2008 Brain and society

2008 Brain and society - What can we learn from studying...

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Unformatted text preview: What can we learn from studying the brain Medicine (physical and mental health) Learning and memory The Arts (Music, Art) Computation Philosophy The Law Economics Neuroscience and ethics Societal implications of science are not new Atomic and nuclear physics : Bombs, nuclear power. Genetics: nature vs. nurture; eligibility for health insurance Climate studies : global warming Thought maps: using imaging and electrophysiological methods to determine behavioral types based on brain activity elicited in certain situations. Decision making Risk taking Truth telling Cooperative behavior Violent behavior: predicting Columbines? Measurement techniques EEG: measures parameters (amplitude, frequency) of electrical activity fMRI: measures blood flow to activated brain PET: measures absorption of radioactive contrast agent indicating active areas of increased metabolic activity Can fMRI be used as a lie detector? The New Yorker, 2007 Lie detection The classical method for detecting lies involves the measurement of skin resistance (sweating). Not reliable if subjects are sociopaths, or are prone to anxiety Startup companies are selling fMRI technology to determine lying. Implication is that there is a region(s) that is active in lying subjects. Reports indicate many active regions associated with truth and with lying making evaluation very difficult. Other scientists who work with fMRI have shown that it can distinguish between thinking about a place and a face, but have not found evidence that lying can be distinguished from truth telling based on regional activity of the brain. fMRI is also unreliable if subject does not cooperate- e.g., moves while in the machine How does the brain make decisions? What brain regions contribute to factors underlying decisions Economic models of decision making take into account Probability of reward Size/value of reward Cost of work required to obtain reward Banburismus is a mathematical procedure to model decision making...
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This note was uploaded on 07/15/2009 for the course BIO 208 taught by Professor Lorne-mendell,s during the Fall '08 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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2008 Brain and society - What can we learn from studying...

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