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The relativity of intentionality

There is, in a sense, a subjectivity to what makes something an intentional agent. For agents whose behaviour we are able to understand reliably, easily and usefully in terms of physical or mechanical terms there is less temptation to understand their behaviour in terms of an intentional framework — having mechanistic knowledge of… 1,623 more words


When it Comes to Vision, Men and Women Really Aren't Seeing Eye to Eye

By: Sadie Steffens, 4th year PhD candidate in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

The paint color in our master bathroom has been a source of debate since we bought our house. 917 more words


Interview on Singularity Weblog

This week I interviewed with Nikola Danaylov, the creator of Singularity Weblog.  It was great fun, and quite an honour to follow in the footsteps of his 160-plus previous guests. 38 more words

Artificial Intelligence

Findings Friday: The aging brain is a distracted brain

As the brain ages, it becomes more difficult for it to shut out irrelevant stimuli—that is, it becomes more easily distracted. Sitting in a restaurant, having a conversation with your table partner right across the table from you, presents as a new challenge when the restaurant is buzzing with activity. 370 more words


Technique Thursday: Microiontophoresis

In the brain, communication is both electrical and chemical. An electric impulse (action potential) propagates down an axon, and chemicals (neurotransmitters) are released. In neuroscientific research, the application of a neurotransmitter to a specific region may be necessary. 212 more words


Is Your Brain Wired for Awe? The Neurobiology of Spiritual Practices

There is growing evidence that suggests our brains may be naturally wired — by experience or by design — for spirituality. Researchers pioneering the neurobiology of spiritual practices hope to answer questions that have challenged spiritual and religious thinkers for centuries, from the neural nature of revelatory and mystical experiences to the changes in brain function that register the neuro-chemical activity in our brains when we meditate, engage in yoga, and visualize our oneness with God. 770 more words

We Need to Belong

“We must love one another – or die.”  W.H. Auden

I continue to be surprised by the lack of understanding we have about what we humans need to thrive. 1,624 more words