complexity/#commentsTue, 19 Apr 2011 04:30:00 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2775From Reuters:

Scientists say they have moved a step closer to developing a computer model of the brain after finding a way to map both the connections and functions of nerve cells in the brain together for the first time.

In a study in the journal Nature on Sunday, researchers from Britain’s University College London (UCL) described a technique developed in mice which enabled them to combine information about the function of neurons with details of their connections.

The study is part of an emerging area of neuroscience research known as ‘connectomics‘. A little like genomics, which maps our genetic make-up, connectomics aims to map the brain’s connections, known as synapses.

By untangling and being able to map these connections — and deciphering how information flows through the brain’s circuits — scientists hope to understand how thoughts and perceptions are generated in the brain and how these functions go wrong in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and stroke.

“We are beginning to untangle the complexity of the brain,” said Tom Mrsic-Flogel, who led the study.

“Once we understand the function and connectivity of nerve cells spanning different layers of the brain, we can begin to develop a computer simulation of how this remarkable organ works.”

But he said would take many years of work among scientists and huge computer processing power before that could be done.

In a report of his research, Mrsic-Flogel explained how mapping the brain’s connections is no small feat: There are an estimated one hundred billion nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain, each connected to thousands of other nerve cells, he said, making an estimated 150 trillion synapses.

“How do we figure out how the brain’s neural circuitry works? We first need to understand the function of each neuron and find out to which other brain cells it connects,” he said.

In this study, Mrsic-Flogel’s team focused on vision and looked into the visual cortex of the mouse brain, which contains thousands of neurons and millions of different connections.

Using high resolution imaging, they were able to detect which of these neurons responded to a particular stimulus.

Taking a slice of the same tissue, the scientists then applied small currents to subsets of neurons to see which other neurons responded and which of them were synaptically connected.

By repeating this technique many times, they were able to trace the function and connectivity of hundreds of nerve cells in visual cortex.

Using this method, the team hopes to begin generating a wiring diagram of a brain area with a particular function, such as the visual cortex. The technique should also help them map the wiring of regions that underpin touch, hearing and movement.

John Williams, head of neuroscience and mental health at the Wellcome Trust medical charity, which helped fund the study, said understanding the brain’s inner workings was one of science’s “ultimate goals.”

“This important study presents neuroscientists with one of the key tools that will help them begin to navigate and survey the landscape of the brain,” he said.

  (Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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Language and the Brain: What Makes Us Human http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/language-and-the-brain-what-makes-us-human/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/language-and-the-brain-what-makes-us-human/#commentsMon, 18 Apr 2011 13:33:36 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2767From Brain Briefings:

No other species on the planet uses language or writing — a mystery that remains unsolved even after thousands of years of research. Now neuroscientists are taking advantage of powerful new ways to peer into the brain to provide remarkable insights into this unique human ability.

Do you trip over your words, struggle to listen to a dinner companion in a noisy restaurant, or find it difficult to understand a foreign accent on TV? Help may be on the way. Using powerful new research tools, scientists have begun to unravel the long-standing mystery of how the human brain processes and understands speech.

In some ways, language is one of the oldest topics in human history, fascinating everyone from ancient philosophers to modern computer programmers. This is because language helps make us human. Although other animals communicate with one another, we are the only species to use complex speech and to record our messages through writing. This newly invigorated field, known as the neurobiology of language, helps scientists:

  • Gain important insights into the brain regions responsible for language comprehension.
  • Learn about underlying brain mechanisms that may cause speech and language disorders.
  • Understand the “cocktail party effect,” the ability to focus on specific voices against background noise.

Click here for the complete article.

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Mind vs. Machine http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/mind-vs-machine/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/mind-vs-machine/#commentsThu, 14 Apr 2011 04:02:16 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2755By Brian Christian of Atlantic Magazine:

In the race to build computers that can think like humans, the proving ground is the Turing Test—an annual battle between the world’s most advanced artificial-intelligence programs and ordinary people. The objective? To find out whether a computer can act “more human” than a person. In his own quest to beat the machines, the author discovers that the march of technology isn’t just changing how we live, it’s raising new questions about what it means to be human.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND, SEPTEMBER 2009. I wake up in a hotel room 5,000 miles from my home in Seattle. After breakfast, I step out into the salty air and walk the coastline of the country that invented my language, though I find I can’t understand a good portion of the signs I pass on my way—LET AGREED, one says, prominently, in large print, and it means nothing to me.

I pause, and stare dumbly at the sea for a moment, parsing and reparsing the sign. Normally these kinds of linguistic curiosities and cultural gaps intrigue me; today, though, they are mostly a cause for concern. In two hours, I will sit down at a computer and have a series of five-minute instant-message chats with several strangers. At the other end of these chats will be a psychologist, a linguist, a computer scientist, and the host of a popular British technology show. Together they form a judging panel, evaluating my ability to do one of the strangest things I’ve ever been asked to do.

I must convince them that I’m human.

Fortunately, I am human; unfortunately, it’s not clear how much that will help.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Using light to probe the brain’s self-repair after a stroke http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/using-light-to-probe-the-brains-self-repair-after-a-stroke/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/using-light-to-probe-the-brains-self-repair-after-a-stroke/#commentsTue, 12 Apr 2011 04:12:55 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2758Anne McIlroy of The Globe and Mail has written a nice article on how researchers are using optogenetics to study how the brain repairs itself after a stroke.

Click here to read the article.

Click here for videos on optogenetics.

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Trends in Cognitive Sciences: Table of Contents April 2011 http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/trends-in-cognitive-sciences-table-of-contents-april-2011/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/04/trends-in-cognitive-sciences-table-of-contents-april-2011/#commentsMon, 04 Apr 2011 17:04:44 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2741The April issue of Trends in Cognitive Sciences is available online.

Volume 15, Issue 4, pp. 141-184

Update – Forum: Science & Society

Opinion

Review

_____________________________________________________________________________

Update
FORUM: Science & Society
2 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
The mind on stage: why cognitive scientists should study acting
Pages 141-142
Thalia R. Goldstein, Paul Bloom

Opinion
3 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Posterior cingulate cortex: adapting behavior to a changing world Review Article
Pages 143-151
John M. Pearson, Sarah R. Heilbronner, David L. Barack, Benjamin Y. Hayden, Michael L. Platt

Review
4 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Implicit social cognition: from measures to mechanisms Review Article
Pages 152-159
Brian A. Nosek, Carlee Beth Hawkins, Rebecca S. Frazier

5 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Visual crowding: a fundamental limit on conscious perception and object recognition Review Article
Pages 160-168
David Whitney, Dennis M. Levi

6 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Frontal pole cortex: encoding ends at the end of the endbrain Review Article
Pages 169-176
Satoshi Tsujimoto, Aldo Genovesio, Steven P. Wise

7 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Thalamic pathways for active vision Review Article
Pages 177-184
Robert H. Wurtz, Kerry McAlonan, James Cavanaugh, Rebecca A. Berman

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Being rejected a real pain, brain images show http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/being-rejected-a-real-pain-brain-images-show/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/being-rejected-a-real-pain-brain-images-show/#commentsTue, 29 Mar 2011 21:47:39 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2737From CBC News:

The pain of rejection is more than just a figure of speech: regions of the brain that respond to physical pain overlap with those that react to social rejection, a brain imaging study shows.

The study used brain imaging on people involved in romantic breakups.

“These results give new meaning to the idea that rejection ‘hurts,”‘ wrote psychology professor Ethan Kross of the University of Michigan and his colleagues. Their findings are reported in Tuesday’s edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Co-author Edward Smith of Columbia University explained that the research shows that psychological or social events can affect regions of the brain that scientists thought were dedicated to physical pain.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Click here for full access to the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Experimental Philosophy and the Problem of Free Will http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/experimental-philosophy-and-the-problem-of-free-will/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/experimental-philosophy-and-the-problem-of-free-will/#commentsMon, 28 Mar 2011 13:16:37 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2730S. Nichols
Article in Science

Abstract
Many philosophical problems are rooted in everyday thought, and experimental philosophy uses social scientific techniques to study the psychological underpinnings of such problems. In the case of free will, research suggests that people in a diverse range of cultures reject determinism, but people give conflicting responses on whether determinism would undermine moral responsibility. When presented with abstract questions, people tend to maintain that determinism would undermine responsibility, but when presented with concrete cases of wrongdoing, people tend to say that determinism is consistent with moral responsibility. It remains unclear why people reject determinism and what drives people’s conflicted attitudes about responsibility. Experimental philosophy aims to address these issues and thereby illuminate the philosophical problem of free will.

Click here for an article on this study in the New York Times.

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“I Am My Connectome”: TED Talk given by Sebastian Seung http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/i-am-my-connectome-ted-talk-given-by-sebastian-seung/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/i-am-my-connectome-ted-talk-given-by-sebastian-seung/#commentsThu, 24 Mar 2011 02:17:12 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2719In this TED talk Sebastian Seung, Professor of Computational Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Department of Physics at MIT, discusses the “connectome” – the connections formed between neurons – and its possible role in consciousness. Dr. Seung highlights neuroscientists’ belief that neural activity is the physical basis of thoughts, feelings and perceptions and discusses the relation between neural activity and the connectome: neural activity travels through a connectome, but at the same time, these connections can grow and be modified by neural activity and experience. As Dr. Seung put it “the connectome is where nature meets nurture”.

This is a TED talk (about 20 mins) you don’t want to miss! Click here to watch the talk.

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BBC4′s “In Our Time”: Discussion on Free Will http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/bbc4s-in-our-time-discussion-on-free-will/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/bbc4s-in-our-time-discussion-on-free-will/#commentsThu, 17 Mar 2011 13:25:29 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2710In a BBC broadcastMelvyn Bragg and his guests Simon Blackburn, Helen Beebee, and Galen Strawson discuss the philosophical idea of free will.

From the broadcast description:

“Free will – the extent to which we are free to choose our own actions – is one of the most absorbing philosophical problems, debated by almost every great thinker of the last two thousand years. In a universe apparently governed by physical laws, is it possible for individuals to be responsible for their own actions? Or are our lives simply proceeding along preordained paths? Determinism – the doctrine that every event is the inevitable consequence of what goes before – seems to suggest so.

Many intellectuals have concluded that free will is logically impossible. The philosopher Baruch Spinoza regarded it as a delusion. Albert Einstein wrote: “Human beings, in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free agents but are as causally bound as the stars in their motion.” But in the Enlightenment, philosophers including David Hume found ways in which free will and determinism could be reconciled. Recent scientific developments mean that this debate remains as lively today as it was in the ancient world.”

Click here to listen to the broadcast.

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Consciousness and Cognition: Table of Contents March 2011 http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/consciousness-and-cognition-table-of-contents-march-2011/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/consciousness-and-cognition-table-of-contents-march-2011/#commentsMon, 14 Mar 2011 18:53:22 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2676

The March issue of Consciousness and Cognition is available online.

Volume 20, Issue 1, pp.1-172

Special issue: Brain and Self: Bridging the Gap

_________________________________________

_____________________

_________________________________________________________

__________________________________
Introduction

3
Brain and Self: Bridging the Gap
Pages 2-3
Todd E. Feinberg

Show preview |   PDF (111 K) |   Related articles |  Related reference work articles

Special issue articles

4
The nested neural hierarchy and the self Original Research Article
Pages 4-15
Todd E. Feinberg

Show preview |   PDF (1117 K) |   Related articles |  Related reference work articles

5
Memory, autonoetic consciousness, and the self Original Research Article
Pages 16-39
Hans J. Markowitsch, Angelica Staniloiu

Show preview |   PDF (755 K) |   Related articles |  Related reference work articles

6
The neural correlates of visual self-recognition Original Research Article
Pages 40-51
Christel Devue, Serge Brédart

Show preview |   PDF (332 K) |   Related articles |  Related reference work articles

7
Brain imaging of the self – Conceptual, anatomical and methodological issues Original Research Article
Pages 52-63
Georg Northoff, Pengmin Qin, Todd E. Feinberg

Show preview |   PDF (355 K) |   Related articles |  Related reference work articles

8
Through the looking glass: Self and others Original Research Article
Pages 64-74
Corrado Sinigaglia, Giacomo Rizzolatti

Show preview |   PDF (204 K) |   Related articles |  Related reference work articles

9
Neuropathologies of the self: Clinical and anatomical features Original Research Article
Pages 75-81
Todd E. Feinberg

Show preview |   PDF (332 K) |   Related articles |  Related reference work articles

10
Embodiment, ownership and disownership Original Research Article
Pages 82-93
Frédérique de Vignemont

Show preview |   PDF (214 K) |   Related articles |  Related reference work articles

11
Brain connectivity and the self: The case of cerebral disconnection Original Research Article
Pages 94-98
Lucina Q. Uddin

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12
Depersonalization: A selective impairment of self-awareness Original Research Article
Pages 99-108
Mauricio Sierra, Anthony S. David

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13
The self as phenotype Original Research Article
Pages 109-119
Philippe Rochat

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14
The origins and uses of self-awarenesss or the mental representation of me Original Research Article
Pages 120-129
Michael Lewis

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15
The role of the self in mindblindness in autism Original Research Article
Pages 130-140
Michael V. Lombardo, Simon Baron-Cohen

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16
Faces and ascriptions: Mapping measures of the self Original Research Article
Pages 141-148
Dan Zahavi, Andreas Roepstorff

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17
Dissociation in self-narrative Original Research Article
Pages 149-155
Shaun Gallagher, Jonathan Cole

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18
The legal self: Executive processes and legal theory Original Research Article
Pages 156-171
William Hirstein, Katrina Sifferd

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Can Someone in a Vegetative State Communicate Thoughts? http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/can-someone-in-a-vegetative-state-communicate-thoughts/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/can-someone-in-a-vegetative-state-communicate-thoughts/#commentsThu, 10 Mar 2011 06:54:21 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2667In this short video (about 4 mins) from the New York Times, David Corcoran discusses evidence from an fMRI study that suggests that people in a vegetative state can communicate thoughts. ]]>http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/can-someone-in-a-vegetative-state-communicate-thoughts/feed/0Can You Beat a Computer at Paper-Scissors-Rock? http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/can-you-beat-a-computer-at-paper-scissors-rock/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/can-you-beat-a-computer-at-paper-scissors-rock/#commentsTue, 08 Mar 2011 14:59:53 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2663To see if you can outwit a computer at Paper-Scissors-Rock, check out this interactive feature in the New York Times. The feature demonstrates basic artificial intelligence, and allows you to play against the computer at two different levels: novice, where the computer learns from scratch; and veteran, where the computer uses over 200,000 rounds of experience against you. ]]>http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/can-you-beat-a-computer-at-paper-scissors-rock/feed/0Trends in Cognitive Sciences: Table of Contents March 2011 http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/trends-in-cognitive-sciences-table-of-contents-march-2011/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/trends-in-cognitive-sciences-table-of-contents-march-2011/#commentsMon, 07 Mar 2011 02:20:23 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2558The March issue of Trends in Cognitive Sciences is available online.

Volume 15, Issue 3, pp. 95-140

Book Review

Opinion

Review

—————-


Book Review

How does the brain make economic decisions? p95

Antonio Rangel

Full TextPDF (89 kb)

Opinion

What drives the organization of object knowledge in the brain? p97

Bradford Z. Mahon, Alfonso Caramazza

AbstractFull TextPDF (417 kb)

Specifying the self for cognitive neuroscience p104

Kalina Christoff, Diego Cosmelli, Dorothée Legrand, Evan Thompson

AbstractFull TextPDF (419 kb)

Review

Songs to syntax: the linguistics of birdsong p113

Robert C. Berwick, Kazuo Okanoya, Gabriel J.L. Beckers, Johan J. Bolhuis

AbstractFull TextPDF (368 kb)

Representing multiple objects as an ensemble enhances visual cognition p122

George A. Alvarez

AbstractFull TextPDF (501 kb)

Cognitive neuroscience of self-regulation failure p132

Todd F. Heatherton, Dylan D. Wagner

AbstractFull TextPDF (440 kb)

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Interactive Video: Progression of Alzheimer’s in the Brain http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/interactive-video-progression-of-alzheimer%e2%80%99s-in-the-brain/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/interactive-video-progression-of-alzheimer%e2%80%99s-in-the-brain/#commentsThu, 03 Mar 2011 19:26:10 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2479Click here for an interactive video showing the progression of Alzheimer’s in the brain from the Globe and Mail.

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Human Brain Mapping Conference 2011: Announcement http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/human-brain-mapping-conference-2011-announcement/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/human-brain-mapping-conference-2011-announcement/#commentsTue, 01 Mar 2011 20:05:09 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=250717th Annual Meeting

Quebec City, Canada, June 26-30, 2011

Click here for the conference website.




The Annual Meeting will have an extensive program of local and international speakers, covering a wide range of topics and issues, and specifically address the field of human functional neuroimaging and its movement into the scientific mainstream. The focus will be to gather scientists and medical professionals using modern, functional, brain mapping techniques such as PET, SPECT, fMRI, EEG, MEG, optical imaging and neuroanatomical tools for assessment of the functioning of the human brain. It will include the applications of these techniques to study brain implementation of sensory and motor systems, vision, attention, memory and language in normal and pathological states.

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A short video on the brain and concussions http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/a-short-video-on-the-brain-and-concussions-2/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/a-short-video-on-the-brain-and-concussions-2/#commentsTue, 01 Mar 2011 14:57:36 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2534Click here for a short clip on concussions and the brain provided by CBC. ]]>http://sciconrev.org/2011/03/a-short-video-on-the-brain-and-concussions-2/feed/0Artificial intelligence pioneer aims to make computers learn like brains http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/artificial-intelligence-pioneer-aims-to-make-computers-learn-like-brains/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/artificial-intelligence-pioneer-aims-to-make-computers-learn-like-brains/#commentsMon, 28 Feb 2011 19:04:02 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2474From the Globe and Mail:

Geoffrey Hinton, a pioneer in artificial intelligence, was awarded the country’s top science prize last week, the prestigious Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal. The prize by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council comes with a guarantee of $1-million in funding over five years. The University of Toronto researcher spoke with Anne McIlroy on his efforts to get computers to learn the way humans do.

Last week, an IBM computer named Watson bested humans on the television program Jeopardy!. Who were you rooting for?

Watson.

Why?

Well, it is an example of artificial intelligence. That’s the field I’m in, so it is nice to see progress.

How is Watson different than the kind of artificial intelligence you are working on?

There are two main ways. The first is, we want to do a lot more by learning and a lot less by less by hand programming. Watson was a mixture.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Cognitive Electrophysiology: Signals of the Mind http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/cognitive-electrophysiology-signals-of-the-mind/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/cognitive-electrophysiology-signals-of-the-mind/#commentsSat, 26 Feb 2011 17:38:54 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2446A Tribute to Steven A. Hillyard

A Satellite Symposium of the Cognitive Neuroscience Science Meeting
Saturday, April 2, 2011, Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency San Francisco

________________________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Schedule of Events

8:15 am Welcome and Overview

Ron Mangun, University of California, Davis

8:30 – 10:00 am Session 1: Attention in Sensation and Perception

Chair: Ron Mangun, UC Davis

Speaker 1: David Woods, UC Davis and Martinez VAMC
Fishing for Attentional Modulation In a Sea of Stimulus Processing
Speaker 2: Bernhard Ross and Terry Picton, Rotman Research Institute, Toronto
Neuronal Networks Underlying Selective Auditory Attention
Speaker 3: Max Hopf, University of Magdeburg, Germany
Profiling the Spatial Focus of Visual Attention
Speaker 4: Antigona Martinez, UC San Diego
The Role of Spatial Attention in Object-Based Selection
Speaker 5: Ariel Schoenfeld, University of Magdeburg, Germany
Temporal Dynamics of Object-Based Attention
Speaker 6: Matthias Mueller, University of Leipzig, Germany
Basic Mechanisms of Feature Based Attention in the Human Brain
10:00 – 10:30 am Coffee Break
10:30 – 11:30 am Session 2: Attention and Cognitive Control

Chair: Wayne Khoe, UCSD

Speaker 1: Steven J. Luck, UC Davis
Control of Visual Attention by Working Memory
Speaker 2: John McDonald, Simon Frazier University
Control of Involuntary Cross-Modal Spatial Attention
Speaker 3: Marty Woldorff, Duke University
Attentional Control of Visual Processing
Speaker 4: Jyoti Mishra Ramanathan, UCSF
Attentional Control of Multisensory Integration
11:30 am – 1:00 pm Lunch Break
1:00 – 1:45 pm Session 3: Development and Plasticity

Chair: Wolfgang Teder, North Dakota State University

Speaker 1: Helen Neville, University of Oregon
Effects of Experience and Genes on Attention
Speaker 2: Eric Courchesne, UCSD
Development and Autism
Speaker 3: Vince Clark, University of New Mexico
Artificial Attention using Brain Stimulation
1:45 – 2:00 pm Break
2:00 – 3:00 pm Session 4: Integrative Mechanisms of Mind

Chair: Michael I. Posner, University of Oregon

Speaker 1: Ken Paller, Northwestern University
Attention and Memory
Speaker 2: Steve Hackley, University of Missouri, Columbia
Attention to Reward
Speaker 3: Ed Awh, Oregon
Electrophysiological Markers of Individuation During Visual Selection and Storage
Speaker 4: Robert T. Knight, UC Berkeley
Oscillatory Activity and Brain Networks
3:00 pm Closing Remarks

Michael S. Gazzaniga, UC Santa Barbara

3:30 pm CNS Slide Sessions 1 & 2
5:30 – 6:30 pm CNS Welcome Reception at the Hyatt

Click here to register for this event.

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Meditation alters your grey matter, studies show http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/meditation-alters-your-grey-matter-studies-show/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/meditation-alters-your-grey-matter-studies-show/#commentsFri, 25 Feb 2011 01:01:16 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2405From the Globe and Mail:

Move over cryptic crosswords and Sudoku, and make way for the ultimate mental workout. It’s called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or MBSR for short. Recent neuroscience research shows that novices using the method – developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the 1970s – can get results in just eight weeks.

Brain-changing results, that is.

A 2010 study found that non-meditators who had eight weeks of MBSR training were more likely than a control group to access the brain region that provides a bodily sense of the “here and now” as opposed to the region associated with worry.

In other research published in January, brain scans of MBSR participants with no previous meditation experience showed increased grey-matter density in regions involved in learning and memory, emotion regulation, self-awareness and perspective taking.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Scientists look to new imaging techniques to measure metals in the brain http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/scientists-look-to-new-imaging-techniques-to-measure-metals-in-the-brain/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/scientists-look-to-new-imaging-techniques-to-measure-metals-in-the-brain/#commentsThu, 24 Feb 2011 01:18:32 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2410From the Globe and Mail:

We are metal heads. Our brains need iron, copper, manganese and zinc to function, yet there is growing evidence that these metals may play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease multiple sclerosis and other illnesses.

Canadian scientists are developing new imaging techniques to accurately map and measure metals in the brain, a crucial step toward learning more about why they are so essential, as well as understanding the damage they can cause under some circumstances.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Trends in Cognitive Sciences: Table of Contents February 2011 http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/trends-in-cognitive-sciences-table-of-contents-february-2011/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/trends-in-cognitive-sciences-table-of-contents-february-2011/#commentsTue, 22 Feb 2011 04:15:52 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2421

The February issue of Trends in Cognitive Sciences is available online

Volume 15, Issue 2, pp. 47-94

Review

 

________________________________________________________________________

_______________

Review

Sounds and scents in (social) action p47
Salvatore M. Aglioti, Mariella Pazzaglia
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (1227 kb)
Value, pleasure and choice in the ventral prefrontal cortex p56
Fabian Grabenhorst, Edmund T. Rolls
Cognitive culture: theoretical and empirical insights into social learning strategies p68
Luke Rendell, Laurel Fogarty, William J.E. Hoppitt, Thomas J.H. Morgan, Mike M. Webster, Kevin N. Laland
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (298 kb)
Visual search in scenes involves selective and nonselective pathways p77
Jeremy M. Wolfe, Melissa L.-H. Võ, Karla K. Evans, Michelle R. Greene
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (522 kb)

Featured ArticleFree

Emotional processing in anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex p85
Amit Etkin, Tobias Egner, Raffael Kalisch
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Former CFL players’ brains used to study link between concussions and disease http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/former-cfl-players-brains-used-to-study-link-between-concussions-and-disease/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/former-cfl-players-brains-used-to-study-link-between-concussions-and-disease/#commentsTue, 22 Feb 2011 02:40:37 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2414From the Globe and Mail:

Concussion stories from Bobby Kuntz’s days with the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats made for family football folklore until a decade ago when they suddenly seemed bittersweet.

Mr. Kuntz, who suffered as many as 20 concussions playing football in the 1950s and 60s, developed a tremor and started to forget things. His golf game went and he had to give up his position as president and chief executive officer of his family’s metal finishing business.

His symptoms were progressive, yet difficult to diagnose. His wife, Mary, took him down to the Mayo Clinic – he was in his late 60s – and doctors suggested Lewy Body dementia and Parkinson’s.

“The only way you’ll ever find out if its Lewy Body disease is to have an autopsy,” Mrs. Kuntz recalled the Mayo Clinic doctors telling her about a decade ago.

She had always planned on having her husband autopsied as she was concerned about whether her five living children were at risk of inheriting his brain disease. Ms. Kuntz wants to know if there is a link between repeated concussions and his Lewy Body disease, a progressive form of dementia, or Parkinson’s, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system with similar characteristics.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

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How Brains Are Built: Principles of Computational Neuroscience http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/how-brains-are-built-principles-of-computational-neuroscience-2/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/how-brains-are-built-principles-of-computational-neuroscience-2/#commentsSun, 20 Feb 2011 02:07:13 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2393From The Dana Foundation:

Editor’s note: The goal of computational neuroscience is to understand the brain and its mechanisms well enough to artificially simulate their functions. In some areas, like hearing, vision, and prosthetics, there have been great advances in the field. Yet there is still much about the brain that is unknown and therefore cannot be artificially replicated: How does the brain use language, make complex associations, or organize learned experiences? Once the neural pathways responsible for these and many other functions are fully understood and reconstructed, researchers will have the ability to build systems that can match—and maybe even exceed—the brain’s capabilities.

“If I cannot build it, I do not understand it.” So said Nobel laureate Richard Feynman, and by his metric, we understand a bit about physics, less about chemistry, and almost nothing about biology.1

When we fully understand a phenomenon, we can specify its entire sequence of events, causes, and effects so completely that it is possible to fully simulate it, with all its internal mechanisms intact. Achieving that level of understanding is rare. It is commensurate with constructing a full design for a machine that could serve as a stand-in for the thing being studied.  To understand a phenomenon sufficiently to fully simulate it is to understand it computationally.

“Computation” does not refer to computers per se; rather it refers to the underlying principles and methods that make them work. As Turing Award recipient Edsger Dijkstra said, computational science “is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.”2 Computational science is the study of the hidden rules underlying complex phenomena from physics to psychology.

Computational neuroscience, then, has the aim of understanding brains sufficiently well to be able to simulate their functions, thereby subsuming the twin goals of science and engineering: deeply understanding the inner workings of our brains, and being able to construct simulacra of them. As simple robots today substitute for human physical abilities, in settings from factories to hospitals, so brain engineering will construct stand-ins for our mental abilities—and possibly even enable us to fix our brains when they break.

Read the rest of the article.

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Emotional processing in anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/emotional-processing-in-anterior-cingulate-and-medial-prefrontal-cortex/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/emotional-processing-in-anterior-cingulate-and-medial-prefrontal-cortex/#commentsFri, 18 Feb 2011 02:28:30 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2395A. Etkinsend, T. Egner, R. Kalisch
Article in Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Abstract
Negative emotional stimuli activate a broad network of brain regions, including the medial prefrontal (mPFC) and anterior cingulate (ACC) cortices. An early influential view dichotomized these regions into dorsal–caudal cognitive and ventral–rostral affective subdivisions. In this review, we examine a wealth of recent research on negative emotions in animals and humans, using the example of fear or anxiety, and conclude that, contrary to the traditional dichotomy, both subdivisions make key contributions to emotional processing. Specifically, dorsal–caudal regions of the ACC and mPFC are involved in appraisal and expression of negative emotion, whereas ventral–rostral portions of the ACC and mPFC have a regulatory role with respect to limbic regions involved in generating emotional responses. Moreover, this new framework is broadly consistent with emerging data on other negative and positive emotions.

Click here for the full article.

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The Brain Signature of Love http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/the-brain-signature-of-love/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/the-brain-signature-of-love/#commentsWed, 16 Feb 2011 02:04:15 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2389From The Dana Foundation:

Study the literature of the world and you will find one theme that transcends both time and culture: that of love. Whether you are reading Shakespeare or Rumi, the manner in which love is described shows remarkable similarity. Those similarities go far beyond the page: Neuroscientists are now demonstrating that romantic love is also represented by a unique pattern of activation in the brain.

The neuroimaging of love

In the past six years, several groups of researchers have sought to localize romantic love in the brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (/feed/fMRI/index.html) techniques. Though some have criticized the attempt as nothing more than modern day phrenology, those who seek the neural correlates of love believe it an essential avenue of study.

“The study of love is important so we might bring some rationality to a complex and emotional phenomenon,” says Stephanie Ortigue, a neuroscientist at Syracuse University. “These studies allow scientists to show that love is not a drug or a pathology but something that has a unique signature in the healthy brain.”

Read the entire article.

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Brain Awareness Week is Coming http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/brain-awareness-week-is-coming/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/brain-awareness-week-is-coming/#commentsMon, 14 Feb 2011 20:33:02 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2309From The Dana Foundation:

March 14-20, 2011 is Brain Awareness Week. Join the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Become a partner and plan an event or find an event in your area at Dana.org

Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is the global campaign to increase public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. Every March, BAW unites the efforts of universities, hospitals, patient groups, government agencies, schools, service organizations, and professional associations worldwide in a week-long celebration of the brain. Founded and coordinated by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and European Dana Alliance for the Brain, BAW’s sixteenth annual celebration will take place from March 14-20, 2011.

During BAW, campaign partners organize creative and innovative activities in their communities to educate and excite people of all ages about the brain and brain research. Events are limited only by the organizers’ imaginations. Examples include open days at neuroscience laboratories; museum exhibitions about the brain; lectures on an array of brain-related topics; displays at malls, libraries, and community centers; classroom workshops; and many other activities and programs.

For more information about Brain Awareness Week

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Toward a Science of Consciousness Conference 2011: Announcement http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/conference-toward-a-science-of-consciousness-brain-mind-and-reality/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/conference-toward-a-science-of-consciousness-brain-mind-and-reality/#commentsMon, 14 Feb 2011 18:56:04 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2288Toward a Science of Consciousness
Brain, Mind and Reality

Stockholm, Sweden, May 3-7, 2011

Sponsored by the Center for Consciousness Studies
The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
and Mind Event, AB
www.consciousness.arizona.edu

Toward a Science of Consciousness (TSC) is an annual interdisciplinary conference on all aspects of the fundamental question of how the brain produces conscious experience, a question addressing who we are, the nature of reality and our place in the universe.  TSC rigorously overs neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, neurobiology, medicine, quantum physics, cosmology, experiential and spiritual approaches to the understanding of conscious awareness.

Since 1994, TSC has alternated between
Tucson, Arizona and various locations around
the world. This year, the 18th Toward a Science
of Consciousness: Brain, Mind and Reality, will
take place May 3-7, 2011 at Aula Magna Hall,
Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden with
pre- and post-conference workshops May 1,2 and 7.

An estimated 500 scientists, philosophers,
psychologists, experientialists, artists, students
and others from more than 60 countries will
participate in hundreds of presentations included
in 14 Plenary or Keynote Sessions, 40 Concurrent
Talk Sessions, 2 Poster Sessions, Art-Tech Demos,
social events and special evening performances.

Details regarding Social Events will be posted soon.

Abstracts for all presentations will be posted at
www.consciousness.arizona.edu and published in a conference book prepared by the Journal of
Consciousness Studies.

Plenary Program Overview:
Plenary and Keynote Sessions will run Tuesday,
May 3 through Saturday, May 7 in the Aula Magna Hall,
8:30 am to 4:10 pm, with breaks.  Concurrent talks,
Poster Sessions, Art Exhibits and Social Events
will take place late afternoon and evenings.

Featured Plenary and Keynote Speakers include
esteemed mathematical physicist and author
Sir Roger Penrose, Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier, and
author, physician and V! edic scholar Deepak Chopra.

On May 2, Deepak Chopra will lead a full day
workshop, Consciousness: The Ultimate Reality
with a special session on Neuroscience of Enlightenment
followed by an early evening public forum at
Aula Magna Hall entitled, Are Science and Spirituality
Incompatible? (Speakers TBA).

In addition to major contributions to cosmology, physics
reality and geometry, Sir Roger Penrose brought
consciousness in a meaningful way into physics,
co-developed a controversial quantum theory of
consciousness, and recently proposed a cyclical,
serial universe.  Dr. Luc Montagnier won the 2008
Nobel Prize in Medicine for showing that AIDs is
caused by HIV virus, and has of late reported
controversial evidence for non-local effects in
DNA.  Dr. Deepak Ch! opra has applied ancient Vedic
teachings to modern m! edicine, cosmology, consciousness
and spirituality, and written 60 books including
War of the Worldviews with Leonard Mlodinow (also a
plenary speaker, and co-author of Grand Design with
Stephen Hawking).

A full listing of plenary sessions themes, speakers
and brief descriptions are below. The Plenary, Concurrent
and Poster session presenters and abstracts
will be posted on www.consciousness.arizona.edu
Pre-Conference workshops begin on Sunday, May 1 with
a full-day Synesthesia symposium. Also on May 1
will be 2 half-day workshops on Neural Correlates and
Depersonalization; 3 workshops are scheduled for May 7
after the close of the Plenary program: Altered States,
Quantum Biology and an Experiential Workshop on binaural
beat audio-guidance technology.

A full listing of Plenary, Concurrent Sessions, Poster Session Participants
Art-Tech Exhibitors and Workshops can be found at
http://consciousness.arizona.edu/TSC2011PlenaryKeynotesProgram.htm

http://consciousness.arizona.edu/TSC2011ConcurrentSessions.htm

http://consciousness.arizona.edu/TSC2011Posters.htm

http://consciousness.arizona.edu/TSC2011ArtTechDemos.htm

http://consciousness.arizona.edu/TSC2011WorkshopsALL.htm

http://consciousness.arizona.edu/TSC2011deepakworkshop.htm

For Registration, Lodging and other information, please go to
www.consciousness.arizona.edu

http://consciousness.arizona.edu/TSC2011Hotels.htm

We look forward to seeing you in Stockholm!

Best wishes on behalf of the entire Program Committee.

Vi ser fram emot att träffa dig i Stockholm!
Hälsningar från oss i konferenskommittén

Stuart Hameroff
Christer Perfjell
Abi Be har Montefiore

PLENARY PROGRAM
Aula Magna Hall
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Plenary 1, 8:30 am to 10:40 am
Brain Electromagnetic Fields and Consciousness
McCormick D, Yale, Endogenous electric fields guide cortical network activity
Pockett S, Auckland, Electromagnetic field theory of consciousness: The shape of conscious fields
McFadden J, Surrey, The continuous electromagnetic information (CEMI) field theory of consciousness
Is the brain’s complex electromagnetic field itself the essence of consciousness?

Plenary 2, 11:10 am to 12:30 pm
Time and Consciousness I
Atmanspacher H, Freiberg, Temporal nonlocality in bistable perception
Gonzalez-Andino S, Geneva, Backward time referral in the amygdala of primates
Since the famous Libet experi! ments, backward time effects have been repeatedly detected in the brain.

Plenary 3, 2:00 pm to 4:10 pm
Consciousness and Reality
Keynote, Chopra D, Chopra Foundation, Vedic approaches to consciousness and reality
Mlodinow L, Pasadena, Grand Design
Zizzi P, Padua, Consciousness in the early universe
Is consciousness intrinsic to the universe, or an after-the-fact illusion?
Wednesday, May 4

Plenary 4, 8:30 am to 10:40 am
Transcranial Therapies
Wassermann E, NIH, Transcranial stimulation and consciousness
Snyder A, Sydney, Accessing information normally beyond conscious awareness by non-invasive brain stimulation
Tyler WJ, Arizona State, Transcranial ultrasound therapy for brain injury
New non-invasive transcranial therapies hold great promise for mind/brain disorders

Plenary 5, 11:10 am to 12:30 pm
Ne! ural cor relates of consciousness I
Malach R, Weizmann, Local neuronal ignitions and the emergence of perceptual awareness
Plenz D, NIH, Neuronal avalanches, coherence potentials, and cooperativity: Dynamical aspects that define mammalian cortex
Highly coherent neuronal brain activities correlate with consciousness.

Plenary 6, 2:00 pm to 4:10 pm
Consciousness and Reality II
Kafatos M, Chapman, Consciousness and the non-local universe
Kallio-Tamminem K,Helsinki, Quantum physics and Eastern philosophy
Pylkkanen P, Helsinki, Bohmian view of consciousness and reality
Consciousness, physics and metaphysics

Thursday, May 5

Plenary 7, 8:30 am to 10:40 am
Varieties of Religious Experience
Beauregard M, Montreal, Neuroscience of transcendent experiences
Moreira-Almeida A, Juiz De F! ora, Differential diagnosis between spiritual experiences and mental disorders
Roberto, Padrinho Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Sacred plants of Amazonia
What exactly is a religious experience?

Plenary 8, 11:10 am to 12:30 pm
Time and consciousness II
Bierman D, Amsterdam, Presentiment
Cerf M, NYU, Time effects in human cortical neuronal firings
Does information go backward-in-time in the brain?

Plenary 9, 2:00 pm to 4:10 pm
Quantum Biology I
Keynote, Luc Montagnier, Nobel Laureate, Pasteur Institute, The transfer of biological information through electromagnetic waves and matter
Vitiello G, Salerno, DNA: On the wave of coherence
Bernroider G and Summerhammer J, Salzburg, Quantum properties in ion channel proteins
Do nonlocal quantum effects mediate function in DNA and ion channel! s?

Thursday Evening
Confererence Dinner Cruise

Friday, May 6

Plenary 10, 8:30 am to 10:40 am
Microtubules
Tuszynski JA, Edmonton, Information processing within dendritic cytoskeleton
Bandyopadhyay A, NIMS, Tsukuba, Direct experimental evidence for quantum states in microtubules and topological invariance
Tanzi R, Harvard, Zinc link between aBeta and microtubule instability in Alzheimer’s disease
Possibilities for microtubule computing and quantum computing, and their role in Alzheimer’s Disease

Plenary 11, 11:10 am to 12:30 pm
Keynote, Sir Roger Penrose, Oxford
Consciousness in the universe

Plenary 12, 2:00 pm to 4:10 pm
Neural correlates of consciousness II
Hesslow G, Lund, The inner world as simulated interaction with the environment
Ehrsson H, Karolinska, How we come to experi! ence that we own our body: The cognitive neuroscience of body self-perception
Ullen F, Karolinska, The psychological flow experience: From phenomenology to biological correlates
At home in the brain with an all-Swedish session

Saturday, May 7

Plenary 13, 8:30 am to 10:40 am
Anesthesia and consciousness
Hudetz A, Milwaukee, Anesthetics and gamma synchrony
Franks N, London, Molecular actions of anesthetics
Hameroff S, Tucson, Meyer-Overton meets quantum physics
How do anesthetic gases selectively and reversibly erase consciousness?

Plenary 14, 11:10 am to 1:20 pm
End of life brain activity
Chawla L, GWU, Surges of electroencephalogram activity at the time of death
Van Lommel P, Amsterdam, Near death experiences: Clinical studies
Fenwick P, London, Death and the loo! sening of consciousness
Does highly c! oherent brain activity measured at the time of death correspond with near-death experiences?

Saturday Evening

End ofConsciousness Party

Contact:
center@u.arizona.edu
info@mindevent.se

conference website:
www.consciousness.arizona.edu

520-621-9317



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Trends in Neuroscience: Table of Contents February 2011 http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/trends-in-neuroscience-journal-february-2011/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/trends-in-neuroscience-journal-february-2011/#commentsMon, 07 Feb 2011 20:04:58 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2263The February issue of Trends in Neuroscience is available online

Volume 34, Issue 2, pp. 51-112

Opinion

Review

Feature Review

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Opinion

Tuning of synaptic responses: an organizing principle for optimization of neural circuits p51
Cian O’Donnell, Matthew F. Nolan
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (587 kb)

Review

Feature Review

Learning to move machines with the mind p61
Andrea M. Green, John F. Kalaska
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (1252 kb)

Featured ArticleFree

Astrocyte–neuron metabolic relationships: for better and for worse p76
Igor Allaman, Mireille Bélanger, Pierre J Magistretti
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (2044 kb)
Repairing the parkinsonian brain with neurotrophic factors p88
Liviu Aron, Rüdiger Klein
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (666 kb)
GABAA,slow: causes and consequences p101
Marco Capogna, Robert A. Pearce
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (699 kb)

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Brain Waves and Meditation http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/brain-waves-and-meditation/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/02/brain-waves-and-meditation/#commentsWed, 02 Feb 2011 15:53:57 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2107From: ScienceDaily.com

Forget about crystals and candles, and about sitting and breathing in awkward ways. Meditation research explores how the brain works when we refrain from concentration, rumination and intentional thinking. Electrical brain waves suggest that mental activity during meditation is wakeful and relaxed.

“Given the popularity and effectiveness of meditation as a means of alleviating stress and maintaining good health, there is a pressing need for a rigorous investigation of how it affects brain function,” says Professor Jim Lagopoulos of Sydney University, Australia. Lagopoulos is the principal investigator of a joint study between his university and researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) on changes in electrical brain activity during nondirective meditation.

Constant brain waves

Whether we are mentally active, resting or asleep, the brain always has some level of electrical activity. The study monitored the frequency and location of electrical brain waves through the use of EEG (electroencephalography). EEG electrodes were placed in standard locations of the scalp using a custom-made hat

Participants were experienced practitioners of Acem Meditation, a nondirective method developed in Norway. They were asked to rest, eyes closed, for 20 minutes, and to meditate for another 20 minutes, in random order. The abundance and location of slow to fast electrical brain waves (delta, theta, alpha, beta) provide a good indication of brain activity.

Relaxed attention with theta

During meditation, theta waves were most abundant in the frontal and middle parts of the brain.

“These types of waves likely originate from a relaxed attention that monitors our inner experiences. Here lies a significant difference between meditation and relaxing without any specific technique,” emphasizes Lagopoulos.

“Previous studies have shown that theta waves indicate deep relaxation and occur more frequently in highly experienced meditation practitioners. The source is probably frontal parts of the brain, which are associated with monitoring of other mental processes.”

“When we measure mental calm, these regions signal to lower parts of the brain, inducing the physical relaxation response that occurs during meditation.”

Silent experiences with alpha

Alpha waves were more abundant in the posterior parts of the brain during meditation than during simple relaxation. They are characteristic of wakeful rest.

“This wave type has been used as a universal sign of relaxation during meditation and other types of rest,” comments Professor Øyvind Ellingsen from NTNU. “The amount of alpha waves increases when the brain relaxes from intentional, goal-oriented tasks.This is a sign of deep relaxation, — but it does not mean that the mind is void.”

Neuroimaging studies byMalia F. Mason and co-workers atDartmouth College, NH, suggest that the normal resting state of the brain is a silent current of thoughts, images and memories that is not induced by sensory input or intentional reasoning, but emerges spontaneously “from within.”

“Spontaneous wandering of the mind is something you become more aware of and familiar with when you meditate,” continues Ellingsen, who is an experienced practitioner. “This default activity of the brain is often underestimated. It probably represents a kind of mental processing that connects various experiences and emotional residues, puts them into perspective and lays them to rest.”

Read the entire article: Brain Waves and Meditation

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How Brain Activity is Linked to Sleep http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/how-brain-activity-is-linked-to-sleep/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/how-brain-activity-is-linked-to-sleep/#commentsWed, 26 Jan 2011 15:32:24 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2113From: PsychCentral.com

Brain activity during times of wakefulness affects sleep and sleep quality. While researchers have been aware of this for some time, a clear understanding of how the mechanisms triggering sleep occur has remained largely unknown.

Now, a recent study has uncovered valuable insight into how the changeover from wakefulness to sleep occurs. This discovery potentially paves the way for a host of breakthroughs that could affect everything from sleeping aids to treatments for stroke and brain injury.

Led by James Krueger, Ph.D, Washington State University, the findings were recently published in the Journal of Applied Physiology and represent the most significant discovery of Krueger’s 36-year career focused on sleep research.

The study centered on a hypothesis that the major energy currency of the cell — ATP (adenosinetriphosphate) — is a key trigger for brain activity leading up to sleep. Specifically, researchers followed the method behind how ATP assists in the release of cytokines, the regulatory proteins for sleep.

“We know that brain activity is linked to sleep, but we’ve never known how,” Krueger said. “This gives us a mechanism to link brain activity to sleep. This has not been done before.”

A link between ATP and cytokines was charted, leading researchers to the method by which the brain keeps track of activity during wakefulness and then makes the switch to a state of sleep.

Krueger added that the conclusions line up with previous research conducted at WSU suggesting that sleep is a “local phenomenon, that bits and pieces of the brain sleep” depending on how they’ve been used.

By gaining knowledge of this mechanism, researchers believe the potential for a more detailed understanding of sleep processes is greatly widened with notable possibilities for new and improved therapies to treat the debilitating and dangerous effects associated with sleep disorders.

Sleep disorders affect between 50 and 70 million Americans and currently account for approximately $150 billion to businesses due to lost productivity and accidents linked back to fatigue.  It is also estimated that vehicle accidents caused by fatigued drivers equate to $48 billion a year.

Krueger offered the below practical implications for the discovery of how brain activity and ATP affect sleep:

  • The study provides a new set of targets for potential medications. Drugs designed to interact with the receptors ATP binds to may prove useful as sleeping pills.
  • Sleep disorders like insomnia can be viewed as being caused by some parts of the brain being awake while other parts are asleep, giving rise to new therapies.
  • ATP-related blood flow observed in brain-imaging studies can be linked to activity and sleep.
  • Researchers can develop strategies by which specific brain cell circuits are oriented to specific tasks, slowing fatigue by allowing the used parts of the brain to sleep while one goes about other business. It may also clear the way for stroke victims to put undamaged regions of their brains to better use.
  • Brain cells cultured outside the body can be used to study brain cell network oscillations between sleep-like and wake-like states, speeding the progress of brain studies.

Read entire article: How Brain Activity is Linked to Sleep

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Sizing Up Consciousness by Its Bits http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/sizing-up-consciousness-by-its-bits/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/sizing-up-consciousness-by-its-bits/#commentsTue, 18 Jan 2011 15:28:14 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2122From: NYTimes.com

One day in 2007, Dr. Giulio Tononi lay on a hospital stretcher as an anesthesiologist prepared him for surgery. For Dr. Tononi, it was a moment of intellectual exhilaration. He is a distinguished chair in consciousness science at the University of Wisconsin, and for much of his life he has been developing a theory of consciousness. Lying in the hospital, Dr. Tononi finally had a chance to become his own experiment.

The anesthesiologist was preparing to give Dr. Tononi one drug to render him unconscious, and another one to block muscle movements. Dr. Tononi suggested the anesthesiologist first tie a band around his arm to keep out the muscle-blocking drug. The anesthesiologist could then ask Dr. Tononi to lift his finger from time to time, so they could mark the moment he lost awareness.
The anesthesiologist did not share Dr. Tononi’s excitement. “He could not have been less interested,” Dr. Tononi recalled. “He just said, ‘Yes, yes, yes,’ and put me to sleep. He was thinking, ‘This guy must be out of his mind.’ ”

Dr. Tononi was not offended. Consciousness has long been the province of philosophers, and most doctors steer clear of their abstract speculations. After all, debating the finer points of what it is like to be a brain floating in a vat does not tell you how much anesthetic to give a patient.

But Dr. Tononi’s theory is, potentially, very different. He and his colleagues are translating the poetry of our conscious experiences into the precise language of mathematics.

To do so, they are adapting information theory, a branch of science originally applied to computers and telecommunications. If Dr. Tononi is right, he and his colleagues may be able to build a “consciousness meter” that doctors can use to measure consciousness as easily as they measure blood pressure and body temperature. Perhaps then his anesthesiologist will become interested.

“I love his ideas,” said Christof Koch, an expert on consciousness at Caltech. “It’s the only really promising fundamental theory of consciousness.”

Sizing Up Consciousness by its Bits: Read the entire article

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“Erasing” Traumatic Memories Moving from Science Fiction to Scientific Reality http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/erasing-traumatic-memories-moving-from-science-fiction-to-scientific-reality/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/erasing-traumatic-memories-moving-from-science-fiction-to-scientific-reality/#commentsThu, 13 Jan 2011 16:56:22 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2055From: TheGlobeandMail.com

The brain has a remarkable capacity for keeping track of our past experiences. But detailed memories can sometimes seem more a curse than a blessing. This is especially true for those who’ve suffered significant losses or other traumas. Thus, while the holiday season is meant to be a joyous time, for many it merely provides salient reminders of these debilitating experiences.

Fortunately, researchers are discovering that memories may be far less durable than previously thought. Indeed research on “erasing” traumatic memories is quickly moving from the realm of science fiction to scientifically backed reality.

That each of us may be able to exert some control over what gets in and what then stays in long-term memory arises from our growing understanding of how the brain represents and stores information related to our conscious life experiences.

Read the entire article: “Erasing” Traumatic Memories Moving from Science Fiction to Scientific Reality

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Trends in Neuroscience: Table of Contents January 2011 http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/trends-in-neuroscience-journal-january-2011/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/trends-in-neuroscience-journal-january-2011/#commentsWed, 12 Jan 2011 20:04:19 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2241The January issue of Trends in Neuroscience is available online.

Volume 34, Issue 1, pp. 1-50

Opinion

Review

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Opinion

Stuck in a rut: rethinking depression and its treatment p1
Paul E. Holtzheimer, Helen S. Mayberg
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (298 kb)
Activation of cortical interneurons during sleep: an anatomical link to homeostatic sleep regulation? p10
Thomas S. Kilduff, Bruno Cauli, Dmitry Gerashchenko
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (612 kb)

Review

Is adult neurogenesis essential for olfaction? p20
Françoise Lazarini, Pierre-Marie Lledo
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (514 kb)
The extra-hypothalamic actions of ghrelin on neuronal function p31
Zane B. Andrews
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (520 kb)
Development, specification, and diversity of callosal projection neurons p41
Ryann M. Fame, Jessica L. MacDonald, Jeffrey D. Macklis
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Neuroscientist, VS Ramachandran: The neurons that Shaped Civilization http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/neuroscientist-vs-ramachandran-the-neurons-that-shaped-civilization/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/neuroscientist-vs-ramachandran-the-neurons-that-shaped-civilization/#commentsTue, 11 Jan 2011 18:55:45 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2051Enjoy this short video:

From: Ted.com

Neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran outlines the fascinating functions of mirror neurons. Only recently discovered, these neurons allow us to learn complex social behaviors, some of which formed the foundations of human civilization as we know it.

Comments:

Hans Bauer

Jun 24 2010: Any species of comparable level in evolution may attain mirror neurons or something equivalent one day. May even be that this is already happening without our notice. It will hardly happen within a few days. As we heard it took hundreds of thousands of years for us.

May be that some species will develop culture and civilization one day – that is if mankind will not interfere.

By the way – my tom cat sometimes pees standing on two legs. Who knows how he learned it? :)

Watch the video, and read more

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Bobby McFerrin Hacks Your Brain with Music http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/bobby-mcferrin-hacks-your-brain-with-music/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/bobby-mcferrin-hacks-your-brain-with-music/#commentsFri, 07 Jan 2011 18:55:01 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2047Enjoy this short, amusing video on the power of our human brain with regard to music.

From: Ted.com

Interesting comments:

  • Jeff Weir

    Dec 4 2010: I think beyond the “predictive” nature of the human brain, there lies the simple physics of the harmonic series. Once Bobby McFerrin sings the starting pitch, all of the other pitches of the pentatonic are contained in its harmonic series. I believe that is the main reason why all humans “get” the pentatonic scale… it is “spelled out” inside the harmonic series of any starting pitch.

  • Mitchell Plamondon

    Nov 26 2010: That’s cool. I guess it’s an evolutionary result though. People have learned the ability of prediction. We can familiarize ourselves with sounds, whether this be scales, timbres, chords etc. They are all recognizable. He laid out one of the most simple scales, a 5 note pentatonic scale which by chance just so happens to be the most commonly used scale in popular music of the past nearly 100 years. And just like a driver is able to predict the actions of another driver, or just as we are able to walk down a busy sidewalk without colliding into others (not always true :P) we are able to create sonar expectations. Good video – much better than a lot of the pop-music videos that seem to be polluting the TED music related spectacles. (I’d expect to hear more intellectual music here. Perhaps Penderecki, Lutoslawski, Hétu… anything beyond lyric driven 3-4 chord garage-band tunes please :) )

Watch the video, and read more: Bobby McFerrin Hacks Your Brain with Music

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Consciousness and Cognition Journal: Table of Contents December 2010 http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/consciousness-and-cognition-journal-december-2010/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/consciousness-and-cognition-journal-december-2010/#commentsThu, 06 Jan 2011 15:24:33 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2089The December issue of Consciousness and Cognition is available  online:

Volume 19, Issue 4, December 2010

Table of Contents:

REGULAR ARTICLES
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2 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Current concerns in involuntary and voluntary autobiographical memories Original Research Article
Pages 847-860
Kim Berg Johannessen, Dorthe Berntsen
3 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Awareness of the saccade goal in oculomotor selection: Your eyes go before you know Original Research Article
Pages 861-871
Wieske van Zoest, Mieke Donk
4 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Attentional processes and meditation Original Research Article
Pages 872-878
Holley S. Hodgins, Kathryn C. Adair
5 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
The level of frontal-temporal beta-2 band EEG synchronization distinguishes anterior cingulate cortex from other frontal regions Original Research Article
Pages 879-886
M. Kukleta, P. Bob, M. Brázdil, R. Roman, I. Rektor
6 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
How the intentions of the draftsman shape perception of a drawing Original Research Article
Pages 887-898
Alessandro Pignocchi
7 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Cerebral blood flow differences between long-term meditators and non-meditators Original Research Article
Pages 899-905
Andrew B. Newberg, Nancy Wintering, Mark R. Waldman, Daniel Amen, Dharma S. Khalsa, Abass Alavi
8 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Implicit and explicit components of dual adaptation to visuomotor rotations Original Research Article
Pages 906-917
Mathias Hegele, Herbert Heuer
9 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
The experience of altered states of consciousness in shamanic ritual: The role of pre-existing beliefs and affective factors Original Research Article
Pages 918-925
Vince Polito, Robyn Langdon, Jac Brown
10 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Memory and consciousness: Trace distinctiveness in memory retrievals Original Research Article
Pages 926-937
Lionel Brunel, Ali Oker, Benoit Riou, Rémy Versace
11 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Beyond the internalism/externalism debate: The constitution of the space of perception Original Research Article
Pages 938-952
Charles Lenay, Pierre Steiner
12 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
A high-loaded hemisphere successfully ignores distractors Original Research Article
Pages 953-961
Ritsuko Nishimura, Kazuhito Yoshizaki
13 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Self-specific priming effect Original Research Article
Pages 962-968
Alessia Pannese, Joy Hirsch
14 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Alzheimer’s disease and impairment of the Self Original Research Article
Pages 969-976
M.N. Fargeau, N. Jaafari, S. Ragot, J.L. Houeto, C. Pluchon, R. Gil
15 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
NonREM sleep mentation in chronically-treated persons with schizophrenia Original Research Article
Pages 977-985
Félix-Antoine Lusignan, Roger Godbout, Marie-Josée Dubuc, Anne-Marie Daoust, Jean-Pierre Mottard, Antonio Zadra
16 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Self-denial and the role of intentions in the attribution of agency Original Research Article
Pages 986-998
Catherine Preston, Roger Newport
17 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Unconscious task application Original Research Article
Pages 999-1006
Filip Van Opstal, Wim Gevers, Magda Osman, Tom Verguts
18 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Mind control? Creating illusory intentions through a phony brain–computer interface Original Research Article
Pages 1007-1012
Margaret T. Lynn, Christopher C. Berger, Travis A. Riddle, Ezequiel Morsella
19 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Subjective reports of stimulus, response, and decision times in speeded tasks: How accurate are decision time reports? Original Research Article
Pages 1013-1036
Jeff Miller, Paula Vieweg, Nicolas Kruize, Belinda McLea
20 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
A LORETA study of mental time travel: Similar and distinct electrophysiological correlates of re-experiencing past events and pre-experiencing future events Original Research Article
Pages 1037-1044
Christina F. Lavallee, Michael A. Persinger
21 You are not entitled to access the full text of this document
Subjective discriminability of invisibility: A framework for distinguishing perceptual and attentional failures of awareness Original Research Article
Pages 1045-1057
Ryota Kanai, Vincent Walsh, Chia-huei Tseng

And much more: Consciousness and Cognition, Dec 2010

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The Exploration of Meditation in the Neuroscience of Attention and Consciousness http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/the-exploration-of-meditation-in-the-neuroscience-of-attention-and-consciousness/ http://sciconrev.org/2011/01/the-exploration-of-meditation-in-the-neuroscience-of-attention-and-consciousness/#commentsTue, 04 Jan 2011 18:54:39 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2060A. Raffoneand N. Srinivasan

Article in Cognitive Processing: International Quarterly of Cognitive Science

Abstract: Many recent behavioral and neuroscientific studies have revealed the importance of investigating meditation states and traits to achieve an increased understanding of cognitive and affective neuroplasticity, attention and self-awareness, as well as for their increasingly recognized clinical relevance. The investigation of states and traits related to meditation has especially pronounced implications for the neuroscience of attention, consciousness, self-awareness, empathy and theory of mind. In this article we present the main features of meditation-based mental training and characterize the current scientific approach to meditation states and traits with special reference to attention and consciousness, in light of the articles contributed to this issue.

Click here for the full article

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No Implants Needed: Movement-Generating Brain Waves Detected and Decoded Outside the Head http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/no-implants-needed-movement-generating-brain-waves-detected-and-decoded-outside-the-head/ http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/no-implants-needed-movement-generating-brain-waves-detected-and-decoded-outside-the-head/#commentsTue, 28 Dec 2010 18:52:53 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=2042From: ScientificAmerican.com

New research holds promise for a noninvasive brain-computer interface that allows mental control over computers and prosthetics.

Our bodies are wired to move, and damaged wiring is often impossible to repair. Strokes and spinal cord injuries can quickly disconnect parts of the brain that initiate movement with the nerves and muscles that execute it, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) draw the process out to the same effect. Scientists have been looking for a way to bypass damaged nerves by directly connecting the brain to an assistive device—like a robotic limb—through brain-computer interface (BCI) technology. Now, researchers have demonstrated the ability to nonintrusively record neural signals outside the skull and decode them into information that could be used to move a prosthetic.

Past efforts at a BCI to animate an artificial limb involved electrodes inserted directly into the brain. The surgery required to implant the probes and the possibility that implants might not stay in place made this approach risky.

Read the entire article

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A Prescription for Abdominal Pain: Due Diligence http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/a-prescription-for-abdominal-pain-due-diligence/ http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/a-prescription-for-abdominal-pain-due-diligence/#commentsThu, 23 Dec 2010 16:07:29 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=1985From: NYTimes.com: “For some reason people respect headaches,” said Dr. Carlo Di Lorenzo, a leading pediatric gastroenterologist and a professor of clinical pediatrics at Ohio State. “I’ve never seen a parent or a pediatrician tell a child complaining of a headache, ‘You don’t have a headache — it’s not real.’ Bellyache is just as real as headache.”

Indeed it is. And recurrent abdominal pain in children is common, frustrating and often hard to explain.

Consider a girl who came to the clinic for her 10-year physical exam. She gets these bellyaches, she told me. Had a bad one that week, but her stomach wasn’t hurting right at the moment.

She’d been treated for constipation; she’d been tested for celiac disease and other problems. Every blood and stool test over the two years since the pain began was completely normal. One night the bellyache was so bad she went to the emergency room — and her abdominal X-rays were normal as well.

The diagnostic term for this common and perplexing condition is “functional abdominal pain”: recurrent stomachaches, as the American Academy of Pediatrics put it in 2005, with no “anatomic, metabolic, infectious, inflammatory or neoplastic disorder” to explain them.

When I was a resident, we often smirked when we spoke of functional abdominal pain, treating it as a code for a troublesome patient, dubious symptoms or an anxious family. But recent research suggests we were too biomedically narrow in our thinking.

Scientists are coming to understand that abdominal pain is transmitted by a specialized nervous system that may be hypersensitive or hyperactive in some children. Studies in which researchers inflated balloons in children’s intestines suggested that those with functional abdominal pain might be unusually sensitive to any distension on the inside.

Click here for the entire article

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Tracing the Spark of Creative Problem-Solving http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/tracing-the-spark-of-creative-problem-solving/ http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/tracing-the-spark-of-creative-problem-solving/#commentsMon, 20 Dec 2010 15:59:36 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=1960From: NYTimes.com.

Check out the puzzles in this article. They look easy, and mostly they are. Click here to see the puzzles.
Given three words: trip, house, and goal, for example, find a fourth that will complete a compound word with each. A minute or so of mental trolling (housekeeper, goalkeeper, trip?) is all it usually takes.

The payoff of tackling a mental exercise: leaps of understanding that seem to come out of the blue, without the incremental drudgery of analysis.

But who wants to troll?

Let lightning strike. Let the clues suddenly coalesce in the brain as they do so often for young children solving a riddle. As they must have done, for that matter, in the minds of those early humans who outfoxed nature well before the advent of deduction, abstraction or SAT prep courses. Puzzle-solving is such an ancient, universal practice, scholars say, precisely because it depends on creative insight, on the primitive spark that ignited the first campfires.

And now, modern neuroscientists are beginning to tap its source.

In a just completed study, researchers at Northwestern University found that people were more likely to solve word puzzles with sudden insight when they were amused, having just seen a short comedy routine.

What we think is happening, said Mark Beeman, a neuroscientist who conducted the study with Karuna Subramaniam, a graduate student, is that the humor, this positive mood, is lowering the brain’s threshold for detecting weaker or more remote connections to solve puzzles.

This and other recent research suggest that the appeal of puzzles goes far deeper than the dopamine-reward rush of finding a solution. The very idea of doing a crossword or a Sudoku puzzle typically shifts the brain into an open, playful state that is itself a pleasing escape, captivating to people as different as Bill Clinton, a puzzle addict, and the famous amnesiac Henry Molaison, or H.M., whose damaged brain craved crosswords.

And that escape is all the more tantalizing for being incomplete. Unlike the cryptic social and professional mazes of real life, puzzles are reassuringly soluble; but like any serious problem, they require more than mere intellect to crack.

Click here for the entire article

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Breathe In, Breathe Out, Fall in Love http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/breathe-in-breathe-out-fall-in-love/ http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/breathe-in-breathe-out-fall-in-love/#commentsWed, 15 Dec 2010 18:54:53 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=1939From: NYTimes.com. In the front hall of the Victorian house was a laminated sign that said “Shoes,” and underneath it a row of Birkenstocks and Danskos stretched along the wall. I could hear voices coming from the meditation hall upstairs, so I figured people were already finding their seats. I sat down and pulled off my motorcycle boots, wishing every object had its own little sign. If only my ex-boyfriend had worn a sign the night before that said “ex-boyfriend,” I would not have slept with him.

I crept upstairs and tried to open the door soundlessly. Inside, two dozen people were perched on pillows. They were the same kind of people you find at a bookstore — a lot of spectacles, lumpy sweaters, laptop bags. A few were still whispering, but I sensed the room was about to fall into a trance of majestic silence. So I hurried to join them.

Sitting cross-legged, my hands cupped upward, I began to struggle with the basics of Vipassana meditation, trying to pay attention to my breath as it tickled my nostrils. “Vipassana” comes from the Pali word for “insight,” but here in Cambridge, Mass., the term connotes something else — a certain East Coast, over-educated style of sitting on a pillow.

On the dais, the teacher lounged on his meditation bench in a weathered Patagonia hoodie, his gray hair tied in a knot. “For the next eight hours, you will not say a word,” he told us brightly. “Did everyone remember to bring a bag lunch?”

At that point in my life I had never attempted a full day of meditation.

Click here for entire article.

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Vital Signs; Regimes: Meditation, for the Mind and the Heart http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/vital-signs-regimes-meditation-for-the-mind-and-the-heart/ http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/vital-signs-regimes-meditation-for-the-mind-and-the-heart/#commentsWed, 15 Dec 2010 16:52:55 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=1927From: NYTimes.com. Could the mental relaxation produced by transcendental meditation have physiological benefits? A study presented last week at the American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, Fla., suggests that it may, at least in the case of people with established coronary artery disease.

Researchers followed about 200 high-risk patients for an average of five years. Among the 100 who meditated, there were 20 heart attacks, strokes and deaths; in the comparison group, there were 32. The meditators tended to remain disease-free longer and also reduced their systolic blood pressure.

”We found reduced blood pressure that was significant — that was probably one important mediator,” said Dr. Robert Schneider, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention, a research institute based at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, who presented the findings.

Click here for entire article

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How Mindfulness Can Make for Better Doctors http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/how-mindfulness-can-make-for-better-doctors/ http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/how-mindfulness-can-make-for-better-doctors/#commentsMon, 13 Dec 2010 16:09:57 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=1932From: NYTimes.com One night during my training, long after all the other doctors had fled the hospital, I found a senior surgeon still on the wards working on a patient note. He was a surgeon with extraordinary skill, a doctor of few words whose folksy quips had become the stuff of department legend. “I’m sorry you’re still stuck here,” I said, walking up to him.

He looked up from the chart. “I’m not working tomorrow, so I’m just fine.”

I had just reviewed the next day’s operating room schedule and knew he had a full day of cases. I began to contradict him, but he held his hand up to stop me.

“Time in the O.R.,” he said with a broad grin, “is not work; it’s play.”

For several years my peers and I relished anecdotes like this one because we believed we knew exactly what our mentor had meant. All of us had had the experience of “disappearing” into the meditative world of a procedure and re-emerging not exhausted, but refreshed. The ritual ablutions by the scrub sink washed away the bacteria clinging to our skin and the endless paperwork threatening to choke our enthusiasm. A single rhythmic cardiac monitor replaced the relentless calls of our beepers; and nothing would matter during the long operations except the patient under our knife.

We had entered “the zone.” We were focused on nothing else but our patients and that moment.

Click here for entire article

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The Same Old Consciousness http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/the-same-old-consciousness/ http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/the-same-old-consciousness/#commentsTue, 07 Dec 2010 16:05:57 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=1917From: ErvinLaszlo.com:  It makes sense to paraphrase Einstein’s famous dictum in regard to consciousness. Our problem is the unsustainability of the world we have created, and we should be clear that we can’t solve this problem with the same kind of consciousness that gave rise to it.

But many people try to do just that, even the leaders of the world’s twenty richest and most powerful nations. The November 2010 meeting of the G20 in Seoul gave indisputable proof of it. Not only did the meeting fail to achieve its main objectives (among them rebalancing international trade and reaching an accommodation between the U.S. and South Korea), the objectives themselves proved to be out-of-date. They centered on re-stabilizing the same moribund economic and financial system that made the world unsustainable in the first place.

But why is the G20’s failure due to wrong consciousness? Because consciousness in the social, political, and cultural context is sum total of our view of the world, with its values, aspirations, and background assumptions. It’s the “paradigm” that underlies the way we think and the way we set our priorities. The consciousness of the G20 gives rise to an obsolete view of the world, with faulty values and outdated aspirations. The leaders view the world as the arena for a Darwinian struggle for survival, seen as a competition for growth in the economies of nations. Since assured growth cannot be achieved even by the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world by itself, the leaders recognize the need for some level and form of cooperation—as a means to an end. The end is for the rich nations to make sure that they remain rich.

Click here for the complete article.

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‘Consciousness signature’ discovered spanning the brain http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/consciousness-signature-discovered-spanning-the-brain/ http://sciconrev.org/2010/12/consciousness-signature-discovered-spanning-the-brain/#commentsFri, 03 Dec 2010 16:02:17 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=1921From: Newscientist.com:   Electrodes implanted in the brains of people with epilepsy might have resolved an ancient question about consciousness.

Signals from the electrodes seem to show that consciousness arises from the coordinated activity of the entire brain. The signals also take us closer to finding an objective “consciousness signature” that could be used to probe the process in animals and people with brain damage without inserting electrodes.

Previously it wasn’t clear whether a dedicated brain area, or “seat of consciousness”, was responsible for guiding our subjective view of the world, or whether consciousness was the result of concerted activity across the whole brain.

Probing the process has been a challenge, as non-invasive techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging and EEG give either spatial or temporal information but not both. The best way to get both simultaneously is to implant electrodes deep inside the skull, but it is difficult to justify this in healthy people for ethical reasons.

Brainy opportunity

Now neuroscientist Raphaël Gaillard of INSERM in Gif sur Yvette, France, and colleagues have taken advantage of a unique opportunity. They have probed consciousness in 10 people who had intercranial electrodes implanted for treating drug-resistant epilepsy.

Click here for the entire article.

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Canadian Psychological Association 72nd Annual Convention http://sciconrev.org/2010/11/canadian-psychological-association-72nd-annual-convention/ http://sciconrev.org/2010/11/canadian-psychological-association-72nd-annual-convention/#commentsFri, 26 Nov 2010 01:37:44 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=1913CPA’s 72nd Annual convention is being held in Toronto, Ontario, June 2-4, 2011. Come and connect with fellow CPA colleagues and find out what interesting work people have been conducting in the field of psychology!

The Convention brings together psychology scientists, practitioners, educators and students from all corners of Canada as well as from abroad; it is our trading center for discoveries, innovations and ideas. Use the Convention as a vehicle for ensuring that your science gets translated into, and is informed by, education and practice and that your practice and education remain on a solid foundation of science. Please join us in beautiful Toronto, so we can reconnect and together bask in the city’s warmth and hospitality.

For more information, click here for the conference website.

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Annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society Meeting: 2011 http://sciconrev.org/2010/11/annual-cognitive-neuroscience-society-meeting-2011/ http://sciconrev.org/2010/11/annual-cognitive-neuroscience-society-meeting-2011/#commentsThu, 25 Nov 2010 01:34:48 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=1909The 18th Annual Cognitive Neuroscience Meeting will be held April 2-5, 2011 in San Francisco, California at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Situated right on the Embarcadero waterfront, you are just steps away from the historic Ferry Building, the ferry to Alcatraz and the San Francisco Bay.

Convention activities will begin on the afternoon of Saturday, April 2nd. In addition to the regular symposia, slide, and poster sessions, the annual George A. Miller Lecture will be Sunday evening, with a reception afterwards. We will also be awarding two new Young Investigator Awards followed by talks given by the winners. The 4-day program will continue with a host of symposia, poster sessions, invited addressees, publisher exhibits, and special events.

For more information, please click here for the conference website.

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Mental Training Through Meditation Enhances Attentional Stability http://sciconrev.org/2010/11/mental-training-through-meditation-enhances-attentional-stability/ http://sciconrev.org/2010/11/mental-training-through-meditation-enhances-attentional-stability/#commentsMon, 15 Nov 2010 20:28:47 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=1785A. Lutz, H. Slagter, et al.
Article in Journal of Neuroscience

Abstract
The capacity to stabilize the content of attention over timevaries among individuals, and its impairment is a hallmark ofseveral mental illnesses. Impairments in sustained attentionin patients with attention disorders have been associated withincreased trial-to-trial variability in reaction time and event-relatedpotential deficits during attention tasks. At present, it isunclear whether the ability to sustain attention and its underlyingbrain circuitry are transformable through training. Here, weshow, with dichotic listening task performance and electroencephalography,that training attention, as cultivated by meditation, can improvethe ability to sustain attention. Three months of intensivemeditation training reduced variability in attentional processingof target tones, as indicated by both enhanced theta-band phaseconsistency of oscillatory neural responses over anterior brainareas and reduced reaction time variability. Furthermore, thoseindividuals who showed the greatest increase in neural responseconsistency showed the largest decrease in behavioral responsevariability. Notably, we also observed reduced variability inneural processing, in particular in low-frequency bands, regardlessof whether the deviant tone was attended or unattended. Focusedattention meditation may thus affect both distracter and targetprocessing, perhaps by enhancing entrainment of neuronal oscillationsto sensory input rhythms, a mechanism important for controllingthe content of attention. These novel findings highlight themechanisms underlying focused attention meditation and supportthe notion that mental training can significantly affect attentionand brain function.

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http://sciconrev.org/2010/11/mental-training-through-meditation-enhances-attentional-stability/feed/0
Cosmic Symphony — A Deeper Look at Quantum Consciousness http://sciconrev.org/2010/11/cosmic-symphony-%e2%80%94-a-deeper-look-at-quantum-consciousness/ http://sciconrev.org/2010/11/cosmic-symphony-%e2%80%94-a-deeper-look-at-quantum-consciousness/#commentsFri, 12 Nov 2010 18:53:56 +0000alicehttp://sciconrev.org/?p=1842

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