December 2008 Archives

Can computers 'read' minds? CBS Video

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60 Minutes has a report that seems like science fiction: mind reading for real. Neuroscientists at Carnegie Mellon University used a computer and a functional MRI to read the mind of a CBS producer.

Watch CBS Videos Online

About Faces, in Art and in the Brain

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Look at the four images above. You probably recognize each image as a face, all of the faces mean something to you, and each produces some reaction. In some cases, you clearly recognize the person portrayed, such as George Washington. In other cases, such as the abstraction by Pablo Picasso, you may understand that a face is being depicted but realize that it does not look like any real person. Faces have long been considered special as social signals, and, from prehistoric amulets to many modern painters, faces are central to art. Now, we have striking new neurologic evidence that faces are special in the brain, as well. As you view the faces on this page, just as when you look at the faces of people around you, you are engaging a part of your cerebrum that seems to be dedicated to facial perception, and there is a measurable increase in blood flow to an area in the brain's right hemisphere called the fusiform facial area (FFA).

The Dana Foundation

Atmospheric Optics

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Light playing on water drops, dust or ice crystals in the atmosphere produces a host of visual spectacles - rainbows, halos, glories, coronas and many more. Some can be seen almost every day or so, some are once in a lifetime sights. Find out where to see them and how they form. Then seek and enjoy them outdoors.

Japan Mall Fountain

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Falling water creates falling objects. Another example of how the brain creates/constructs reality.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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