Janet Kwasniak , Janet Kwasniak

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Neuro-patch
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  • April 11, 2014
  • 05:59 AM
  • 96 views

Don’t forget the cerebellum

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Many theories of humanness rely on a simple idea that the cerebral cortex is enlarged in humans relative to other primates and in primates relative to other mammals. So it must be the cerebral cortex that is the important part of the brain, giving us our smarts and our skills. What is often overlooked is […]... Read more »

  • April 8, 2014
  • 06:07 AM
  • 71 views

Knowing your grandmother

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There is a spectrum of ways in which the brain may hold concepts that range from very localized to very distributed, and there is little agreement of where along that spectrum various concepts are held. At the one end is the ultimate local storage: a single ‘grandmother’ neuron that recognizes your grandmother in matter how […]... Read more »

  • April 5, 2014
  • 07:11 AM
  • 86 views

Curious publicity

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Our conscious image of what we are seeing usually appears complete; it is the whole visual field. This is an illusion. The image is built up from many narrower views of parts of the scene that we attend to in rapid succession. Our visual system also establishes a knowledge of the general balance of the […]... Read more »

  • March 30, 2014
  • 05:57 AM
  • 74 views

The power of sound

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Using faked sounds, subjects experienced the illusion that their hand was becoming more like marble according to a recent paper (citation below). We should not be as surprised by this illusion as we are. We assume that our perception of the substance of our bodies is not going to change. But in this illusion it […]... Read more »

Senna, I., Maravita, A., Bolognini, N., & Parise, C. (2014) The Marble-Hand Illusion. PLoS ONE, 9(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091688  

  • March 24, 2014
  • 09:49 AM
  • 116 views

Forget suppressed memories

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

A recent paper (see citation) has put a hole in another remnant of Freud’s influence, that suppressed memories are still active. Freud noticed that we can suppress unwelcome memories. He theorized that the suppressed memories continued to exist in the unconscious mind and could unconsciously affect behaviour. Uncovering these memories and their influence was a […]... Read more »

  • March 21, 2014
  • 05:09 AM
  • 135 views

Brain, Ubuntu and Hegel

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There is a recent paper in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience: Marchetti and Koster, Brain and intersubjectivity: a Hegelian hypothesis on the self-other neurodynamics. (citation below)   The authors attempt to show that self-consciousness can be understood in the context of Hegel’s ideas of intersubjectivity. The parts of Hegel that they pick to illustrate the nature […]... Read more »

  • March 18, 2014
  • 03:12 AM
  • 125 views

What is conscious intent anyway?

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

A recent paper (citation below) reports that conscious intent precedes motor preparation activity, and not that motor preparation is well underway before consciousness registers intent. Here is Zschorlich and Köhling conclusion: “Motor intention (intention in action) describes a process of motor preparation without executing an overt movement. In our study, we explored the link between […]... Read more »

  • March 15, 2014
  • 06:26 AM
  • 145 views

The pulvinar and attention

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

“The streetlight effect is a type of observational bias where people only look for whatever they are searching for by looking where it is easiest. The parable is told several ways but includes the following details: A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a streetlight and asks what the drunk has lost. […]... Read more »

  • March 5, 2014
  • 02:15 PM
  • 87 views

Communicating in sync

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

How do people coordinate their actions; how does communication work; how does it affect people; how do minds get in sync? When people communicate they do get in sync but there is no magical about this. We perceive the outside world including signals as well as scenery, we model this input and think about it, […]... Read more »

Hasson, U., Ghazanfar, A., Galantucci, B., Garrod, S., & Keysers, C. (2012) Brain-to-brain coupling: a mechanism for creating and sharing a social world. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16(2), 114-121. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2011.12.007  

  • March 2, 2014
  • 03:19 PM
  • 136 views

Language, music and echolocation

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

In the immediately previous posting, the main idea was that linguistic and musical communication shared the same syntactic processing in the brain but not the same semantic meaning processing. How can they share syntax? We need to look at communication and at syntax.   The simplest type of human communication is non verbal signals: things […]... Read more »

  • February 27, 2014
  • 05:59 AM
  • 139 views

The importance of communication

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

A recent paper (see citation below) has helped to clarify the relationship between linguistic and musical communication. The researchers used a standard type of communication between jazz players, called “trading fours”. The musicians alternate playing four bar phrases, each relating to the previous one, so that the players in effect answer one another. This back […]... Read more »

  • February 18, 2014
  • 03:57 AM
  • 89 views

Memory stability and change

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

How is it that memories change and yet seem fairly stable? In a recent paper, Bridge and Voss, report studies on changes to memory. (see citation). They looked at a particular memory, the location of an object. They changed the background associated with the object. How does the memory change after the change of background? […]... Read more »

  • February 15, 2014
  • 02:25 PM
  • 155 views

How many memory types?

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

What a lot of different memory types there are in the literature! This is made more confusing because so little is known about memory. So we have: sensory, working, short-term, long-term, explicit, implicit, declarative, procedural, semantic, episodic without mentioning obscure types like flashbulb memories. It is also not always clear where authors believe things are […]... Read more »

O. Beaudry, I. Neath, A.M. Surprenant, & G. Tahan. (2014) The focus of attention is similar to other memory systems rather than uniquely different. frontiers in Human Neuroscience. info:/doi:10.3389/fnhum.014.00056

  • February 12, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 137 views

A theory of the evolution of consciousness

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

In a recent article (citation below) Vandekerckhove, Bulnes and Panksepp put forward a theory of how consciousness has changed with the evolution of the brain. They envisage three types or stages of awareness: anoetic (without knowledge), noetic (with knowledge), and autonoetic (with meta-knowledge). The theory has each type building on the previous, both during evolution […]... Read more »

M. Vandekerckhove, L.C. Bulnes, & J. Panksepp. (2014) The emergence of primary anoetic consciousness in episodic memory. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. info:/10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00210

  • February 8, 2014
  • 03:59 PM
  • 141 views

Unconscious vision

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Milner (see citation below) reviews the evidence that the visual-motor control is not conscious.   Visual perception starts at the back of the optical lobe and moves forward in the cortex as processing proceeds. There are two tracks along which visual perception proceeds, called the dorsal stream and the ventral stream. The two streams have […]... Read more »

  • February 6, 2014
  • 02:37 PM
  • 794 views

Metaphor, Exaptation and Harnessing

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

We are used to the metaphor of time being related to distance, as in “back in the 1930s” or “it was a long day”. And there is a noticeable metaphor relating social relationships to distance, as in “a close friend” or “distant relatives”. But these are probably not just verbal metaphors, figures of speech, but […]... Read more »

Parkinson C, Liu S, & Wheatley T. (2014) A common cortical metric for spatial, temporal, and social distance. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 34(5), 1979-87. PMID: 24478377  

  • January 15, 2014
  • 04:22 PM
  • 166 views

Do we understand sleep?

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

There is a new theory to explain changes in memory during sleep. It is not that new, Tononi introduced it a decade ago. Since then Tononi and his group have been amassing confirmations of the idea. A recent paper (see citations Tononi 2014) has discussed SHY or the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis in a general way. […]... Read more »

Giulio Tononi, & Chiara Cirelli. (2014) Sleep and the Price of Plasticity: From Synaptic and Cellular Homeostasis to Memory Consolidation and Integration. Neuron, 81(1). info:/10.1016/j.neuron.2013.12.025

Hashmi A. Nere, & Tononi G. (2013) Sleep-dependent synaptic down-selection (II): single-neuron level benefits for matching, selectivity, and specificity. Frontiers in Neuroscience. info:/10.3389/fneur.2013.00148

  • January 5, 2014
  • 10:05 AM
  • 183 views

Words for odours

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Recent research by Majid etal. has found a language that has words for abstract odours. Here is the abstract:   “From Plato to Pinker there has been the common belief that the experience of a smell is impossible to put into words. Decades of studies have confirmed this observation. But the studies to date have […]... Read more »

Jean-Pierre Royet, J Plailly, A Saive, A Veyrac, & C Delon-Martin. (213) The impact of expertise in olfaction. Frontiers in Psychology. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00928  

  • January 1, 2014
  • 12:57 AM
  • 235 views

Art and the self

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

How is it that art moves us? What is happening when we react to the aesthetic in our lives? Vessel, Starr and Rubin (citation below) used fMRI and some specifically chosen paintings to investigate the aesthetic experience.   They wanted to separate the experience of being moved by art from the sensory stimuli of art, […]... Read more »

Edward A Vessel, G Gabrielle Starr, & Nava Rubin. (2012) Art reaches within: aesthetic experience, the self and the default mode network. Frontiers in Neuroscience. info:/10.3389/fnims.2013.00258

  • December 27, 2013
  • 02:22 PM
  • 208 views

Bonn model of volition

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

In a recent paper, Bonn (citation below) puts forward a model of freewill. Although I wish that we could simply stop using the words freewill and determinism, Bonn’s type of treatment is the next best thing.   First he redefines freewill. (This is the part that bothers my sensitivities. By denying conscious freewill but not […]... Read more »

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