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A brain trying to understand itself

Imagine if we could bridge the gap between minds and computers. Imagine a world where the whole of humanity’s knowledge will no longer be available just at our fingertips, but instead it will be directly available to us in the same intimate and immediate way as we access information stored in our own brains. This will take away the need to spend countless precious years training every young mind to imbibe an ever expanding wealth of facts that quickly go obsolete. Instead, it will bring the focus during those critical years on reasoning, critical thinking, creativity and the acquisition of skills and abilities.

But in order to bring this future to fruition we first need to understand the specific neural code with which semantic information is stored in the brain and the precise mechanisms through which it is retrieved on demand. We need to understand how these two aspects of memory work, so that later on we can engineer a system capable of taking advantage of those mechanisms. Whether I will see this future realized during my lifetime is anybody’s best guess, but I have decided to dedicate my work and efforts to help make it a reality.

I am currently a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition. I work with Prof. Lynne Reder in exploring the neural and mental mechanisms of memory formation, knowledge representation and retrieval.

And because who doesn’t need another reason to procrastinate, let’s give this blogging thing a go.

Neuromusings will be an opinionated view of cognitive science, research and academia. I plan to post reviews of recent and classical articles in the field of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, as well as general thoughts and ideas about cognition and philosophy of science, open data, data analysis, research practices, academic workflows, etc.

Hopefully, I will find a distinct voice with which to express my ideas.

What other academic/neuroscientific blogs do you follow? What topics interest you? What are your thoughts on the technological future I have outlined above? Let me know in the comments.

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