Archivio per 5 ottobre 2014


How To Enhance Learning: Even of Things You Are Not Interested In — PsyBlog

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

The mental state which enhances learning, even of things we’re not that interested in. When we are more curious about a topic, naturally it is easier to learn. Now, a new neuroscience study reveals exactly what happens in our brain when we feel that tingle of curiosity and how it can boost our learning (Gruber et al., 2014). The surprising finding is that once people’s curiosity is piqued, they learn better, even when they are learning things which they were not originally curious about.

Just being in a curious state — about anything — is enough to enhance learning.

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“Dissipation of ‘dark energy’ by cortex in knowledge retrieval”

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond


We have devised a thermodynamic model of cortical neurodynamics expressed at the classical level by neural networks and at

the quantum level by dissipative quantum field theory. Our model is based on features in the spatial images of cortical activity

newly revealed by high-density electrode arrays. We have incorporated the mechanism and necessity for so-called dark energy

in knowledge retrieval. We have extended the model first using the Carnot cycle to define our measures for energy, entropy and

temperature, and then using the Rankine cycle to incorporate criticality and phase transitions. We describe the dynamics of two

interactive fields of neural activity that express knowledge, one at high and the other at low energy density, and the two operators

that create and annihilate the fields. We postulate that the extremely high density of energy sequestered briefly in cortical activity

patterns can account for the vividness, richness of associations, and emotional intensity of memories recalled by stimuli.

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Adaptation of the generalized Carnot cycle to describe thermodynamics of cerebral cortex

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Abstract—The brain is a thermodynamic system operating

far from equilibrium. Its function is to extract microscopic

sensory information from the volleys of action potentials

(pulses) that are delivered by immense arrays of sensory

receptors, construct the macroscopic meaning of the

information, and store, retrieve, and update that meaning

by incorporating it into its knowledge base. The function is

executed repetitively in the action-perception-assimilation

cycle. Each cycle commences by a phase transition, in

which the immense population comprising each sensory

cortex condenses from a gas-like state to a liquid-like state.

It ends with return of the cortex to the expectant gas-like

state. We have modeled the microscopic thermodynamics

of the cycle using quantum field theory. Our new result is

modeling cortical macroscopic thermodynamics with the

generalized Carnot cycle, in which the energy required for

the construction of knowledge is supplied by brain

metabolism and is dissipated as heat by the cerebral

circulation. What makes the application possible is the

unprecedented precision with which spatial patterns of

ECoG are measured, thus providing precise state variables

with which to represent energy vs. entropy. We present

experimental evidence that these isothermal processes are

coupled by adiabatic cooling and heating. We postulate

that the action-perception-assimilation cycle comprises

minimally three consecutive Carnot cycles required for

basic perception, assimilation, and decision, and more

cycles with greater complexity of cognitive tasks at hand.

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Time is real? I think not

ottobre: 2014

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