Wired for Thought — A cup of coffee can leave you wired for the day. But a chip in your brain could wire you to a machine forever. Imagine manipulating a mouse without moving a muscle, and doing a Google search with your mind. Welcome to the future of the brain-machine interface. Don your EEG thinking-cap, and discover a high-tech thought game that may be the harbinger of machine relationships to come. Plus, the ultimate mapping project: the Human Connectdome Project aims to identify all the neural pathways in the human brain. It may help us understand what makes us human, but could it also point the way to making us smarter? And, what all this brain research reveals about the mind and free will – who, or what, is really in charge?
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Music is more than just pitch and rhythm, timbre and tempo. Music can comfort. Or annoy. It helps us celebrate – and mourn. Music can foster a sense of group identity. (Consider national anthems.)
Are human beings hard-wired to enjoy music? What role did music play in the evolution of human societies? What would life be without music?
In this World Science Forum, we talk to Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist at McGill University. He’s an expert on music cognition and the author of two books: This is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs.
Levitin argues that music is at the heart of human nature. The World’s Rhitu Chatterjee spoke with Levitin for The World Science Podcast.
Drawing on strange and thought-provoking case studies, eminent neurologist V. S. Ramachandran offers unprecedented insight into the evolution of the uniquely human brain in his new book, The Tell-Tale Brain.