Neuroplasticity

Author: Moheb Costandi

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262529335

Category: Science

Page: 192

View: 3741

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The real story of how our brains and nervous systems change throughout our lifetimes -- with or without "brain training."

Paradox

Author: Margaret Cuonzo

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262525496

Category: Philosophy

Page: 225

View: 3369

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An introduction to paradoxes showing that they are more than mere puzzles but can prompt new ways of thinking.

The Conscious Mind

Author: Zoltan Torey

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262527103

Category: Philosophy

Page: 208

View: 5859

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How did the human mind emerge from the collection of neurons that makes up the brain? How did the brain acquire self-awareness, functional autonomy, language, and the ability to think, to understand itself and the world? In this volume in the Essential Knowledge series, Zoltan Torey offers an accessible and concise description of the evolutionary breakthrough that created the human mind. Drawing on insights from evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and linguistics, Torey reconstructs the sequence of events by which Homo erectus became Homo sapiens. He describes the augmented functioning that underpins the emergent mind -- a new ("off-line") internal response system with which the brain accesses itself and then forms a selection mechanism for mentally generated behavior options. This functional breakthrough, Torey argues, explains how the animal brain's "awareness" became self-accessible and reflective -- that is, how the human brain acquired a conscious mind. Consciousness, unlike animal awareness, is not a unitary phenomenon but a composite process. Torey's account shows how protolanguage evolved into language, how a brain subsystem for the emergent mind was built, and why these developments are opaque to introspection. We experience the brain's functional autonomy, he argues, as free will. Torey proposes that once life began, consciousness had to emerge -- because consciousness is the informational source of the brain's behavioral response. Consciousness, he argues, is not a newly acquired "quality," "cosmic principle," "circuitry arrangement," or "epiphenomenon," as others have argued, but an indispensable working component of the living system's manner of functioning.

Information and Society

Author: Michael Buckland

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262533383

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 232

View: 9925

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A short, informal account of our ever-increasing dependence on a complex multiplicity of messages, records, documents, and data.

The Book

Author: Amaranth Borsuk

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262346893

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 344

View: 1526

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The book as object, as content, as idea, as interface. What is the book in a digital age? Is it a physical object containing pages encased in covers? Is it a portable device that gives us access to entire libraries? The codex, the book as bound paper sheets, emerged around 150 CE. It was preceded by clay tablets and papyrus scrolls. Are those books? In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Amaranth Borsuk considers the history of the book, the future of the book, and the idea of the book. Tracing the interrelationship of form and content in the book's development, she bridges book history, book arts, and electronic literature to expand our definition of an object we thought we knew intimately. Contrary to the many reports of its death (which has been blamed at various times on newspapers, television, and e-readers), the book is alive. Despite nostalgic paeans to the codex and its printed pages, Borsuk reminds us, the term “book” commonly refers to both medium and content. And the medium has proved to be malleable. Rather than pinning our notion of the book to a single form, Borsuk argues, we should remember its long history of transformation. Considering the book as object, content, idea, and interface, she shows that the physical form of the book has always been the site of experimentation and play. Rather than creating a false dichotomy between print and digital media, we should appreciate their continuities.

The Technological Singularity

Author: Murray Shanahan

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262527804

Category: Computers

Page: 272

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The idea of technological singularity, and what it would mean if ordinary human intelligence were enhanced or overtaken by artificial intelligence.

The Self-Tracking

Author: Gina Neff,Dawn Nafus

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262529122

Category: Computers

Page: 248

View: 4146

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What happens when people turn their everyday experience into data: an introduction to the essential ideas and key challenges of self-tracking.

Machine Learning

The New AI

Author: Ethem Alpaydin

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262529513

Category: Computers

Page: 224

View: 9264

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A concise overview of machine learning -- computer programs that learn from data -- which underlies applications that include recommendation systems, face recognition, and driverless cars.

Memes in Digital Culture

Author: Limor Shifman

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262525437

Category: Computers

Page: 200

View: 6223

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Taking "Gangnam Style" seriously: what Internet memes can tell us about digital culture.

Understanding Beliefs

Author: Nils J. Nilsson

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262321130

Category: Philosophy

Page: 168

View: 9564

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Our beliefs constitute a large part of our knowledge of the world. We have beliefs about objects, about culture, about the past, and about the future. We have beliefs about other people, and we believe that they have beliefs as well. We use beliefs to predict, to explain, to create, to console, to entertain. Some of our beliefs we call theories, and we are extraordinarily creative at constructing them. Theories of quantum mechanics, evolution, and relativity are examples. But so are theories about astrology, alien abduction, guardian angels, and reincarnation. All are products (with varying degrees of credibility) of fertile minds trying to find explanations for observed phenomena. In this book, Nils Nilsson examines beliefs: what they do for us, how we come to hold them, and how to evaluate them. We should evaluate our beliefs carefully, Nilsson points out, because they influence so many of our actions and decisions. Some of our beliefs are more strongly held than others, but all should be considered tentative and changeable. Nilsson shows that beliefs can be quantified by probability, and he describes networks of beliefs in which the probabilities of some beliefs affect the probabilities of others. He argues that we can evaluate our beliefs by adapting some of the practices of the scientific method and by consulting expert opinion. And he warns us about "belief traps" -- holding onto beliefs that wouldn't survive critical evaluation. The best way to escape belief traps, he writes, is to expose our beliefs to the reasoned criticism of others.

Synesthesia

Author: Richard E. Cytowic

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 026234629X

Category: Psychology

Page: 288

View: 6900

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One in twenty-three people carry the genes for the synesthesia. Not a disorder but a neurological trait -- like perfect pitch -- synesthesia creates vividly felt cross-sensory couplings. A synesthete might hear a voice and at the same time see it as a color or shape, taste its distinctive flavor, or feel it as a physical touch. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Richard Cytowic, the expert who returned synesthesia to mainstream science after decades of oblivion, offers a concise, accessible primer on this fascinating human experience. Cytowic explains that synesthesia's most frequent manifestation is seeing days of the week as colored, followed by sensing letters, numerals, and punctuation marks in different hues even when printed in black. Other manifestations include tasting food in shapes, seeing music in moving colors, and mapping numbers and other sequences spatially. One synesthete declares, "Chocolate smells pink and sparkly"; another invents a dish (chicken, vanilla ice cream, and orange juice concentrate) that tastes intensely blue. Cytowic, who in the 1980s revived scientific interest in synesthesia, sees it now understood as a spectrum, an umbrella term that covers five clusters of outwardly felt couplings that can occur via several pathways. Yet synesthetic or not, each brain uniquely filters what it perceives. Cytowic reminds us that each individual's perspective on the world is thoroughly subjective.

Auctions

Author: Timothy P. Hubbard,Harry J. Paarsch

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262528533

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 264

View: 6108

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How auctions work, in theory and practice, with clear explanations and real-world examples that range from government procurement to eBay.

Intellectual Property Strategy

Author: John Palfrey

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 026229799X

Category: Law

Page: 192

View: 7048

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Most managers leave intellectual property issues to the legal department, unaware that an organization's intellectual property can help accomplish a range of management goals, from accessing new markets to improving existing products to generating new revenue streams. In this book, intellectual property expert and Harvard Law School professor John Palfrey offers a short briefing on intellectual property strategy for corporate managers and nonprofit administrators. Palfrey argues for strategies that go beyond the traditional highly restrictive "sword and shield" approach, suggesting that flexibility and creativity are essential to a profitable long-term intellectual property strategy -- especially in an era of changing attitudes about media. Intellectual property, writes Palfrey, should be considered a key strategic asset class. Almost every organization has an intellectual property portfolio of some value and therefore the need for an intellectual property strategy. A brand, for example, is an important form of intellectual property, as is any information managed and produced by an organization. Palfrey identifies the essential areas of intellectual property -- patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret -- and describes strategic approaches to each in a variety of organizational contexts, based on four basic steps. The most innovative organizations employ multiple intellectual property approaches, depending on the situation, asking hard, context-specific questions. By doing so, they achieve both short- and long-term benefits while positioning themselves for success in the global information economy.

Free Will

Author: Mark Balaguer

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262525798

Category: Philosophy

Page: 139

View: 9747

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A philosopher considers whether the scientific and philosophical arguments against free will are reason enough to give up our belief in it.

Machine Translation

Author: Thierry Poibeau

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262534215

Category: Computers

Page: 296

View: 2893

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The trouble with translation -- A quick overview of the evolution of machine translation -- Before the advent of computers -- The beginnings of machine translation : the first rule-based systems -- The ALPAC report (1966) and its consequences -- Parallel corpora and sentence alignment -- Example-based machine translation -- Statistical machine translation and word alignment -- Segment-based machine translation -- Challenges and limitations of statistical machine translation -- Deep learning machine translation -- The evaluation of machine translation systems -- The machine translation industry, between professional and mass-market applications -- Conclusion : the future of machine translation

Rewire Your Brain

Think Your Way to a Better Life

Author: John B. Arden

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9780470569849

Category: Self-Help

Page: 256

View: 6059

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How to rewire your brain to improve virtually every aspect of your life-based on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology on neuroplasticity and evidence-based practices Not long ago, it was thought that the brain you were born with was the brain you would die with, and that the brain cells you had at birth were the most you would ever possess. Your brain was thought to be “hardwired” to function in predetermined ways. It turns out that's not true. Your brain is not hardwired, it's "softwired" by experience. This book shows you how you can rewire parts of the brain to feel more positive about your life, remain calm during stressful times, and improve your social relationships. Written by a leader in the field of Brain-Based Therapy, it teaches you how to activate the parts of your brain that have been underactivated and calm down those areas that have been hyperactivated so that you feel positive about your life and remain calm during stressful times. You will also learn to improve your memory, boost your mood, have better relationships, and get a good night sleep. Reveals how cutting-edge developments in neuroscience, and evidence-based practices can be used to improve your everyday life Other titles by Dr. Arden include: Brain-Based Therapy-Adult, Brain-Based Therapy-Child, Improving Your Memory For Dummies and Heal Your Anxiety Workbook Dr. Arden is a leader in integrating the new developments in neuroscience with psychotherapy and Director of Training in Mental Health for Kaiser Permanente for the Northern California Region Explaining exciting new developments in neuroscience and their applications to daily living, Rewire Your Brain will guide you through the process of changing your brain so you can change your life and be free of self-imposed limitations.

The Encultured Brain

An Introduction to Neuroanthropology

Author: Daniel H. Lende,Greg Downey

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262304740

Category: Medical

Page: 448

View: 8598

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The brain and the nervous system are our most cultural organs. Our nervous system is especially immature at birth, our brain disproportionately small in relation to its adult size and open to cultural sculpting at multiple levels. Recognizing this, the new field of neuroanthropology places the brain at the center of discussions about human nature and culture. Anthropology offers brain science more robust accounts of enculturation to explain observable difference in brain function; neuroscience offers anthropology evidence of neuroplasticity's role in social and cultural dynamics. This book provides a foundational text for neuroanthropology, offering basic concepts and case studies at the intersection of brain and culture. After an overview of the field and background information on recent research in biology, a series of case studies demonstrate neuroanthropology in practice. Contributors first focus on capabilities and skills -- including memory in medical practice, skill acquisition in martial arts, and the role of humor in coping with breast cancer treatment and recovery -- then report on problems and pathologies that range from post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans to smoking as a part of college social life. ContributorsMauro C. Balieiro, Kathryn Bouskill, Rachel S. Brezis, Benjamin Campbell, Greg Downey, José Ernesto dos Santos, William W. Dressler, Erin P. Finley, Agustín Fuentes, M. Cameron Hay, Daniel H. Lende, Katherine C. MacKinnon, Katja Pettinen, Peter G. Stromberg

The Internet of Things

Author: Samuel Greengard

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262527731

Category: Computers

Page: 232

View: 5518

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A guided tour through the Internet of Things, a networked world of connected devices, objects, and people that is changing the way we live and work.

Waves

Author: Fredric Raichlen

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262304961

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 6960

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Sitting on the beach on a sunny summer day, we enjoy the steady advance and retreat of the waves. In the water, enthusiastic waders jump and shriek with pleasure when a wave hits them. But where do these waves come from? How are they formed and why do they break on the shore? In Waves, Fredric Raichlen traces the evolution of waves, from their generation in the deep ocean to their effects on the coast. He explains, in a way that is readily understandable to nonscientists, both the science of waves themselves and the technology that can be used to protect us against their more extreme forms, including hurricanes and tsunamis. After offering a basic definition of waves and explaining the mechanics of wind-wave generation, Raichlen describes how waves travel, how they shoal (rise), how they break, and how they transform in other ways. He goes on to describe, among other things, the complicated sun-Earth-moon combinations that create astronomical tides (the high and low tides that occur daily and predictably); the effects of waves on the beach, including rip currents and beach erosion, and on harbors and shipping; and the building of breakwaters to protect harbors and bays. He discusses hurricanes, storm surges, and hurricane-generated waves. He offers a brief history of tsunamis, including Sumatra's in 2004 and Japan's in 2011, and explains the mechanisms that generate them (including earthquakes, landslides, and volcanoes). Waves can be little ripples that lap peacefully at the shore or monstrous tsunamis that destroy everything in their paths. Describing the science underlying this astonishing variety, Waves offers a different kind of beach reading.

Metadata

Author: Jeffrey Pomerantz

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262528517

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 239

View: 4632

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Everything we need to know about metadata, the usually invisible infrastructure for information with which we interact every day.