How Your Mind Organizes Reality


In this article for Scientific American, I break down the basics of a new type of mind-mapping project: One that aims to map connections between the meanings we assign to objects in our world.

A research team led by Alex Huth showed volunteers hours of video footage of thousands of everyday objects and scenes – from cats and birds to cars and thunderstorms – as the subjects sat in an fMRI scanner. Then the researchers matched up the volunteers’ brain activity not only to each object they saw, but also to a whole tree of nested object categories: A taxonomy of the brain’s taxonomy. A vision of a “continuous semantic space,” where thousands of objects and actions are represented in terms of others.

Read more of my article at Scientific American.

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