Cognitive science

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Cognitive science is the scientific study of the human mind and human intelligence.

Researchers hope that the results from cognitive science will someday lead to mental enhancements. Results from cognitive science may also lead to better Artificial Intelligence.

Imaging Techniques

  • EEG; shows alpha beta and gamma waves; excellent time resolution; cheap; poor spatial resolution - 40 probe points typically; surface only;
  • PET; 3D; uses radioactive chemicals; 1cm resolution; poor time resolution - takes minutes to build a picture; expensive;
  • fMRI; high resolution in time and space; currently super expensive.
  • Home EEG [1], [2]; also consider using sound-recorder software such as [3]

Development of the Science

Cognitive science can be considered to be in the 'cataloguing phase' of a science, like pre-Darwinian biology. Information is collected without an over arching framework in which to organise it. For biology, Darwin provided that with his theory of evolution.

  • Wikipedia:Attentional blink - Where a stimulus being looked for is missed.
  • Transcranial Magentic Stimulation [4] - Shutting down part of the brain using magnetic pulse, to heighten behaviour of another aspect of intelligence. Used to gain 'savant' abilities such as ability to recognise prime numbers, improve memory, tap into perceptual/artistic skills. .
  • Vestibular Ocular Reflex and the Rotating Snake Illusion [5] - a still image that appears to be moving.

Brain Structure

Alexander Luria, a great Russian neurobiologist, brought the understanding of the brain forward from the 'phrenological' model. Luria delineated three functional 'units' of the brain:

  • A unit for level of alertness and wakefullness.
  • A unit for receivng, analysing and storing information
  • A unit for 'programmed sequences - with feedback', such as walking.

Brain mapping

Hi-resolution 3D brain maps of several animals (cat, mouse, human, etc.) are available at Brain Maps.


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