วันอาทิตย์ที่ 30 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2556

Human behaviour: is it all in the brain – or the mind?

neuroimaging is widely regarded as the key to understanding what we do, but the authors of a controversial new book, brainwashing, claim this approach is erroneous and dangerous

You've seen the headlines: This is your brain on love. O God. Or want. O happiness. And reliably accompanied by images of brains sunny colors - Explorations in capturing Buddhist meditation for cocaine like monks and students who choose Coke over Pepsi. The media - and even some neuroscientists think - like to invoke the neural basis of human behavior to explain everything from the Bernie Madoff financial fiasco slavish devotion to our iPhones, sexual indiscretions of politicians, dismissal of global warming and conservative an obsession with self-tanner.

brains are great at school, too. Take a map of all the major universities and you can follow the progress of neuroscience research laboratories and health centers in schools of law and business and economics and philosophy departments. In recent years, neuroscience has merged with a number of other disciplines, new spawning areas of study as neurolaw, neuroeconomics, neurophilosophy, neuromarketing and Neurofinance. The brain was obtained in these unlikely redoubts as English departments where teachers wonder if the brain scanner subjects as they read passages from Jane Austen's novels is a) successful research on the power of literature, or b ) desperate to inject innovation in an area that has exhausted its romance with psychoanalysis and postmodernism attempt. As a brand new cultural artifact, the brain is depicted in paintings, sculptures and tapestries and put on display in museums and galleries. As a scientist, "if Warhol was alive today, he would have a series of silkscreens dedicated to the cortex, the amygdala is hung next to Marilyn Monroe"

Obviously brains are hot. The ability to solve the riddle deep humanity has ever seen - yes - through the study of the brain has captivated researchers and scientists for centuries. But never the brain involved with such force the public's imagination. The main impetus behind this enthusiasm is a form of brain imaging called functional MRI or fMRI, an instrument that measures brain activity and makes the vibrant iconic images are now in the pages of the journal Science.

As a tool to explore the biology of the mind, neuroimaging has been brain science with a strong cultural presence. As one scientist said, brain imaging are "planetary Bohr atom replacing the symbol of science." With its implicit promise to decode the brain, it is easy to see why images of the brain fool almost anyone interested in drawing the curtain on the mental life of other politicians who hope to manipulate the attitudes of voters, officers legislation infallible lie detector, brain playing marketers learn what consumers really want to buy, addiction researchers that attempt to measure the strength of temptation, and defense lawyers fighting to prove that their clients do not have malicious intent or free will.

The problem is that brain imaging can not do any of these things -. At least for the moment

author Tom Wolfe was typically prophetic when he wrote of fMRI in 1996, a few years after its introduction: "Anyone who cares about getting up early and take a truly dazzling dawn of the 21st century want to maintain an eye on him. "Now, we can not look away.


fixing? First, of course, not the same issue of exploration: the brain, the organ of our deepest self. More complex structure than any of the known universe, the brain is a masterpiece of nature with cognitive powers that far exceed the capabilities of a machine built to emulate silicon. It contains about 80 billion brain cells called neurons, each of which communicates with thousands of other neurons, the world ? 3 cradled between our ears has more connections than there are stars in the Milky Way. How this huge building of subjective feelings neurons leads to one of the greatest mysteries of science and philosophy.

scan images of the brain are not what they seem. There are images of the brain in action in real time. Scientists can not simply look "in" the brain and see what he does. These beautiful images of mottled colors are actually representations of specific areas of the brain that work hard - as measured by the increase in oxygen consumption - when a subject performs a task such as reading a passage or respond to stimuli, such as images of faces. The powerful computer in the scanning device converts changes in oxygen levels caramel color family spots indicating areas of the brain that are most active during the execution of the subject. Despite well-founded conclusions, the biggest challenge of the image is that it is very difficult for scientists to look at a fireplace in a brain scanner and conclude exactly what happens in the mind of the person.


years, as the season of the presidential election of 2008 was in preparation, a team of neuroscientists at UCLA tried to solve the riddle of undecided voters or swing. They scanned the brains of undecided voters who responded to photos and videos of the candidates. The researchers translated brain activity resulting from tacit attitudes of voters and, with three political advisers a company based in Washington, called FKF Applied Research, presented their findings to the

New York Times in an opinion article entitled "This is your brain on politics." Readers can view scans for access points dotted tangerine and neon yellow indicating regions "lit" when subjects been exposed to images of Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, and the rest of the candidates. Revealed in these activity patterns, the authors argued, were "impressions of voters in this election that could turn ". These impressions were that two candidates had completely failed to "engage" with the undecided voters. Who were these unpopular politicians? John McCain and Barack Obama, the two potential presidential candidates.

press offices of the University are known for retail in the tabloid media of the environment: this is a place that lights up when subjects think of God ("Religion Center found! ") O researchers find a region in love (" Love is in the brain "). Neuroscientists sometimes appropriate derogatory reference to these studies as "blobology" sealing his tongue in cheek studies showing that brain areas are activated as test subjects

or do



scientists journalists grind teeth when I read accounts that say the scanners can capture the spirit itself in action. Perpetrators of serious science strive to describe the quality of neuroscience research accuracy. Indeed, a flurry of discontent form. "Neuromania", "neurohubris" and "neurohype" - "neuro-balls", if you are a British - are some of the labels that have been distributed, neuroscientists sometimes frustrated themselves

too interpret brain scans can truly be consistent when the concerns of the real world in the balance. Consider the law. When a person commits a crime, who is to blame: the author or the brain? Now, of course, this is a false choice. If biology has taught us anything, it is that "the brain" and "me" is a false distinction. However, if the biological roots can be identified - and, better yet, taken on a brain scan as patches of juicy color - it's too easy for non-professionals who assume that the conduct in question must be "organic" and thus "connected" involuntary or uncontrollable. Criminal lawyers, which is not surprising, attracting more and more images of the brain show supposed to be a biological defect that "make" their customers commit murder.

the future, some neuroscientists provide a radical transformation of the criminal law. Neuroscientist David Eagleman, meanwhile, hosts a time when "one day we can see that many types of misconduct have a biological explanation based [and] the time to think badly of decision-making in the same way thinking any physical process, such as diabetes or lung disease. "As it happens, he predicts," most judges place Sentenced not guilty side of the line. " But is this the right conclusion to draw from the data of neuroscience? After all, if all behavior is ultimately attributed to the activity of the brain correlates detectable, it means that one day I can write undesirable behavior in my my-brain theory non-fault-blame crime?

scientists have made great strides in reducing the complexity of brain organization body intact its constituent neurons containing proteins, genes, etc.. With this model, we can see how human thought and action are developed in different levels of explanation, working from the most basic elements. In one of the lowest levels of the hierarchy is the neurobiological level, including the brain and its constituent cells. Genes direct neuronal development, neurons in brain circuits assembled. Information processing, or computation, and dynamics of neural networks oscillate up. At the intermediate level are conscious mental states such as thoughts, feelings, perceptions, knowledge and intentions. Social and cultural contexts, which play an important role in the formation of our mental contents and behavior in the highest hierarchy landings.

According to neuroscientist Sam Harris, brain research over time and explain in detail the spirit and therefore human nature. Ultimately, he says, neuroscience - and should dictate human values. Semir Zeki, a neuroscientist and British jurist Oliver Goodenough from the future "," ancient ", perhaps a few decades away [when] a good knowledge of the justice system of the brain and how the brain reacts to the conflict can provide critical tools in solving international economic and political conflicts. " No less impressive than the neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga expect a "brain-based philosophy of life" based on an ethic that is "built into our brains. Much suffering, war and conflict could be eliminated if we live according to more consciously. "

ours is a time when the brain research is booming - really a time of great expectations. However, it is also a moment of absurd neuroscience brings us to overestimate the amount of neuroscience can improve the legal, clinical and marketing, much less inform social policy. The naive means neuroentrepreneur the spot, and even zeal sometimes exaggerate the analytical skills to reveal the contents of our mind neuroscience, brain physiology exalt level intrinsically more explanatory value for understanding the behavior and rush to under developed, whether dazzling business science and forensics.

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วันศุกร์ที่ 28 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2556

New York's vote to curb stop-and-frisk is another win for civil rights | Brittny Saunders

City Council took an important decision to add more monitoring policies NYPD that stop and search, which are discriminatory

New York City Council approved two bills aimed at ensuring the safety and respect of all New Yorkers. The measurements were supported by the United communities for police reform, a broad coalition of groups in the city, and strengthen the existing prohibition on the profile of the police and establish independent oversight of police department the city.

Today is a new day for the city of New York. The decision reflects a growing concern about the policies and practices of the NYPD who violate the rights of thousands of New Yorkers and undermine relations between the police and the community - practices such as discriminatory use of stop and search valuable public funds waste while producing no measurable impact on public safety.

Criticism was not only the board but also in federal court, where he questioned the legality of these practices. These same questions are repeated in the homes of regular New Yorkers - most of those who disapprove of the two-thirds support the independent supervision of the department of stop and search, and. The message is clear. It's time for New York to move away from an approach to monitoring results in a number of human rights violations each year, while doing little to reduce crime, according to an analysis by the Center for Human Constitutional

For too long, too many city leaders agreed discriminatory police tactics on the assumption that the costs incurred by New Yorkers who register are outweighed by the benefits accruing to communities that are then directed an illegal and abusive treatment. But the truth is that the discriminatory policies of the NYPD and practices have indirect negative effects on those who live in the city, including its white residents. They allow the NYPD to replace the crude and ineffective strategies - how to stop New Yorkers on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender phrase - for the work of sophisticated police could expect the agency the largest country of the local police. In the process, the position of the NYPD officers as adversaries rather than allies of most communities, they are responsible for the protection, which reduces the willingness to report crime and to all New Yorkers less safe.

is increasingly obvious, then, that the costs of massive spending on ineffective policing strategies extend beyond those supported by the people who run illegally on the streets every day. But the most powerful argument for increased accountability NYPD has nothing to do with the financial costs and benefits and everything to do with what we, as New Yorkers, we allow to do on our behalf. And it is to remain faithful to the legacy of the city of innovation and the belief that here - if nowhere else -. We can find a way to keep everyone without sacrificing the rights of someone

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วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 20 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2556

Serena Williams, like the rest of us, lives in a woman-hating world | Jill Filipovic

We live in a political and cultural climate that is hostile to women and even toxic to rape victims. Just listen to Rush Limbaugh

most popular sports Few Americans who beat women. While men are proportionally attackers physical and psychological violence, women are not immune to attack our own - especially, it seems, with the words. Tuesday, Rolling Stone magazine published an interview with 16-time Grand Slam tennis title winner Serena Williams, where Williams blamed a rape victim aged 16, saying that the girl, whose case has been widely publicized was "luck" just been raped. The victim of a violation has been assaulted at a party, instead of intervening, many of his peers took pictures and posted on social media, ensuring that it has not been attacked, but was publicly humiliated.

According to Williams, it's pretty good luck, because "It could have been much worse." Williams also said at the outset that he was not blaming the victim, just before blaming the victim:

"I will not blame the girl, but if you're 16 years old and you're drunk as well, parents should teach. - Do not take drinks from other people"

Or maybe parents should teach their children not to violate people. Even better: teach your children to intervene if safe to do so, or contact a representative of the authority if they witness someone is attacked.

After a bit of indignation, Williams apologized. A little. She said:

What happened in Steubenville was a real shock to me. I was deeply saddened. For someone to be raped, and only 16 years old, is a horrible tragedy! The two families involved - the rape victim and the accused. Currently, I am trying to learn the family of the girl you know that I am deeply sorry for what was written in the Rolling Stone article. It was written - as saying -. It is insensitive and hurtful, and in no way say or to believe that it was all to blame

my career, I have fought for women's equality, equal rights for women and respect in their fields - all I could do to help women who have. My prayers and support always comes to a rape victim. In this case, in particular, a 16 year old innocent.

fever is not the only American popular game for the He-Man Woman Hater. Republicans are pushing for a ban on abortion after 22 weeks, which passed the House on Tuesday. The ban has no chance of becoming law, but that does not stop the GOP wasting time everyone - not to mention taxpayers' money (which is the segment of Limbaugh whom).

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วันพุธที่ 12 มิถุนายน พ.ศ. 2556

Edward Snowden: whistleblower, fugitive, hero... traitor?

The story behind the ball and the complainant The Guardian

shot as a small black suitcase and wearing a selection of laptop bags on their shoulders, no one would have paid much attention to Ed Snowden on arrival at the airport Hong Kong International. But Snowden was not tourist or business. A total of four teams had allowed him access to some of the best secrets of classified U.S. government.

Today, a little more than three weeks later, he is the most famous spy in the world, the complainant and the fugitive head of the largest intelligence breach in recent history U.S.. News organizations around the world have described as "America's Most Wanted." Members of Congress have denounced as a "deserter" whose actions tantamount to treason and demanded to be punished to the full extent of the law.

His supporters say his actions have opened a debate on the necessary balance between security and privacy in the modern world.

This is the whistleblower or traitor? The debate still rages.

Snowden, 29, flew to Hong Kong from Hawaii, where he worked for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton in the National Security Agency, the largest organization of spy surveillance world. Since Monday morning, went into hiding. Journalists based in Hong Kong, joined by the international press were looking for him. At the height of the research, recruited journalists Twitter followers to see if they could correctly identify the lighting and other hotel furniture that appear in the video that was made public. They did:. The $ 330-a-night Mira Hotel on Nathan Road, the main busy in Kowloon shopping street

Knowing it was only a matter of time before he is found, Snowden check out at noon on Monday. We believe that it is now in a safe house.

What happens now? The United States is about to file criminal charges against him and that would result in extradition proceedings to bring the United States to stand trial and possibly jail.

If the United States intends to life imprisonment Bradley Manning, who was behind the WikiLeaks release of tens of thousands of memos from the State Department in 2010, which is the punishment store for Snowden, who is guilty of the leak on a larger scale? Manning released documents were simply "sort". Snowden is not only were "Top Secret", but the traffic was very limited.

For an American, the traditional home of history courses Snowden intended to be have been the New York Times. But during long talks last week with a team of Tutor, recalled how he had been shocked to discover the Times had a big scoop of the year in the 2004 election - that the Bush administration after 11 / 9 authorized the NSA to spy on U.S. citizens without a warrant - but they sat on it for a year before the publication

Snowden said it was a turning point for him, confirming his belief that traditional media can not be trusted. He looked around for alternative journalists, who were anti-establishment and at home with blogs and other social media. The member of this generation was the greatest goalie Glenn Greenwald commentator.

In January, Snowden approached a documentary filmmaker and journalist, Laura Poitras, and began corresponding. In mid-February, has sent an email to Greenwald, who lives in Brazil, suggesting that might want to set up a way to send and receive encrypted messages. Even a YouTube video Greenwald, to step by step through the process of encryption. Greenwald did not know the identity of the person providing the leak and was not sure if they were genuine. It has taken no action. In March, New York, received a call from Poitras, who convinced him that he had to take it more seriously.

Snowden Greenwald and establish a secure communication system and the first documents arrived, on the Prism secret NSA program, which brings together companies information technology in the world.

Greenwald flew to New York to discuss with the editors of The Guardian on May 31 and the next day, he and Poitras traveled to Hong Kong. (I found the first two in the New York office, accompanied them to Hong Kong and joined them in the Snowden interview for the better part of the week, and writing articles based on leaked documents and interviews ).


Neither Greenwald do not even know what Snowden appeared. "He had a complex plan to meet," said Greenwald. Snowden told him to go to a specific location on the third floor of the hotel and wonder aloud how to get to a restaurant. Greenwald supposed Snowden was lurking in the background, listening in.

entered a room that, Greenwald noted, contained a large faux crocodile. Snowden was released. He said Greenwald "I knew it was him, because he would be carrying the Rubik's Cube."

two Greenwald and Poitras was surprised the first time I saw 29 years old. Greenwald says:

Sunday, the past history of the leak leak. Snowden had decided early on against anonymity and Poitras filmed him being interviewed by Greenwald video could announce his departure.

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