Big Ideas presents Seth Lloyd of the Massachusetts Institute for Technology on Quantum Life, how organisms have evolved to make use of quantum effects.
Tagged with “biology” (3)
http://www.thersa.org/events/audio-and-past-events/2010/how-intelligence-happens RSA Thursday Human intelligence is among the most powerful forces on earth. It builds sprawling cities, vast cornfields and coffee plantations, complex microchips; it takes us from the atom to the limits of the universe. Understanding how brains build intelligence is among the most fascinating challenges of modern science. How does the biological brain, a collection of billions of cells, enable us to do things no other species can do?
Professor John Duncan FRS, a scientist who has spent thirty years studying the human brain, visits the RSA to elaborate on an adventure story - the story of the hunt for basic principles of human intelligence, behaviour and thought
Using results drawn from classical studies of intelligence testing; from attempts to build computers that think; from studies of how minds change after brain damage; from modern discoveries of brain imaging; and from groundbreaking recent research, Duncan unravels one of the most enigmatic scientific mysteries of all.
David J. Linden, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His laboratory has worked for many years on the cellular substrates of memory storage in the brain, among other topics. He has a longstanding interest in scientific communication and serves as the Chief Editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology.
In this broad discussion with D.J. Grothe, David Linden challenges widespread beliefs about the brain, such as that people only use ten percent of it and that it is amazingly designed, arguing instead that the brain is "accidental." He talks about why, as a brain scientist, he writes about topics such as love, God and sexual orientation. He describes the downsides of how the brain has evolved by including systems from previous brain "models," and how this has given rise to those qualities that most profoundly shape our human experience. He discusses the neuron, and how it is a "lousy processor of information," describing how evolution has nonetheless used it to build "clever us." He talks about how our brains have constrained us, and may have physically led to the necessity of marriage, family and long childhoods. He surveys various claims regarding the enhancement of our cognitive capacities, such as playing Mozart to babies in utero, vitamins, smart drugs, mental exercises, and physical exercise. He talks about the brain science of homosexuality. And he argues that the brain has evolved to make everyone a "believer," describing the similarities between belief in science and in religion, that both are similar "branches of the same cognitive stream."