Brain science podcast and interview with Maryanne Wolf - how the brain processes language.
Tagged with “cognition” (8)
Dr. Anna Meyer, UCSF Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology, explores how hearing and speech develop and why the early years are so critical.
"Psychologist Susan Blackmore investigates how we are outsourcing the memory of our lives to digital devices and asks whether that is changing the nature of human memory. She hears from a ‘lifelogger’ who is recording every detail of his daily life - and from an academic who has taped 220,000 hours of audio and video of his infant son. She asks whether we will all end up doing the same and how this will affect the way we remember our own lives."
’ve heard Andrew Hinton give various talks on the problem of context, but he never fails to help me dive deeper into the problem. Simply put, digital spaces lack physical context, and frequently do a very bad job of substituting a digital context for the physical. This problem might seem a bit abstract, until we realize just how important context is to human cognition. Andrew has a number of great examples of this, but the one that resonates with me is role of context in social cognition. We have relationships with our families, our friends, our peers, our co-workers, and more, and we modulate both how we express our selves and how we process information based on which context we’re in. Digital social spaces tend to collapse these contexts, connecting us with all of our social circles through one channel, allowing us to express ourselves in one way. This gets worse as when we introduce aggregation into the picture, because we not only collapse social context but also “object” context. In some way, we can work around the problem of context by segregating our interactions across tools. Aggregators take away even that modicum of control.
Andrew asked us how we’re going to start to understand the ramifications of this shift in context, and to start thinking about how we’re going to understand the problem. Is this a fundamental behavioral shift? Is it a problem to be solved? Or is it an opportunity to create new kinds of contexts?
Moira interviews Zack Lynch, co-author of the Neuro Revolution. The book reviews how history has already progressed through an agricultural revolution, an industrial revolution, and an information revolution. The Neuro Revolution foretells a fast approaching fourth epoch, one that will radically transform how we all work, live and play.
Dr. Robot, I presume? Your appendix may be removed by motor-driven, scalpel-wielding mechanical hands one day. Robots are debuting in the medical field… as well as on battlefields. And they’re increasingly making important decisions – on their own. But can we teach robots right from wrong? Find out why the onslaught of silicon intelligence has prompted a new field of robo-ethics.
Plus, robo-geologists: NASA’s vision for autonomous robots in space.
- P.W. Singer – Director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution, and the author of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century
- Wendell Wallach – Chair of a technology and ethics working group for Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, and the co-author of Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong
- Pablo Garcia – – Principal engineer working on medical robotics at SRI International, Menlo Park, California
- Robert Anderson – Planetary geologist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Robyn Asimov – Daughter of author Isaac Asimov
In this heady conversation, noted cognitive scientist Steven Pinker answers a number of questions about phrases, languages, and other topics pertaining to The Stuff of Thought.
Subjects Discussed: The Starbucks coffee cup size hierarchy, L.A. Story, “divorce project” and unusual noun phrase connotations, perceptive illusions in language, connotation and denotation, polysemy, campus slang and being hip, euphemisms, the unpredictable nature of words and terminology, the origins of “spam,” the absence of specific terms, locative elements of verbs, meanings and brute memorization, “giggle” vs. “Google,” profanity, offensive language, the difficulties of the surname “Koch,” groups adopting pejorative terms, Lenny Bruce’s infamous routines, dysphemisms, whether the Internet truly reflects language, Overheard in New York, William Safire’s columns, linguists being forever behind the language curve, the origins of “not” (from Wayne’s World) and “my bad,” Jerry Fodor’s extreme nativism vs. reductionism, cultural colloquies vs. cultural status, George Lakoff and language as metaphor, the inevitability of metaphor within certain occupations, language and politics, the brain as a computer, the Declaration of Independence, syntactical memes just under the radar, spatial elements and morphemes, memorization, rigid designators and Saul Kripke, given names that are already in the human continuum, and causation within language.
Say what you mean. That’s difficult, if you don’t know what you’re thinking. But the neuromarketers do, and they’ll be happy to tell Madison Avenue what’s on your mind. Discover why this marketing strategy is wired for success.
Also, Steven Pinker on how language reveals private thoughts as well as why the big-brained Homo neanderthalensis couldn’t out-compete Homo sapiens. And, we tease your gray matter with the "Monty Hall Problem."