Friday, September 30, 2005

I'd be interested to see this

Maths and science education gets animated and collaborative online

It's about freaking time. I look out on the web-based learning landscape and I see very little that is truly new and innovative. The main idea seems to be stuck in the mode of online Skinner Boxes.

I'm not sure what the solution should be - but the environment described in the article is pretty cool.

Because the fulcrum isn't aligned with the axis.....

Okay - sorry for the exceptionally obscure quote. I'm not even sure where it's from myself, but I remember it from my childhood in Saudi Arabia. It was a BBC made cartoon for kids, something about a kid with a ball or some such child-oriented basis. The episode revolved around a bully of some sort that was demanding that someone build a box that was actually an optical illusion, the young boy with the ball patiently explained to the ogre that the build was impossible because "the fulcrum doesn't align with the axis" - a statement that he then wen ton to explain to the clueless ogre.

All that is simply the long way of leading into this article: New book explains age-old mystery of geometrical illusions

A finding I think is pretty cool. Check out this marvelous last quote:

The problem for colleagues in physiology and anatomy is that our theory runs counter to what they've been doing for the last fifty years," said Purves. "And their response has understandably been 'Well, OK, that's interesting. But how do you relate this concept of vision to physiology and this anatomy?' It's perfectly valid to say, 'You've got a nice idea and it does explain the phenomenology of what we see, but how does that relate to the neurons that we know and love?'

"The answer is, we don't know," said Purves. "That's going to be the next many years of vision research. It will mean constructing a framework that explains how neurons and the connections among them operate in service of this complex, evolved statistical process called vision.

"Some bright people will certainly do this in the next ten, twenty or thirty years," said Purves. "I don't expect to be around to see it, but inevitably that will happen. But it's going to take people who deeply understand statistics and computer models of neural systems to develop a working theory of how the properties of neurons and anatomical connections are related to the end product of vision.

My brain made me do it.

Yea...that's the ticket!


Dream on...

Brain areas disconnect during deep sleep - LiveScience

Perhaps an explanation for why dreams seem so, well...dreamy?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Odd behavior and creativity may go hand-in-hand

Odd behavior and creativity may go hand-in-hand

A study on schizophrenia and looking for why schizotypal personalities are often thought to be so creative. Brain scans enter the picture and it's actually pretty neat.

Also, it looks like it is on a pretty cool site that I'll have to explore more later.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Research shows where brain interprets 'pitch'

Research shows where brain interprets 'pitch'

For monkeys anyway. It seems odd that this research hasn't been done already.

Evidence of a 'memory code'?

UCI neurobiologists uncover evidence of a 'memory code'

Looking at the text of the article you find that their findings are a bit on the macro level to really be calling their findings a "memory code" - but their findings may hint at such a thing. I mean, equating the "importance" of a tone with the amount of auditory cortex devoted to processing that tone hardly seems to point at a "memory code" in my opinion. But hey, baby steps....