Listen up, Facebook and Twitter groupies: how easily can social pressure affect your memory?
The participants conformed to the group on these “planted” responses, giving incorrect answers nearly 70% of the time.
Volunteers watched a… read more
Meet Justin, an android on Earth who will soon be controlled remotely by an astronaut in the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory on the International Space Station. The astronaut will don an exoskeleton to remotely control Justin.
The long-range goal: explore the Moon and planets with tele-operated robots.
Fats in foods like potato chips and french fries make them nearly irresistible because they trigger natural marijuana-like chemicals in the body called endocannabinoids, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have found.
The researchers discovered that when rats tasted something fatty, cells in their upper gut started producing endocannabinoids, while sugars and proteins did not have this effect.
How fats create,… read more
Professor Mark Lyte and associates at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center have come up with a radical concept: that you may be able to fine-tune your mental and emotional states by the right combination of probiotics!
Probiotics are “good” bacteria that normally reside in your gut and are available OTC in any drug store or health food store. Lyte suggests that they can generate… read more
“I am attempting to recreate my eye with the help of a miniature camera implant in my prosthetic artificial eye. The intraocular installation of an eye-cam will substitute for the field of vision of my left eye that I lost in 2005 from a car accident.”
So says Tanya Marie Vlach, who lost her left eye in a car accident. After she received “hundreds of international engineering proposals, support from my … read more
I have been thinking about progress a bit recently, mainly because I would like to develop a mathematical model of how brain scanning technology and computational neuroscience might develop.
In general, I think the most solid evidence of technological progress is Wrightean experience curves. These are well documented in economics and found everywhere: typically the cost (or time) of manufacturing… read more
Attention, mind-control victims: mad scientists want to zap your brain. But you knew that.
It’s a problem every student has when cramming for an exam: some of the information is usually forgotten. The common belief is that your brain simply doesn’t have the capacity necessary to process both memories in quick succession. But is that true?
Well, OK, maybe not totally destroying it, just making it unnecessary to rely on friends, libraries, books, notes, and other forms of “transactive memory” (external systems), thanks to the rise of Internet search engines, Wikipedia, and other Internet tools.
“Since the advent of search engines, we are… read more
David J. Linden is the author of a new book, The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good. He is a Professor of Neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Chief Editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology.
It should be noted that many of the criticisms in this blog post… read more
A combination of cheap DNA synthesis, freely accessible databases, and our ever-expanding knowledge of protein science is conspiring to permit a revolution in creating powerful molecular tools, suggests William McEwan, Ph.D., a virologist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, U.K., in this excerpt from the new book Future Science: Essays From The Cutting Edge, edited by Max Brockman.
This afternoon I received… read more
A humanoid robot that “learns from the Internet and from other robots” and can “think, learn, and act by itself” has been developed by the Hasegawa Lab at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, DigInfo TV reports.
OK, this is freaking me out just a little. I don’t want a bot that learns on the Internet how to make me green tea (see video),… read more
Ever want to fly a remote-controlled plane over houses, recording cell-phone conversations and text messages at random and hacking into Wi-Fi networks and computers?
Well, first, click here and report yourself. Then check out the Defcon session (August 4–7, Las Vegas) by Mike Tassey and Richard Perkins on the latest version of their WASP (Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform).
“This session has everything… read more
WAIT! Before you read further (and I totally contaminate your mind), I suggest you take these two simple short tests:
OK, what did you (not) see in the video (more info here)? How did you compare to survey respondents?
This surprising (and disturbing) research at the… read more