Cognitive Science is directly mentioned in this article! Awesome!
It seems there exists a blind spot in the field of cognitive science: What exactly is, definitively, perception?
According to an excerpt in the Vancouver Series in Cognitive Science, this question involves a complex route of reduction and reasoning. Cognitive science puts most of its efforts into investigating how one perceives–there are the objects of perception, and the products of perception. But, what is the what that enables the converting of information from the pre-perceptual state to post-perceptual state? Is perception itself, as one is actively perceiving, an event? If so, is it singular, or is it a series of reactive events? Or is state of mind? As in, you are now perceiving, and thus you are in a perceptive state of mind. And if so, is it conscious or subconscious? …
This inconclusiveness of perception rests at the fulcrum of understanding how visual information (the object of perception), is integrated with belief (the product of perception). It is difficult to assign a directional convention of perception. However, the mechanism of perception gives rise to conceptions and propositions. Concepts and propositions are essentially conclusions that an individual has convictions in after a certain perception.
Now, consider: is seeing believing? Think of times when you can actually have full conviction in something, enough to convince someone else of something, without physically seeing some sort of visual proof of it. Now without my prompting, you will probably started to also consider: does a strong enough conviction in a belief capable of producing visual information in support of it? Thus, we’re back at the enigmatic question of what goes on in perceiving?
V.S. Ramachandran’s Induced Scotomas in Human Vision experiment offers an interesting insight that eases some of the mystery of the perceptual system. It proves that what we see is not always what is there, the brain is capable of perceptual filling–generating visual images to cover a gap. How reliable is our perception if the visual system is susceptible to being auto-manipulated? This leads to a succeeding phenomenon. People often refuse to accept total confirmation of a certain belief until they see a proof. The explanation may lie in the secret workings of perception. We don’t know which order it happens, whether it is belief that causes the sight of proof, or proof causes believes, but it is possibly in the mysterious integration of these two cognitive processes that offer consolation. Maybe each process is incomplete in isolation, and each has a blind spot that only information from the other process can fulfill.
Read the full excerpt and offer your interpretation and hypothesis of perception. What can you conclude about its nature based on what your experience with behavioral reaction from visual stimulus? After all, insofar as technology currently permits, we can only make logical, philosophical reductions from outside in. Have at it.
Source: K. Akins ed., Perception, Vancouver Studies in Cognitive Science, vol. 5: Oxford University Press
Just another neat TED Talk from last year. Not really Cognitive Science but it is interesting to those who have an interest in medicine.
Brazillian neuroscientist, Miguel Nicolelis, was on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night talking about interfacing machines directly with the brain. This is similar to the eLEGS article I just posted, have a look see and leave a comment after the break. Read the rest of this entry »
According to this Page 9 of this VMC Foundation newsletter, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center will be the first hospital use eLEGS with its patients. This program is being implemented in their Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation in conjunction with Berkeley Bionics, the developers of eLEGS, to get a larger testing base and further research of a product that could allow for rapid rehabilitation of paralyzed patients without limiting their movement. Akshat Shah M.D, Chief of Spinal Cord & Orthopedic Rehabilitation, says “There are certain moments in medical history that are game changers. This is one of those moments.” The benefit of this suit is that it allows for use of the motor cortex and exercises the paralyzed muscles regardless of the level and duration of the paralysis.
March 21st 2011, Neurofocus, a San Francisco based neuromarketing firm released the first dry and wireless EEG cap. The cap was released at the Annual Advertising Research Foundation Convention Foundation in New York, New York.
The product has been in development for the past three years, and according to the NeuroFocus website it combines “medical-grade technology with mobility, leapfrogging current neurological testing methods.”
Dr. A. K. Pradeep, Chief Executive Officer of NeuroFocus stated that this new technology provides “new opportunities for our clients to gain critical knowledge and insights into how consumers perceive their brands, products, packaging, in-store marketing, and advertising at the deep subconscious level in real time.” Read the rest of this entry »
I just saw this eerie and amazing video and decided to share it with my fellow cognizers. According to this, it is an “ant death spiral” that occurs when the lead ant makes a sharp turn and end up following an ant that is following itself. This breakdown in the information cascade that enables ant wayfinding clues into the cognitive abilities of ants as well as other forms of cognition around the animal kingdom. Click “Read the rest of the Entry” to see a simulated video of how the mill forms. Enjoy the videos and leave a comment! Read the rest of this entry »
What is human cognition?
As cognitive science students all know or will soon find out, said science has applications in an aptitude of domains ranging from age-old philosophy to ultra-sophisticated computer science. It is a science that is slowly revealing the interconnectedness between previously thought un-intersected disciplines. Metaphorically put, cognitive science debunks the notion that the mind, typically associated with processing the tangible, functions independently from the heart, often associated with the intangible. The study of human cognition narrows the scope to these two primary human functions and investigates their implications with psychology, learning, memory, attention, communication, and behavior. The focus, however, is identifying the physical neurobiological process that orchestrates and governs each of these arguably para-physical cognitive phenomenon. Human cognition is the neurological equivalent of relativity and quantum mechanics in physics. Mass and energy, seemingly independent, are quantized the same way at the subatomic level.
At UCSD, the undergraduate Department of Cognitive Science offers a bachelors-of-arts degree in cognitive science; with 5 areas of specialization available for the bachelors-of-science degree. These specializations are clinical aspects of cognition, computation, human-computer interaction, neuroscience, and of course, human cognition. Read the rest of this entry »
This article presents the potential reality of tapping in on a person’s dream. Scientists from Germany, Israel, Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States have taught subjects to will neurons associated with specific visual memory to be replaced with another visual memory. This means images from creation can override actual visual input. Can technology in BCI one day advance to be able to read into these neuron-generated images – our dreams?
Evidence has provided that the use of tablets is increasing and is going to increase. In fact, companies have stated that particular technology have outweighed the purchase of text-based material. According to Amazon, Kindle books are now outselling paperbacks, which is a “major milestone” in the publishing industry. It doesn not state whether this achievement has a negative setback, rather it is enforcing the idea technology has become a strong preference and convenience for many.
Another source from “The Wall Street Journal” predicts that more consumers will be purchasing tablets and many companies are expecting to sell them. Statistics show that people are purchasing more hand-held devices than laptops. Apple, Windows, Blackberry, etc are all competing to sell their products–however, they have become very conscious with the physical size of the product to make it more user-friendly, particularly in response to specific groups such as , students, employers, etc.
For example, “Scholastic” released an article discussing the effectiveness of Kindle and how it will change literacy in today’s generation. It has been labeled as the “hand-held library” that offers various resources from educational to pure leisure. Educators are finding positive results with this gadget, particularly the “text-to-speech” function that aides students with vision problems, lack of reading fluency, and even language barriers. This is seen as a positive improvement in closing the literacy gap in underprivileged children.