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Posts Tagged ‘video’

This is not everyday that a research group gets the attention of international media. That was the case a few days ago with a study published by my colleagues at the Erasmus Centre for Neuroeconomics, on social conformity, ie peer-pressure: they got CNN coverage!

Vasily Klucharev, lead author on the study of social conformity

Vasily Klucharev, lead author on the study of social conformity

You can check it out there: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/01/15/social.conformity.brain/#cnnSTCVideo

Or for a popular-science version, click there: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090114124109.htm

And the original article:

http://www.cell.com/neuron/abstract/S0896-6273(08)01020-9

What accounts for such a huge reaction from the media? I tend to think that the seriousness of brain research and the sexyness of probing social issues in relation to our daily lives makes it a very efficient cocktail. It secures both the publication of the study in a top journal with a lot of exposure (its impact factor has two digits…!!), and the intelligibility of the research question to a wider audience, which makes it easy for journalists to “translate” the results into broad moral lessons. Note, by the way, how the journalists on CNN conclude the story by denying completely the results suggested by the study!

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At the opening symposium of the Donders Institute (Netherlands) last November, Victor Lamme showed a video that fully grasped the attention of the packed audience. It was a filmed experiment in psychology where people were being fooled by simple, even obvious  tricks.

It introduced his discussion on the nature of consciousness and awareness, with difficult questions such as: can we say of someone who is not aware of what s/he perceives that s/he is still conscious? Or as Victor Lamme says it elsewhere: ‘In my research I want to separate becoming conscious of the outside world from the reporting on it’.

The talk was good, with Lamme suggesting a definition of consciousness that included functional and structural criteria of neural activity. However, at the very end a question from the floor completely destroyed his argument, when someone pointed that, according to the criteria developed in Lamme’s definition, neural activity during sleep would in fact also qualify for his proposed definition of consciousness – quite a problem !!

Anyway, I have found a similar video demonstrating how easy it is to trick conscious and fully aware people. It is less academic than the one presented by Lamme but it has the benefit of working on you, the viewer. So, will you be tricked? (please answer the anonymous poll thereafter).

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Here is a video interview of Peter Bossaerts, one of the foremost neuroeconomist around. He specializes in neurofinance, and in this interview he explains the basics of it to Arvetica, a Swiss consulting firm. Bossaerts is indeed based at the Swiss Finance Institute and Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, in addition to CalTech.

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earthbluemarblewestterra

^Version française ci-dessous^

I found a nice and short video interview of Pierre Moorkens, CEO of the Institute of Neuromanagement in Belgium. Useful, since “neuromanagement” is still not very well defined: it provides some tentative directions.

http://www.youmake.tv/video?id=6405

As it is in French, it reminded me that even if I blog in (a clumsy) English, I see no reason why a blog couln’t be multilingual. My native language is French, and it might be enriching to use it when some “neuro-” topic is available in French. Even if that seems dead obvious, I am struck by the lack of multilingual blogs on the web. So here is the beginning of the experiment: on this blog, you might read posts in different languages.

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J’ai trouvé une vidéo courte et sympa d’une interview de Pierre Moorkens, CEO de l’Institut de Neuromanagement, en Belgique. Utile, puisque le “neuromanagement” reste mal défini: l’interview fournit quelques pistes de développement.

http://www.youmake.tv/video?id=6405

Comme la vidéo est en français, cela me rappelle que bien que ce blog soit en anglais, je ne vois pas pourquoi il ne pourrait pas acueillir d’autres langues aussi. Ma langue natale est le français, et ce serait enrichissant de l’utiliser quand un sujet “neuro” est développé en français. Ca semble archi-évident, mais je suis frappé par l’absence de blogs multilingues sur le web. Donc voici le début d’une expérience: sur ce blog, vous pourrez trouver des postes en plusieurs langues.

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And this is the last leg of the three-steps guide to neuroeconomics, dealing this time with neuromarketing.

It is useful to remark first that the identity of neuromarketing is still unclear: if you take the big-hit “Buy-ology“, neuromarketing seems to be a business venture driven by consulting firms rich enough to run fMRI studies.

But if you check the program of the 2008 Conference of the Society for Neuroeconomics, neuromarketing appears then as an academic field allied to neuroeconomics. They both deal fundamentally with decision-making in economic contexts, with neuromarketing focusing more specially on consumer behavior.

To see how it works, we are lucky enough to have a (fairly) non-technical, bilingual, audio and video presentation on neuromarketing soon available on the web, and in preview on this blog. You’ll see Britney Spears and Andre Agassi, and how their expertise can (or not!) influence your buying decisions.

expert-power

It was Ale Smidts (director of my lab) presenting in Paris La Sorbonne,  last October. Just click and wait for the presentation to load:

Ale Smidts on expert power

[The paper presented is published in the current issue of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (Dec. 2008)]

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A recurring aspect of the discussions in social neuroscience is the big, indeed massive, hopes generated by the field. Social neuroscientists claim they will one day help cure diseases, handicaps, improve memory, learning capacity,  etc.

To see a perfect example of this rethoric, have a look at this short video by the University of Reading. I just have to say: it worked on me, I was amazed. Have a look by yourself:

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[from a post by Sylvain on this very good French forum on neuroscience, Ovule Neuroscience.]

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