Cognitive Science

How we recall the past

MIT News

When we have a new experience, the memory of that event is stored in a neural circuit that connects several parts of the hippocampus and other brain structures. Previous research has shown that encoding these memories involves cells in a part of the hippocampus called CA1, which then relays information to another brain structure called the entorhinal cortex. In one group of mice, the MIT team inhibited neurons of the subiculum as the mice underwent fear conditioning, which had no effect on their ability to later recall the experience. However, in another group, they inhibited subiculum neurons after fear conditioning had occurred, when the mice were placed back in the original chamber.

Neuroscience and Machine Learning Restore Movement in Paralyzed Man's Hand


The engineers at Battelle worked with physicians and neuroscientists from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to develop the research approach and perform the clinical study. In 2014, Ohio State surgeons implanted a chip in Ian's brain. The team used brain imaging to identify and isolate the part of Mr. Burkhart's brain that controls hand movements. Through repetition, the firing patterns were analyzed and used to develop an algorithm to control the muscles in his hand.

Breaking down artificial intelligence to form a starting point for adoption


We're of course not talking about building houses, creating security resilience, or booking vacations. The second step: determine the intent of our artificial intelligence initiative. The third step: identify the capabilities required. The philosophy of logic and reason established the foundations of learning, language and rationality.

Why Scientists Should Have Leadership Skills


The impact of science can continue to grow provided our scientists and science professionals are equipped with skills to create an innovative, sustainable and prosperous future. Specifically, a Future of Jobs report by the World Economic Forum indicates that, by 2020, the skills most sought after by employers will include problem solving, creative thinking, emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills. Leadership education can directly enhance the employability of science graduates, as leadership skills are often the same transferable skills sought by employers. We have recently found that science students choose to enhance their science degree with leadership education specifically to increase their employability and job opportunities outside of science.

Why Artificial Intelligence Needs Neuroscience for Inspiration - The New Stack


While there have been advances in getting machines to learn how to learn and reason like humans, current AI models are still relatively narrow in their scope, and have yet to embody the full range of cognitive abilities that humans use daily in solving a wide range of problems. In a paper recently published in Neuron, Hassabis and co-authors Dharshan Kumaran, Christopher Summerfield, Matthew Botvinick make the case for forging stronger connections between neuroscience and the various fields of AI development in order to help create a true artificial general intelligence. Besides that, by studying how the brain's cognitive systems work, we can gain better insights into what nature has deemed evolutionarily relevant and what will, by extension, be relevant in developing a smarter AI. "Our view is that leveraging insights gained from neuroscience research will expedite progress in AI research," explained the authors.

Philosophy and the Sciences: Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Sciences Coursera


Scientific research across the cognitive sciences has raised pressing questions for philosophers. The goal of this course is to introduce you to some of the main areas and topics at the key juncture between philosophy and the cognitive sciences. We will explain the science behind each topic in a simple, non-technical way, while also addressing the philosophical and conceptual questions arising from it. Learning objectives Gain a fairly well-rounded view on selected areas and topics at the intersection of philosophy and the sciences Understand some key questions, and conceptual problems arising in the cognitive sciences.

Feng Zhang to share Albany Medical Prize

MIT News

Feng Zhang, a member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and an associate professor in the Departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and of Biological Engineering, has been named a winner of the 2017 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. Zhang, who is the Poitras Professor in Neuroscience at MIT and a core member of the Broad Institute, is recognized for his contributions to the development of CRISPR-Cas9 as a gene editing technology, which in the words of the prize announcement "has revolutionized biomedical research and provided new hope for the treatment of genetic diseases and more." The $500,000 prize has been given annually since 2001 to those who have altered the course of medical research, and is one of the largest prizes in medicine and science in the United States. In announcing the award, the Dean of Albany Medical College, Vincent Verdile, said: "Rarely has such a recent discovery transformed an entire field of research, as CRISPR has in biological research.


International Business Times

According to a new study published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, consumption of a low amount of alcohol facilitated problem-solving skills and boosted creative thinking. Later, when the participants were given tasks related to word associations-- like linking the words "swiss", "blue" and "cake"-- it was found that those who had consumed the alcoholic beer were more likely to make the guess that "cheese" was the correct linking word. Thereby, alcohol may facilitate a broader associative search and the effective solving of creative tasks that are prone to fixation effects." "We wanted to do this study because alcohol is so linked with creativity and great writers like Ernest Hemingway.

The CIO in a Cognitive Computing Environment


Unlike past advancements that largely brought more speed and performance to well-established infrastructure, cognitive computing promises an entirely new data ecosystem. By an almost two-to-one margin, CIOs at digitally enabled organizations are leading the development of new business strategies, and these companies are four times more likely to invest in cognitive automation than organizations where the CIO is not leading the transition process. For example, its ability to manage unstructured data analysis can vastly improve IT support services and daily infrastructure management by enhancing efficiency and delivering successful outcomes to users. Cognitive computing will elevate the CIO's role from what is essentially a technical support position to a core business asset.