News: Attack on our mental reliability – what reliability?

Michael Shermer, Skeptic magazine and Skeptics Society, writes in the Scientific American about our “folk numeracy” – our inability to assess probabilities accurately (read and enjoy the article). Shermer says:

Thanks to our confirmation bias, in which we look for and find confirmatory evidence for what we already believe and ignore or discount contradictory evidence, we will remember only those few astonishing coincidences and forget the vast sea of meaningless data.

How does the obviousness of religious experience fit with this tendency?

Alex McCullie

Links: Neuroscience and Consciousness videos (YouTube)

Selection of interesting YouTube videos. Revisit under Links category.

Brain processing overview

Christof Koch’s webpage: Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology, Caltech

Christof Koch: Consciousness part1 part2 part3 part4 part5 part6 part7

Christof Koch: The Quest for Consciousness part1 part2 part3 part4 part5 part6

John Bickle on neuroscience and reductionism: part1 part2

Alex McCullie

Links: Pat Churchland and Brain-Mind Issues (YouTube videos)

Patricia Churchland is Professor of Philosophy University of California – webpage. Her research concentrates on the interface between philosophy and neuroscience covering areas as consciousness, free will and the self.

Philosophy in the Age of Neuroscience Presentation: part1 part2 part3 part4 part5 part6

Open questions in Neuroscience: part1 part2 part3

Beyond Belief conference: part1 part2 part3 part4

Decisions, Responsibility and the Brain: part1 part2 part3 part4 part5 part6

Interview: part1 part2 part3

Alex McCullie

Links: Moral decisions as brain processing

I’m collecting interesting links of articles and research showing that moral decisions are strictly a human (brain) affair. Each link is dated as research findings are updated frequently in the fast-moving area of neuroscience. I’ll post this entry under Links so keep checking.

Alex McCullie

News: Moral decisions & stressed brain (SCIAM – Mind Matters)

Recent report from Scientific American – Mind Matters describing the effects of cognitive stress on moral decisions:

Cognitive science and moral philosophy might seem like strange bedfellows, but in the past decade they have become partners. In a recent issue of Cognition, the Harvard University psychologist Joshua Greene and colleagues extend this trend. Their experiment utilizes conventional behavioral methods, but it was designed to test a hypothesis stemming from previous fMRI investigations into the neural bases of moral judgments… (more)”

(Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Thinking about Morality – When we are in a pinch, surprising factors can affect our moral judgments, By Adina Roskies and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, July 29, 2008)

Also see feed from SCIAM – Mind Matters on this site (bottom right).

Alex McCullie