Wednesday, March 12, 2008

NY Times: "Brain Enhacement is Wrong, Right?"

Is it right to take Adderall to write a term paper or do well on a test? How is it different from taking steroids to do better in sports? There is a discussion brewing in the news about the ethical implications of taking such drugs to improve cognitive performance both in high school and universities (by both students and professors) and in the workplace. The NY Times article is linked from the title of this post.

Have you ever taken such drugs? Do you know people who have? What do you think of the practice? In the interests of confidentiality, this time alone ANONYMOUS posts WILL be allowed.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

brain reading may be right around the corner

Berkeley scientists have made significant progress:

The scientists used a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine -- a real-time brain scanner -- to record the mental activity of a person looking at thousands of random pictures: people, animals, landscapes, objects, the stuff of everyday visual life. With those recordings the researchers built a computational model for predicting the mental patterns elicited by looking at any other photograph. When tested with neurological readouts generated by a different set of pictures, the decoder passed with flying colors, identifying the images seen with unprecedented accuracy.