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“Mindfulness and Other Neurotechnologies” – Podcast 17: John Vervaeke

Ben is joined by John Vervaeke, a researcher who finds ways to integrate and synthesize information across a wide range of fields: neural stimulation technology, mindfulness meditation, altered states of consciousness… and helps researchers from all these fields discover common … Continue reading “Mindfulness and Other Neurotechnologies” – Podcast 17: John Vervaeke

“Crowdsourcing a Neuroscience Revolution” — Podcast 10: Sebastian Seung

Ben chats with Sebastian Seung, a neuroscience researcher whose latest work — in cooperation with teams at MIT, at Germany’s Max Planck Institute and at other cutting-edge institutions — is proving that an improbable-sounding dream isn’t so improbable after all: We may be able to map the structure and function of every neural connection in an entire mammalian nervous system, from the cellular level up… and it may happen within our lifetimes. Seung’s bestselling book Connectome offers an exciting tour through this fast-growing field of connectomics — and in fact, it was his TEDTalk, “I Am My Connectome,” that sparked … Continue reading “Crowdsourcing a Neuroscience Revolution” — Podcast 10: Sebastian Seung

“Learning How Brains Learn” — Podcast 9: Jeff Hawkins

On Episode 9 of the Connectome podcast, Ben is joined by Jeff Hawkins, a computer engineer and neuroscience geek who’s obsessed with understanding how the brain learns. Jeff is the inventor of the Palm Pilot and the founder of Palm Computing – as well as another computing company called Handspring – but in addition to his computer skills, he’s also been fascinated by neuroscience since the late 70s. Today, his company Numenta designs a range of software known as Grok, which learns and thinks like a living brain. Jeff’s superb book On Intelligence lays out his theory in detail, and … Continue reading “Learning How Brains Learn” — Podcast 9: Jeff Hawkins

“Engineering a Mind (Part 2)” — Podcast 7: David Saintloth and Wai Tsang

On Episode 7 of the Connectome podcast, we rejoin our two-part roundtable discussion on the nature of intelligence, on the differences between biological and artificial intelligence, and on the ways in which the idea of digital intelligence can inform our understanding of how our own minds work. (Here’s the link to Part 1 of this discussion.) Joining us, once again, are David Saintloth, a software engineer who’s working on programs that use a technique he calls “action-oriented workflow” to proactively learn and adapt as they find connections between data patterns; and Wai H. Tsang, a thinker, lecturer, futurist and software … Continue reading “Engineering a Mind (Part 2)” — Podcast 7: David Saintloth and Wai Tsang

“Engineering a Mind (Part 1)” — Podcast 6: David Saintloth and Wai Tsang

Episode 6 of the Connectome podcast brings together two guests who are obsessed with understanding how intelligence and thinking work – not by studying patients in MRI scanners, but by working to develop software that recognizes patterns and connections in the same way a brain does. Our guests are David Saintloth, a software engineer who’s working on programs that use a technique he calls “action-oriented workflow” to proactively learn and adapt as they find connections between data patterns; and Wai H. Tsang, a thinker, lecturer, futurist and software programmer who champions what he calls the “fractal brain theory:” the idea … Continue reading “Engineering a Mind (Part 1)” — Podcast 6: David Saintloth and Wai Tsang