Neuroplasticity

Author: Moheb Costandi

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262529335

Category: Science

Page: 192

View: 7481

The real story of how our brains and nervous systems change throughout our lifetimes -- with or without "brain training."

Paradox

Author: Margaret Cuonzo

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262525496

Category: Philosophy

Page: 225

View: 4320

An introduction to paradoxes showing that they are more than mere puzzles but can prompt new ways of thinking.

The Conscious Mind

Author: Zoltan Torey

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262527103

Category: Philosophy

Page: 208

View: 9144

How did the human mind emerge from the collection of neurons that makes up the brain? How did the brain acquire self-awareness, functional autonomy, language, and the ability to think, to understand itself and the world? In this volume in the Essential Knowledge series, Zoltan Torey offers an accessible and concise description of the evolutionary breakthrough that created the human mind. Drawing on insights from evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and linguistics, Torey reconstructs the sequence of events by which Homo erectus became Homo sapiens. He describes the augmented functioning that underpins the emergent mind -- a new ("off-line") internal response system with which the brain accesses itself and then forms a selection mechanism for mentally generated behavior options. This functional breakthrough, Torey argues, explains how the animal brain's "awareness" became self-accessible and reflective -- that is, how the human brain acquired a conscious mind. Consciousness, unlike animal awareness, is not a unitary phenomenon but a composite process. Torey's account shows how protolanguage evolved into language, how a brain subsystem for the emergent mind was built, and why these developments are opaque to introspection. We experience the brain's functional autonomy, he argues, as free will. Torey proposes that once life began, consciousness had to emerge -- because consciousness is the informational source of the brain's behavioral response. Consciousness, he argues, is not a newly acquired "quality," "cosmic principle," "circuitry arrangement," or "epiphenomenon," as others have argued, but an indispensable working component of the living system's manner of functioning.

The Book

Author: Amaranth Borsuk

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262346893

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 344

View: 6342

The book as object, as content, as idea, as interface. What is the book in a digital age? Is it a physical object containing pages encased in covers? Is it a portable device that gives us access to entire libraries? The codex, the book as bound paper sheets, emerged around 150 CE. It was preceded by clay tablets and papyrus scrolls. Are those books? In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Amaranth Borsuk considers the history of the book, the future of the book, and the idea of the book. Tracing the interrelationship of form and content in the book's development, she bridges book history, book arts, and electronic literature to expand our definition of an object we thought we knew intimately. Contrary to the many reports of its death (which has been blamed at various times on newspapers, television, and e-readers), the book is alive. Despite nostalgic paeans to the codex and its printed pages, Borsuk reminds us, the term “book” commonly refers to both medium and content. And the medium has proved to be malleable. Rather than pinning our notion of the book to a single form, Borsuk argues, we should remember its long history of transformation. Considering the book as object, content, idea, and interface, she shows that the physical form of the book has always been the site of experimentation and play. Rather than creating a false dichotomy between print and digital media, we should appreciate their continuities.

Information and Society

Author: Michael Buckland

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262533383

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 232

View: 1141

A short, informal account of our ever-increasing dependence on a complex multiplicity of messages, records, documents, and data.

Understanding Beliefs

Author: Nils J. Nilsson

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262321130

Category: Philosophy

Page: 168

View: 8675

Our beliefs constitute a large part of our knowledge of the world. We have beliefs about objects, about culture, about the past, and about the future. We have beliefs about other people, and we believe that they have beliefs as well. We use beliefs to predict, to explain, to create, to console, to entertain. Some of our beliefs we call theories, and we are extraordinarily creative at constructing them. Theories of quantum mechanics, evolution, and relativity are examples. But so are theories about astrology, alien abduction, guardian angels, and reincarnation. All are products (with varying degrees of credibility) of fertile minds trying to find explanations for observed phenomena. In this book, Nils Nilsson examines beliefs: what they do for us, how we come to hold them, and how to evaluate them. We should evaluate our beliefs carefully, Nilsson points out, because they influence so many of our actions and decisions. Some of our beliefs are more strongly held than others, but all should be considered tentative and changeable. Nilsson shows that beliefs can be quantified by probability, and he describes networks of beliefs in which the probabilities of some beliefs affect the probabilities of others. He argues that we can evaluate our beliefs by adapting some of the practices of the scientific method and by consulting expert opinion. And he warns us about "belief traps" -- holding onto beliefs that wouldn't survive critical evaluation. The best way to escape belief traps, he writes, is to expose our beliefs to the reasoned criticism of others.

Machine Learning

The New AI

Author: Ethem Alpaydin

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262529513

Category: Computers

Page: 224

View: 3455

A concise overview of machine learning -- computer programs that learn from data -- which underlies applications that include recommendation systems, face recognition, and driverless cars.

Memes in Digital Culture

Author: Limor Shifman

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262525437

Category: Computers

Page: 200

View: 9265

Taking "Gangnam Style" seriously: what Internet memes can tell us about digital culture.

The Self-Tracking

Author: Gina Neff,Dawn Nafus

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262334704

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 248

View: 9851

People keep track. In the eighteenth century, Benjamin Franklin kept charts of time spent and virtues lived up to. Today, people use technology to self-track: hours slept, steps taken, calories consumed, medications administered. Ninety million wearable sensors were shipped in 2014 to help us gather data about our lives. This book examines how people record, analyze, and reflect on this data, looking at the tools they use and the communities they become part of. Gina Neff and Dawn Nafus describe what happens when people turn their everyday experience -- in particular, health and wellness-related experience -- into data, and offer an introduction to the essential ideas and key challenges of using these technologies. They consider self-tracking as a social and cultural phenomenon, describing not only the use of data as a kind of mirror of the self but also how this enables people to connect to, and learn from, others.Neff and Nafus consider what's at stake: who wants our data and why; the practices of serious self-tracking enthusiasts; the design of commercial self-tracking technology; and how self-tracking can fill gaps in the healthcare system. Today, no one can lead an entirely untracked life. Neff and Nafus show us how to use data in a way that empowers and educates.

The Technological Singularity

Author: Murray Shanahan

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262527804

Category: Computers

Page: 272

View: 2102

The idea of technological singularity, and what it would mean if ordinary human intelligence were enhanced or overtaken by artificial intelligence.

Synesthesia

Author: Richard E. Cytowic

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 026234629X

Category: Psychology

Page: 288

View: 1303

One in twenty-three people carry the genes for the synesthesia. Not a disorder but a neurological trait -- like perfect pitch -- synesthesia creates vividly felt cross-sensory couplings. A synesthete might hear a voice and at the same time see it as a color or shape, taste its distinctive flavor, or feel it as a physical touch. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Richard Cytowic, the expert who returned synesthesia to mainstream science after decades of oblivion, offers a concise, accessible primer on this fascinating human experience. Cytowic explains that synesthesia's most frequent manifestation is seeing days of the week as colored, followed by sensing letters, numerals, and punctuation marks in different hues even when printed in black. Other manifestations include tasting food in shapes, seeing music in moving colors, and mapping numbers and other sequences spatially. One synesthete declares, "Chocolate smells pink and sparkly"; another invents a dish (chicken, vanilla ice cream, and orange juice concentrate) that tastes intensely blue. Cytowic, who in the 1980s revived scientific interest in synesthesia, sees it now understood as a spectrum, an umbrella term that covers five clusters of outwardly felt couplings that can occur via several pathways. Yet synesthetic or not, each brain uniquely filters what it perceives. Cytowic reminds us that each individual's perspective on the world is thoroughly subjective.

The Encultured Brain

An Introduction to Neuroanthropology

Author: Daniel H. Lende,Greg Downey

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262304740

Category: Medical

Page: 448

View: 2785

The brain and the nervous system are our most cultural organs. Our nervous system is especially immature at birth, our brain disproportionately small in relation to its adult size and open to cultural sculpting at multiple levels. Recognizing this, the new field of neuroanthropology places the brain at the center of discussions about human nature and culture. Anthropology offers brain science more robust accounts of enculturation to explain observable difference in brain function; neuroscience offers anthropology evidence of neuroplasticity's role in social and cultural dynamics. This book provides a foundational text for neuroanthropology, offering basic concepts and case studies at the intersection of brain and culture. After an overview of the field and background information on recent research in biology, a series of case studies demonstrate neuroanthropology in practice. Contributors first focus on capabilities and skills -- including memory in medical practice, skill acquisition in martial arts, and the role of humor in coping with breast cancer treatment and recovery -- then report on problems and pathologies that range from post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans to smoking as a part of college social life. ContributorsMauro C. Balieiro, Kathryn Bouskill, Rachel S. Brezis, Benjamin Campbell, Greg Downey, José Ernesto dos Santos, William W. Dressler, Erin P. Finley, Agustín Fuentes, M. Cameron Hay, Daniel H. Lende, Katherine C. MacKinnon, Katja Pettinen, Peter G. Stromberg

The Mind--Body Problem

Author: Jonathan Westphal

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262529564

Category: Philosophy

Page: 240

View: 9976

Philosophers from Descartes to Kripke have struggled with the glittering prize of modern and contemporary philosophy: the mind-body problem. The brain is physical. If the mind is physical, we cannot see how. If we cannot see how the mind is physical, we cannot see how it can interact with the body. And if the mind is not physical, it cannot interact with the body. Or so it seems. In this book the philosopher Jonathan Westphal examines the mind-body problem in detail, laying out the reasoning behind the solutions that have been offered in the past and presenting his own proposal. The sharp focus on the mind-body problem, a problem that is not about the self, or consciousness, or the soul, or anything other than the mind and the body, helps clarify both problem and solutions. Westphal outlines the history of the mind-body problem, beginning with Descartes. He describes mind-body dualism, which claims that the mind and the body are two different and separate things, nonphysical and physical, and he also examines physicalist theories of mind; antimaterialism, which proposes limits to physicalism and introduces the idea of qualia; and scientific theories of consciousness. Finally, Westphal examines the largely forgotten neutral monist theories of mind and body, held by Ernst Mach, William James, and Bertrand Russell, which attempt neither to extract mind from matter nor to dissolve matter into mind. Westphal proposes his own version of neutral monism. This version is unique among neutral monist theories in offering an account of mind-body interaction.

Information and the Modern Corporation

Author: James W Cortada

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262297949

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 176

View: 1626

While we have been preoccupied with the latest i-gadget from Apple and with Google's ongoing expansion, we may have missed something: the fundamental transformation of whole firms and industries into giant information-processing machines. Today, more than eighty percent of workers collect and analyze information (often in digital form) in the course of doing their jobs. This book offers a guide to the role of information in modern business, mapping the use of information within work processes and tracing flows of information across supply-chain management, product development, customer relations, and sales. The emphasis is on information itself, not on information technology. Information, overshadowed for a while by the glamour and novelty of IT, is the fundamental component of the modern corporation. In Information and the Modern Corporation, longtime IBM manager and consultant James Cortada clarifies the differences among data, facts, information, and knowledge and describes how the art of analytics has all but eliminated decision making based on gut feeling, replacing it with fact-based decisions. He describes the working style of "road warriors," whose offices are anywhere their laptops and cell phones are and whose deep knowledge of a given topic becomes their medium of exchange. Information is the core of the modern enterprise, and the use of information defines the activities of a firm. This essential guide shows managers and employees better ways to leverage information--by design and not by accident.

Intellectual Property Strategy

Author: John Palfrey

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 026229799X

Category: Law

Page: 192

View: 5157

Most managers leave intellectual property issues to the legal department, unaware that an organization's intellectual property can help accomplish a range of management goals, from accessing new markets to improving existing products to generating new revenue streams. In this book, intellectual property expert and Harvard Law School professor John Palfrey offers a short briefing on intellectual property strategy for corporate managers and nonprofit administrators. Palfrey argues for strategies that go beyond the traditional highly restrictive "sword and shield" approach, suggesting that flexibility and creativity are essential to a profitable long-term intellectual property strategy -- especially in an era of changing attitudes about media. Intellectual property, writes Palfrey, should be considered a key strategic asset class. Almost every organization has an intellectual property portfolio of some value and therefore the need for an intellectual property strategy. A brand, for example, is an important form of intellectual property, as is any information managed and produced by an organization. Palfrey identifies the essential areas of intellectual property -- patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret -- and describes strategic approaches to each in a variety of organizational contexts, based on four basic steps. The most innovative organizations employ multiple intellectual property approaches, depending on the situation, asking hard, context-specific questions. By doing so, they achieve both short- and long-term benefits while positioning themselves for success in the global information economy.

Machine Translation

Author: Thierry Poibeau

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262534215

Category: Computers

Page: 296

View: 8672

The trouble with translation -- A quick overview of the evolution of machine translation -- Before the advent of computers -- The beginnings of machine translation : the first rule-based systems -- The ALPAC report (1966) and its consequences -- Parallel corpora and sentence alignment -- Example-based machine translation -- Statistical machine translation and word alignment -- Segment-based machine translation -- Challenges and limitations of statistical machine translation -- Deep learning machine translation -- The evaluation of machine translation systems -- The machine translation industry, between professional and mass-market applications -- Conclusion : the future of machine translation

Rewire Your Brain

Think Your Way to a Better Life

Author: John B. Arden

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9780470569849

Category: Self-Help

Page: 256

View: 7348

How to rewire your brain to improve virtually every aspect of your life-based on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology on neuroplasticity and evidence-based practices Not long ago, it was thought that the brain you were born with was the brain you would die with, and that the brain cells you had at birth were the most you would ever possess. Your brain was thought to be “hardwired” to function in predetermined ways. It turns out that's not true. Your brain is not hardwired, it's "softwired" by experience. This book shows you how you can rewire parts of the brain to feel more positive about your life, remain calm during stressful times, and improve your social relationships. Written by a leader in the field of Brain-Based Therapy, it teaches you how to activate the parts of your brain that have been underactivated and calm down those areas that have been hyperactivated so that you feel positive about your life and remain calm during stressful times. You will also learn to improve your memory, boost your mood, have better relationships, and get a good night sleep. Reveals how cutting-edge developments in neuroscience, and evidence-based practices can be used to improve your everyday life Other titles by Dr. Arden include: Brain-Based Therapy-Adult, Brain-Based Therapy-Child, Improving Your Memory For Dummies and Heal Your Anxiety Workbook Dr. Arden is a leader in integrating the new developments in neuroscience with psychotherapy and Director of Training in Mental Health for Kaiser Permanente for the Northern California Region Explaining exciting new developments in neuroscience and their applications to daily living, Rewire Your Brain will guide you through the process of changing your brain so you can change your life and be free of self-imposed limitations.

Free Will

Author: Mark Balaguer

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262525798

Category: Philosophy

Page: 139

View: 3683

A philosopher considers whether the scientific and philosophical arguments against free will are reason enough to give up our belief in it.

50 Human Brain Ideas You Really Need to Know

Author: Moheb Costandi

Publisher: Quercus Publishing

ISBN: 1782062521

Category: Science

Page: 208

View: 7762

Neuroscience is one of the most fascinating and complex areas of scientific research, with new advances being made every day. In 50 Human Brain Ideas You Really Need to Know, Mo Costandi condenses all we know about the brain and how it works into series of introductions to the most important concepts. Outlining both long-standing theories - such as the function of neurons and synaptic transmission - and cutting-edge ideas - including neuroethics and brain-computer interfacing - with straightforward narrative and clear two-colour illustrations, this book is a perfect beginner's guide to the most powerful and mysterious organ in the body. The ideas explored include: The nervous impulse; Differences between the male and female brain; The root of addiction; Neurobiological basis for personality; The relationship between sleep and memory.

The Internet of Things

Author: Samuel Greengard

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262527731

Category: Computers

Page: 232

View: 3194

A guided tour through the Internet of Things, a networked world of connected devices, objects, and people that is changing the way we live and work.