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consciousness

Q&A

Curious About Consciousness? Ask the Self-Aware Machines

July 11, 2019

Consciousness is a famously hard problem, so Hod Lipson is starting from the basics: with self-aware robots that can help us understand how we think.

Art for "Neuroscience Readies for a Showdown Over Consciousness Ideas"
neuroscience

Neuroscience Readies for a Showdown Over Consciousness Ideas

March 6, 2019

To make headway on the mystery of consciousness, some researchers are trying a rigorous new way to test competing theories.

Art for "A ‘Self-Aware’ Fish Raises Doubts About a Cognitive Test"
neuroscience

A ‘Self-Aware’ Fish Raises Doubts About a Cognitive Test

December 12, 2018

A report that a fish can pass the “mirror test” for self-awareness reignites debates about how to define and measure that elusive quality.

Illustration for "Overtaxed Working Memory Knocks the Brain out of Sync"
neuroscience

Overtaxed Working Memory Knocks the Brain Out of Sync

June 6, 2018

Researchers find that when working memory gets overburdened, dialogue between three brain regions breaks down. The discovery provides new support for a larger concept about how the brain works.

Man emerging from particals climbing monolith
consciousness

A Theory of Reality as More Than the Sum of Its Parts

June 1, 2017

New math shows how, contrary to conventional scientific wisdom, conscious beings and other macroscopic entities might have greater influence over the future than do the sum of their microscopic components.

Quantum Brain GIF
neuroscience

A New Spin on the Quantum Brain

November 2, 2016

A new theory explains how fragile quantum states may be able to exist for hours or even days in our warm, wet brain. Experiments should soon test the idea.

Q&A

The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality

April 21, 2016

The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman believes that evolution and quantum mechanics conspire to make objective reality an illusion.

computer science

Evidence That Machines Learn Like Us

July 23, 2013

Studies show that computer models called “neural networks” behave strikingly similar to actual brains when performing certain tasks, suggesting the two may learn in the same way.