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Showing posts with the label human brain

Book Review: How to Create a Mind by Ray Kurzweil

The book How to Create a Mind by Ray Kurzweil is a great addition to your academic library. It discusses the nature of human thought and how this thought has developed overtime. This information can help academics understand how to teach courses, relay information, and better put forward the building blocks necessary for higher thought. Even though the book is not focused specifically on students it is easy to draw this parallel for teaching improvements.  The work begins by discussing the old brain and the new brain. Like Descartes concepts of “I think therefore I am” it is this higher form of cognitive thought that separates humans from the animal kingdom. The old brain is reflexivity designed to warn us of immediate environmental threats. However, the new brain can project outward to predict outcomes such as how seeing traces of fur on a branch, paw prints, and other signs of predatory behavior can lead to the logical conclusion that walking along the same path requires ca

Book Review: Descarte's Error by Antonio Demasio

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Descarte's Error by Neurologist Antonio R. Damasio delves deeply into the workings of the brain and the use of emotion to make decisions. He moves through concepts such as biological ethics, social norms, rational thinking, pre-frontal lobe damage, and finally into Descartes error. He digs into cognitive science to understand how the separation of body and mind was an error by one of the most famous philosophers of yesteryear. " I think, therefore I am " is an important saying of Descartes as he philosophized the nature of human life. Yet many seem to have forgotten his clarification a few lines below: " From that I knew that I was a substance, the whole essence or nature of which is to think, and that for its existence there is no need of any place, nor does it depend on any material thing; so that this "me", that is to say, the soul by which I am what I am, is entirely distinct from body, and is even more easy to know than is the latter; and even if