Dec 212005
 
Self Aware Robot

credit: Junichi Takeno

The Discovery Channel has a story today about researchers from the Meiji University in Japan that have created a robot able to tell the difference between looking at its own image reflected in a mirror and looking at an identical robot. The research, led by Junichi Takeno, is a big advance towards understanding human consciousness and emotions and ultimately creating self aware, emotive robots.

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Nov 012005
 

The Human Eye

LiveScience.com has a summary of a study published this week in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that provides additional evidence of the phenomenon known as blindsight, residual visual sensitivity experienced in the brain even when one is blind or otherwise unable to see. While the results of the study seem to conclusively support the existence of the phenomenon, they also exacerbate the fact that there is still relatively little known about the mechanisms of human consciousness, or in this case, unconsciousness.

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Feb 162005
 

In an effort to explore the relationship between brain activity and consciousness, Stanford University nueroscientist Bill Newsome is currently seeking regulatory approval to implant an electrode into his own brain. Engadget has a summary of an interview MIT Technology Review did recently with Newsome in which he explains his obsession with determining how brain functions give rise to consciousness and why the limitations of studying animals have driven him to propose this extraordinary experiment.

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