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Dear all,

We are currently running a survey on people’s attitudes towards neuromarketing and related topics. We hope that you will all take this survey, as well as shard this link to as many people as you like. We hope to get as many people’s opinion as possible, and report the results through appropriate channels (i.e. journal paper, Master’s paper, and online here)

The original text and link goes as follows:

NEUROMARKETING SURVEY

We would like to invite you to take part to this survey. Your answers will help to gather information about the perceptions and thoughts about the use of brain science methods in non-medical settings.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Any information that you provide will be confidential. All participants will be anonymous such that no personal information concerning you or your company will be made public either during, or after the completion and release of this study. The questionnaire should take about 10 minutes of your time. If you wish to receive a summary of the results (that you can pass on to your home company) please indicate at the end of this questionnaire and include your e-mail address. We will not use this e-mail for other purposes than for sending you the summary.

WHO IS BEHIND THIS STUDY

My name is Matteo Bellisario, and I am completing my final report for my Master Degree in Strategic Market Creation at the Copenhagen Business School, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

My academic supervisor for this research is Dr. Thomas Z. Ramsøy, head of the Decision Neuroscience Research Group at the Copenhagen Business School and Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance at Copenhagen University Hospital.

The results will be part of my Master Thesis, and may, if suitable, be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.

PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO START THE SURVEY

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=UrWT2vR9gSIXNSKooLsNuQ_3d_3d

-Thomas

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I just love the way that YouTube is developing these days. If you just spend some time searching this wonderful site, you can get access to so many different teaching resources for psychology, neuroscience and philosophy that you could ever dream of. Seeing an interview with the younger Michael Gazzaniga speaking about the callosotomy procedure, BF Skinner speaking, even an item on Pavlov, just just blows my mind.

Below is just a few examples:

Gazzaniga on the split-brain procedure (good thing it’s not in colour)

And here is a thing on split-brain mind-blowing behaviour:

BF Skinner on operant conditioning

Or how about giving a demo of how patients with unilateral neglect actually behave (I’ve seen this many time when I was working clinically, but it’s like “what are you doing?”)

-Thomas

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During the spring of 2009 I organized a course course entitled “Neuroeconomics”, together with Prof.s Elke Weber and Eric Johnson. In this course, we made a compendium of articles on neuroeconomics. Fortunately, almost all of those papers were to be found on the web.

On a new page on the BrainEthics site, we bring you the list of articles we used for the course. Consider this as a suggestion for required readings for those interested in neuroeconomics. We hope to update the list along the way, but still with the aim of retaining a recommended reading rather than comprehensive listing of articles.

– Thomas

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If you didn’t go the HBM meeting this year you might be interested in hearing that the organizing committee now has put up most of the keynote presentations – for some reason, the talk by Michael Gazzaniga is missing – as well as all the talks from this year’s educational courses as podcasts. You can find them here.

The keynotes include talks by Mel Goodale, Mark D’Esposito (on the top-down modulation of FFA and PPA activation in visula perception), David van Essen (brain maps!, brain maps!), and Aina Puce (on social neuroscience). The educational workshops include talks on “Advanced fMRI”, “Basic fMRI/EEG”, “Diffusion Imaging and Tractography”, and “From Dynamic Modeling to Cognitive Neuroscience”. So, if you want to brush up your knowledge about neuroimaging methodology these podcasts offer a good opportunity.

By the way, I still plan to write a couple of posts about my impressions of the meeting. Stay tuned for that!

-Martin

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Following up on Martins post, I discover more than just a few good talks. This is a goldmine of good and important podcasts for the future!

For those neuroethics-minded of you, the two last podcasts on the list might have interest also:

Nov 1, 2005

A Slippery Slope

Facts, Ethics, and Policy Guiding Neuroscience Today

Neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga and lawyer Hank Greely debated the implications of neuroimaging, cognitive enhancers, stem cell research, improved medical diagnostic methods, and more in an animated conversation with journalist William Safire.

 title= listen (11.9 MB)  | running time 00:51:41
Oct 5, 2005

Ethics in the Age of Neuroscience

A Conversation between Michael Gazzaniga and Tom Wolfe

The prominent neuroscientist and the bestselling author discussed how knowledge of the brain can shed light on controversial issues and, perhaps surprisingly, bolster moral responsibility.

 title= listen (13.5 MB)  | running time 00:58:21
-Thomas

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Explore the future?

future.jpgI just received this interesting link to the memebox.com future scanner. I might have misunderstood the email initially, since I thought it was just another spam message, and that it suggested some weird way to predict the future. However, after visiting the site, I think it’s a great idea! Actually, the Future Scanner is a great way to keep up to date on what people are talking about when trying to predict the future. Here’s a snip from the email:

MemeBox.com proudly announces the Public Beta release of its first application, the Future Scanner (futurescanner.net), a community-powered app that organizes info about the future by year and category. Dedicated to the cutting-edge stories shaping our tomorrow, the MemeBox Future Scanner is an essential part of every forward-thinking person’s toolkit.

“Everywhere you look these days, people are talking about the future,” points out MemeBox CEO, Jeff Hilford, “There is a growing body of fascinating and flat-out cool future-related content scattered across the internet. The Future Scanner aggregates this thought-provoking material and presents it in a visually appealing, easily searchable manner.”

Whether you’re out surfing for leading-edge content, or seriously researching trends, the Future Scanner is a great place to start. Where else can you easily find links like “Brain-Computer Interface for Second Life”, “Robotic Pied Piper Leads Roaches” and “Nanoscale Inkjet Printing”?

“Already, the Future Scanner is a tool that I look forward to using every day,” says Alvis Brigis, MemeBox President, “In addition to offering cool, stimulating links that are fun to read, it keeps me aware of what’s going on, providing me with a broader sense of context across a variety of fields. I’m confident that we’re well on our way to building a novel and comprehensive resource that people will enjoy and find very useful.”

MemeBox plans to quickly add new features to the Future Scanner and then to complement it with other powerful applications.

Jeff Hilford, CEO, says, “From a broader perspective, our goal here at MemeBox is to create a rich, interactive playground that allows people to explore the future and see how accelerating technological change will increasingly affect their everyday lives.”

In terms of neuroethics, some items I found through the scanner included whether we will be able to cure ageing, when silicon can model the brain to a sufficient level of complexity, and an interesting story about brain-computer interface for Second Life. Indeed, I’m going to add Future Scanner to my feeds.

-Thomas

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scr11_new.pngThis time it should work. Science & Consciousness Review, the online webzine/journal for the review of the scientific study of consciousness, is back online. It crashed several months ago due to a buggy new interface and content management system. Now, with a fresh new and well proved system (same as BrainEthics is using, wordpress), it is now running, albeit in a next-to-full version. Commenting is still disabled, as are newsletters, certain images and some other functions. It’s slowly coming up, too
However, you can now enjoy the articles that we at BrainEthics have contributed with at SCR. First of all, Martin’s excellent review of Solso’s book on neuroaesthetics, and my article on “how genes make up your mind”.

Enjoy… and spread the word.

-Thomas

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Cognitive Neuroscience Arena has an excellent interview with Jamie Ward related to his book The student’s guide to cognitive neuroscience. You can either listen to it directly on the webpage, or you can download it from the podcast url using your favourite podcast software.

From the CNA website:

Dr Jamie Ward is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychology, University College London and has researched and taught extensively in many areas of cognitive neuroscience.

He is a leading authority on the subject of synaesthesia and has contributed to a wider understanding of it in both academic and lay circles.

In this podcast we talk to Jamie Ward about the development of cognitive neuroscience, its portrayal in the media, his textbook The Student’s Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience, and the recent debate on the usefulness (or seductiveness!) of the “flickering lights” of fMRI.

This 22 minute interview serves as a general introduction to the subject of Cognitive Neuroscience, and we have released it free of charge on a Creative Commons licence so that professors and lecturers are free to copy & redistribute it on their university’s network/website for the use of their students, or to play it during a lecture.

-Thomas

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icon_psychoanalysis.jpgToday we received this nice email from Paul Watson at Psychology Press. They are launching a new site for cognitive neuroscience news. I’ll let the email speak for itself:

Hi Martin & Thomas

Just a quick note to say we’ve recently launched a new Cognitive Neuroscience Arena which I think might be of interest to you two.

(We = Psychology Press, publishers of the journal Social Neuroscience, which you commented on in your blog post on July 4th)

We’ve included a link to the Brain Ethics blog on our blogs page.

As well as all our relevant books and journals, we’ve included a few other features that may be of interest to you and your readers:

1. The whole of the first chapter of our textbook “The Student’s Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience” is available to read free online (we think it’s a great introduction to the subject)

2. In a similar vein, we’ve also got the introductory article from our journal Social Neuroscience, also available to read free online (this is the same one which is on the Social Neuroscience journal website which you posted about).

3. There’s also a page of links to the latest Cognitive Neuroscience blog posts (courtesy of Technorati)

4. An a nifty GoogleMap showing forthcoming Cogntitive Neuroscience conferences (only 3 we know of at time of writing) at http://www.cognitiveneurosciencearena.com/resources/conferences.asp

And numerous other features including an RSS feed of our latest Cogntive Neuroscience books.

I’ve sent the link to your blog to Rose Allet who runs the marketing for the Social Neuroscience journal here at Psychology Press, so she may also email you and will probably send the URL of your blog to the editors of Social Neuroscience so they can see your comments).

If you’ve got any questions, feel free to drop me a line.

Regards,

Paul Watson

———————————————————————————-
Paul Watson, Senior E-Marketing Executive
Psychology Press

http://www.psypress.co.uk
http://www.routledgementalhealth.co.uk

-Thomas

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socneurosci1.jpgAt the forthcoming Social Neuroscience journal homepage, editors Jean Decety and Julian Paul Keenan have a nice intro to the field of social neuroscience. It contains an initial definition of the field:

Social neuroscience may be broadly defined as the exploration of the neurological underpinnings of the processes traditionally examined by, but not limited to, social psychology. This broad description provides a starting point from which we may examine the neuroscience of social behavior and cognition.

However, we see this definition as a guide, rather than as a rule and, as such, we see this field as inclusive, rather than exclusive. The behaviors and cognitions studied under the umbrella “social” are diverse. From complex human interactions to the most basic animal relationship, social research is an expansive, diverse, and complex domain. Likewise, exploring the neurological underpinnings allows for equally assorted and varied lines of research. The combination of the areas reflects such diversity, in which research is performed in domains as wide reaching as the maternal behavior of knockout mice and endocast examinations of early Australopithecus.

I guess they would accept the brief report about the empathic mouse? Furthermore, the editors pinpoint some interesting issues pertaining to this field, including the problem of relating general (folk-)psychological concepts and constructs to the macro- and microscopic data from neurobiology:

One main challenge of social neuroscience is that social psychology and its related disciplines involve psychological constructs, such as moral dilemma, empathy, or self-regulation, that are difficult to map directly onto neural processes. These constructs often need to be deconstructed. Further, given the complexity of social interaction in humans, social neuroscience research needs to combine and integrate multiple-level analysis across different domains. Social neuroscience requires a system approach rather than a single level of analysis. We strongly believe that social and biological approaches when they are bridged can achieve a more accurate understanding of human behavior.

And they even have some precautionary remarks:

One drawback of neuroimaging research is that it can be perceived as the new phrenology (see Uttal, 2003) and it may give an over-simplistic account of the neuroscience of social cognition and behavior. With neuroimaging, there are gimmicks and trends, claims that extend beyond the research, and debates that can reach fever pitch levels over seemingly mundane differences. While hardly unique to our field, we encounter the danger of labeling parts of the brain as the “love center” or the area responsible for psychopathological behavior. In this sense, we are certainly flirting with a new phrenology. Therefore, we agree with our sensible colleagues who remind us to replicate and rely on all of the tools at our disposal.

Finally, Decety and Keenan point to the emerging ethical issues that are becoming apparent through this emerging scientific field:

Beyond the clear impact of social neuroscience in various academic domains, including education, for which we are all excited, we must carefully consider how society uses research findings from social neuroscience. There is a tendency in public journals to report over simplistic interpretations of complex issues. As Wolpe put it, “history has shown us again and again that society tends to use science to reinforce the moral assumptions and biases of the cultural moment. There is clearly a role for a thoughtful social neuroscience, where findings become part of considered policymaking around controversial issues. For example, research into addiction has provided new perspectives and tools for policymakers willing to use them. But if scientists are not clear about the scope and nature of their work, eager policymakers can seize preliminary and speculative findings and implement programs unsupported by the science itself”

At the homepage you can also find a section for related books. A few books are added here, and I wonder why they, in such a small and emerging field, have not added obvious books such as The neuroscience of social interaction by Frith & Wolpert.

-Thomas

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