Grand challenge in Neuroscience
Elucidating Neural coding schemes – how objects, concepts, reasoning and thoughts are represented in the brain.
Grand challenge in Neuroscience
Elucidating Neural coding schemes – how objects, concepts, reasoning and thoughts are represented in the brain.
Consciousness (awareness of “There I am”) is a non-physical quantity, which resides not in our brains, but in our spiritual body. Consciousness interacts with physical brain.
If telepathy proves to be real / exists, is it scientifically explicable or is it a supernatural / spiritual / nonphysical form of communication?
If two people communicate through telepathy in scientifically explicable means, they communicate by sending electromagnetic signals (gravitons are too weak, carriers of nuclear forces short distance). We are yet to find
Conclusion: Telepathy is nonphysical/supernatural.
“… by maneuvering his right shoulder in certain ways, Mumford could send signals through the stimulator and down his left arm into the muscles of his hand … He [Previously paralyzed] could open the refrigerator, take out a sandwich, and eat it on his own.
Advances in brain-machine interfaces and electrical–stimulation devices are generating marvelous research results in people with paralysis—some are using their thoughts to control robotic arms, and others are taking tentative steps.
250,000 people with spinal-cord injuries in the United States alone.
Retinal implant that can restore sight to people with a hereditary form of blindness. Potential market is quite big—perhaps 1.5 million people worldwide and 100,000 in the United States“
Books on Neurology: Books by Neurologists
Books on Neuroscience
Books on Psychological Sciences
Science & Engineering, Medicine & Innovation: “Jurassic” Theme Park, Physical Digital Retail & More
“Stimulation of the nervous system could replace drugs for inflammatory and autoimmune conditions”
Has Science advanced to the point when it can enable us create “Jurassic” Theme Parks featuring Dinosaurs?
“A father-son duo of biologists has set the stage for so-called de-extinction.”
#CognitiveScience #NeuroScience #Microsoft #MarketingStrategy #ArtificialIntelligence
The way human brain works is by building “model”s of how the world works.
[See: Short Review of “How to create a Mind” by Ray Kurzweil and “On Intelligence” by Jeff Hawkins [TahsinVersion2.com] ]
Each concept that we learn, we build an internal model of that concept. There is a “summarized model” of each concept we learn – that comes to our mind just as we think of that concept.
So, for example, thinking of “Microsoft” could remind you of Bill Gates or the Windows Operating System you have on your laptop. But Microsoft is not just Bill Gates or not just Windows. Gates or Windows are only the “summarized model or representation” of Microsoft in your brain.
The problem with this is that it could make us fall into the trap of “stereotyping” the world and not reflect the totality of a concept but only a part of it.
As an instance, it might happen that you have read the famous novel “Godfather” by Mario Puzo and from that point on, whenever you hear of Italy or Italians, you are reminded of Italian Mafia. But that’s stereotyping. Not all Italians are part of a Mafia gang.
How do we build these models?
We build these models as we learn concepts, possibly in a social context.
This applies to every domain.
Let me give you an example from Marketing.
A few days back I wrote:
Microsoft has lost it’s “Brand Appeal” in the past few years that it once enjoyed. Google and Apple lead Microsoft in terms of “Brand Appeal”.
When you think of Google or Apple products you think of them as being “cool”, “awesome”, “wonderful”, and so on.
That’s how you learned about Google or Apple. You heard your friends say, “Apple products are so cool” and that’s how the model of “Apple products” in your mind got represented, as being something “cool”.
In Marketing jargon, it’s called “word of mouth” – advertising through the mouth of satisfied customers.
“Brand Appeal” depends more on what people “think” of products than the products themselves.
It might be the case that Microsoft products are better, but people are not doing enough of those “Wow”s –
“Windows is so cool!”
“Surface is simply sensational!”
In other words, “Brand Appeal” could fall victim to human stereotyping.
The effect is not just on customers and consumers, but also on job seekers – when you look for jobs, you certainly want to work for the “coolest” company around.
More on “Model”s and Intelligence
Area Of Expertise: # Computational Neuroscience #NeuroEngineering # Neuroscience
Guidelines For Research In Neuroscience:
Simulation is not enough (Specific cases),
Start building Models & Theories.
Large Neuroscience Projects
“Technology codes our minds,”
“A Magazine Is an iPad That Does Not Work”
When we read, we construct a mental representation of the text in which meaning is anchored to structure.
It is difficult to see any one passage in the context of the entire text.
The implicit feel of where you are in a physical book turns out to be more important than we realized. Only when you get an e-book do you start to miss it.
At least a few studies suggest that by limiting the way people navigate texts, screens impair comprehension.
“The ease with which you can find out the beginning, end and everything in between and the constant connection to your path, your progress in the text, might be some way of making it less taxing cognitively, so you have more free capacity for comprehension,” Mangen says.
People report that they enjoy flipping to a previous section of a paper book when a sentence surfaces a memory of something they read earlier, for example, or quickly scanning ahead on a whim.
Sense of control
People also like to have as much control over a text as possible—to highlight with chemical ink, easily write notes to themselves in the margins as well as deform the paper however they choose.
Because of these preferences—and because getting away from multipurpose screens improves concentration—people consistently say that when they really want to dive into a text, they read it on paper.
An emerging collection of studies emphasizes that in addition to screens possibly taxing people’s attention more than paper, people do not always bring as much mental effort to screens in the first place. Subconsciously, many people may think of reading on a computer or tablet as a less serious affair than reading on paper. Based on a detailed 2005 survey of 113 people in northern California, Ziming Liu of San Jose State University concluded that people reading on screens take a lot of shortcuts—they spend more time browsing, scanning and hunting for keywords compared with people reading on paper, and are more likely to read a document once, and only once.
When reading on screens, people seem less inclined to engage in what psychologists call metacognitive learning regulation—strategies such as setting specific goals, rereading difficult sections and checking how much one has understood along the way.
Jaejeung Kim of KAIST Institute of Information Technology Convergence in South Korea and his colleagues have designed an innovative and unreleased interface that makes iBooks seem primitive. When using their interface, one can see the many individual pages one has read on the left side of the tablet and all the unread pages on the right side, as if holding a paperback in one’s hands. A reader can also flip bundles of pages at a time with a flick of a finger.
Scrolling may not be the ideal way to navigate a text as long and dense as Moby Dick, but the New York Times, Washington Post, ESPN and other media outlets have created beautiful, highly visual articles that depend entirely on scrolling and could not appear in print in the same way. Some Web comics and infographics turn scrolling into a strength rather than a weakness. Similarly, Robin Sloan has pioneered the tap essay for mobile devices. The immensely popular interactive Scale of the Universe tool could not have been made on paper in any practical way. New e-publishing companies like Atavist offer tablet readers long-form journalism with embedded interactive graphics, maps, timelines, animations and sound tracks. And some writers are pairing up with computer programmers to produce ever more sophisticated interactive fiction and nonfiction in which one’s choices determine what one reads, hears and sees next.
– Notes taken from The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens, Scientific American.
My first ‘Aim in life’, as far as I can remember (It was 1988 / 89; I was 2 or 3), was to become a milkman. I mean, it wasn’t about being a milkman. I wanted to become the honest person appreciated by my parents – a milkman. So, what I truly wanted to become was a plain, simple, honest person.
Next, I wanted to become a building mechanic. I used to stare at people who built houses in awe. My uncle sent me a toy Mechanical Tool Box.
My next major change in aim occurred when I wanted to join the Military (age: 4-5). Each night, I used to stay awake until the National Anthem with the National Flag was played on BTV and give salute. I watched a Television program depicting Military life. One of my uncles quipped: “The secret: Tahsin wants to become the President!”.
My mom told me of an incident that took place when I was a baby of few months old. One day, General Ershad was delivering a speech (who was then the President). My mom was studying for her exams. I was lying right beside my maternal Grandfather. My Grandfather suddenly started praying loudly: “God, grant my wish and guide my grandson to become the President and lead the Nation.” My Grandmother called my mom, “Come! Quick! Look how your dad is praying for your son!”
During my First grade, a serial had an enormous influence on me: “The sword of Tipu Sultan”. Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali were my childhood heroes. The serial drew me to History. I was deeply influenced by another historical novel during 3rd / 4th Grade – “Khun Ranga Path”. Besides History, books on General Knowledge were among my favorites from an early age. My father bought me my first “General Knowledge” book (Encyclopedia) around 5. Then I discovered “General Knowledge” books (Encyclopedia) in my aunt’s house. Later, I started buying Encyclopedia myself. I used to stare at the Globe of the world and fantasize (Grade 3 / 4). I fantasized first becoming a King of Ancient Bengal, then King of Myanmar (Burma) and later lifetime President of Kazakhstan.
I remember playing computer games at one of our relative’s house during Fifth grade. Almost everyone around me wanted to become a Computer Engineer at that time. So I thought I should try to become one myself – a Computer Engineer.
During my middle school years, I was a voracious reader of novels. Reading novels was the most fun activity I could think of. I could understand different writing techniques employed by novelists. Becoming a novelist, writing great novels was my dream during 7th to 10th grade (1999 – 2002). For living, I would become a Physician or Engineer or Architect. That was my plan.
During 9th / 10th grade, I made up my mind to study Medicine (there was huge encouragement from my parents) and become a Physician besides writing novels.
When I read a book on Psychology (my mom’s book on Educational Psychology from her M.Ed. course), I understood that an intense interest in the workings of the human mind was the chief reason I wanted to become a novelist. Moreover, Literature could only depict subjective human experience, but the objective theories of Psychology applied to all humans.
I thought that I could become a Physician and specialize in Psychiatry or Neurology.
Studying Psychology helped me understand the essence of Science: To understand experimentally provable General Rules that govern everything we see around us.
Studying Psychology books gave me the confidence that: I can come up with original ideas, and that I should question what is written in books.
Trying to understand the theories of Psychology in terms of my own experiences and what I see around me, made me aware of the connection between Real World and the world of Books and Theories.
As I later diversified and ventured into different branches of Science, these realizations and understandings proved invaluable.
One day, as I was preparing for my high school (11th grade) Entrance Exam (later it was decided that Entrance would be based on results of matriculation exam), a Chapter on different forms of Energy from my Physics book grabbed my attention. I thought: maybe I could work on both Psychology / Neurology and Physics. I went through my 9-10th grade Physics book. I bought and read other books (Undergraduate level Physics Textbooks, Stephen Hawkin’s A Brief History of Time and others).
I thought and wrote down my understandings and realizations. I tried to come up with new Theories myself.
Physics taught me to understand “everything” in terms of fundamental constituents and few fundamental laws that govern things we see around us.
Physics made me realize the necessity of learning Higher Mathematics.
Mathematical Olympiad was gaining popularity in Bangladesh at that time (it was 2003). I bought Books and started solving problems.
One of the books published at that time was “নিউরনে অনুরণন” (“Resonance in neurons”). The idea for the name: it’s better to create resonance in your brains’ neurons by solving Mathematical problems rather than leaving the neurons idle!
I found out: the more I worked on problems, the better I could think! My Neurons really were resonating!
My interest in Psychology helped me appreciate brain function improvement and Mathematical Problem Solving. I discovered ways of improving brain function myself.
It was an amazing realization – I could become anyone I wanted if I worked in the right way.
Other Sciences started grabbing my attention.
Psychology drew me to Neuroscience – the Biology of what happens in the mind. Physics led me to Cosmology (the study of the evolution of the Universe) and some of the books described evolution of our planet and Biological evolution. Evolutionary Biology was among my favorites.
At that point, I saw my future as a Scientist: trying to understand the truth and decode the Laws of Nature.
I became interested in Computer Science and Engineering as I read an article portraying the field of Artificial Intelligence. The article was written by Dr. Ali Asgar included in one of his popular science books (Grade 11). I bought Undergrad Texts on Artificial Intelligence and started reading.
Psychology and Neuroscience always grabbed my attention. So when I found out that there is a subfield in CS that tries to emulate intelligence on computers, I got hooked instantly.
Later, I participated in International Mathematical Olympiad, and met people who were serious participants in programming contests and I felt that I really liked contests and competitions. Besides, computation seem to be everywhere – required in almost every branch. I could do Physics and Biology on Computers. I read an inspirational book (“Medhabi Manusher Golpo” – Prof. Dr Kaykobad) which depicted lives of eminent Computer Scientists and students of Computer Science. The choice was either Physics or Computer Science and Engineering, but my parents wouldn’t let me study Physics. Choosing Computer Science and Engineering also made sense when I considered practical aspects. I thought: I could still pursue my multi-disciplinary interests besides studying CSE at college.
The Majors I considered at that time included: Computer Science and Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Nanotechnology / Nanoengineering & Bioengineering / Biomedical Engineering.