Category Archives: Neuroscience

More than a hundred years have passed since the German physicist Alois Alzheimer associated the traits of dementia of one of her patients with morphological changes in her brain after her death. While we know a great deal about what […]

Metacognition is «cognition about cognition», or «knowing about knowing». It comes from the root word «meta», meaning beyond, and the word «cognition» that includes all mental abilities and processes related to knowledge: attention, memory, judgment and evaluation, reasoning, biological computation, […]

Back in 2001, the Human Genome Project gave us a complete readout of our DNA, unraveling that magic sequence of As, Gs, Cs, and Ts that contained all the information for making one of us. Thanks to that, we now […]

The lymphatic system performs important immune functions, and runs parallel to the blood circulatory system to provide a secondary circulation that transports excess interstitial fluid, proteins and metabolic waste products from the systemic tissues back into the blood. For centuries, […]

The sci-fi thriller Ex Machina (2015), directed by Alex Garland, has put into limelight the problem of consciousness: whether a machine can spontaneously develop a mind, mental states, and consciousness. Everyone recalls that IBM’s Deep Blue beat the chess […]

The human brain continues its development postnatally. It is a long process that extends throughout, at least, the first two decades of life. Along these years, environmental factors influence brain functions and, not surprisingly because of its high plasticity, brain […]

True empathy is considered by most researchers to be an exclusive ability of primates, particularly humans and apes, the result of complex reasoning and abstract thought. However, empathy may be a phylogenetically continuous ability with particular types such as «emotional […]

Blindness is a world wide problem. As of 2012 there were 285 million visually impaired people in the world, of which 246 million had low vision and 39 million were blind. Most people with poor vision are in the developing […]

 
Sensations which seem to come from limbs that had been amputated are called «phantoms». Most limb amputees report awareness of a phantom limb, i.e., the perceived presence of the missing arm or leg. Phantom sensations may also occur after […]

As we saw in the previous entry of this series, philosophers of mind usually distinguish between what (after David Chalmers) they called the ‘easy’ and the ‘hard’ problem of consciousness. The ‘easy’ problem refers to how to explain the functioning […]