Notes from MLA 2012 Session 15: Useful Fictions? A Cognitive Perspective on the Utility of Emotions, Imagination, and Long Novels

On Thursday, January 5, I suited up and made my way to this session at the annual Modern Languages Association convention in downtown Seattle: Useful Fictions? A Cognitive Perspective on the Utility of Emotions, Imagination, and Long Novels Thursday, 5 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 606, WSCC A special session Presiding: Lisa Zunshine, Univ. of KentuckyContinue reading “Notes from MLA 2012 Session 15: Useful Fictions? A Cognitive Perspective on the Utility of Emotions, Imagination, and Long Novels”

Caught the Tail End of NOVA Musical Minds

Last night, I caught the ending of Oliver Sacks’ Musical Minds on NOVA. According to the website here, it originally aired in 2009. Luckily, you and I can watch the complete episode online and we can learn how the brain processes music and how important music is to the human brain. There are also specialContinue reading “Caught the Tail End of NOVA Musical Minds”

Cognitive Scientist David Rumelhart Dies At 68 – Slashdot

While I was waiting in line at the post office this morning, I saw this post on slashdot.org: Cognitive Scientist David Rumelhart Dies At 68 – Slashdot. Rumelhart was on the forefront of modeling brain behavior with computers and developing the core concepts of neural net algorithms. There are obituaries of Rumelhart and remembrances of hisContinue reading “Cognitive Scientist David Rumelhart Dies At 68 – Slashdot”

Research Finds That Electric Fields Help Neurons Fire – Slashdot

Slashdot.org linked to a February 2011 Nature Neuroscience article that suggests that electric fields in the brain influences neuron firing. There is some earlier evidence that focused and powerful electrical fields can produce effects in an individual’s brain. However, Anastassiou et. al. in “Ephaptic Coupling of Cortical Neurons” demonstrate that field effects produced by neurons inContinue reading “Research Finds That Electric Fields Help Neurons Fire – Slashdot”

Journal Article on the Early History of Psychosurgery

Dominik Gross’ article “Egas Moniz (1874-1955) and the ‘Invention’ of Modern Psychosurgery: a Historical and Ethical Reanalysis Under Special Consideration of Portuguese Original Sources” is available for free online here. It is a well researched and informative article that covers the early history of surgical interventions on human behavior and mental illness. I briefly talkedContinue reading “Journal Article on the Early History of Psychosurgery”

Understanding the Human Brain Does Not Preclude Philosophical Considerations of Its Work

In the past, I was invited to consider the possibility that there are some domains of knowledge in the humanities that the sciences cannot scrutinize, because I admittedly sounded at the time like I had switched back from English and cultural studies to the sciences. It was in part my thinking about this that IContinue reading “Understanding the Human Brain Does Not Preclude Philosophical Considerations of Its Work”

College Writing I Syllabus, Theme: Mapping the Brain, Writing the Mind

I am afraid that this syllabus for College Writing I, Spring 2011, “Mapping the Brain, Writing the Mind” lacks the special effects of my previous syllabi, because I wrote it on a Windows XP computer while I was in Taiwan after my iPad died (details here). I didn’t want to lose my work again asContinue reading “College Writing I Syllabus, Theme: Mapping the Brain, Writing the Mind”

The Cognitive Game Panel at SLSA 2008, Notes on Consciousness, Cognition, and Neuronarratives

As you may have read on my CV, I am writing my dissertation on the potentially important work being done in science fiction on minds and brains. Specifically, I will read the works of several authors through the lens of cognitive cultural studies with the goal to establish the significance of science fiction to literaryContinue reading “The Cognitive Game Panel at SLSA 2008, Notes on Consciousness, Cognition, and Neuronarratives”