Neuromagic and Psychological Alien Detection: Get your head around this!


Not long now until the Chinwag Psych event on May 9. If you don’t have your ticket yet you can still grab one here.

Meanwhile, whether you can attend the event or if you’re just interested in a little reading on the topic of psychology, neuroscience and machine learning, here’s our weekly round up to get you thinking.

Happy Birthday to the father of modern neuroscience

First up - did you wish a happy birthday to one of the founding fathers of modern neuroscience? Probably not, but he’s well worth reading about. Santiago Ramon y Cajal had aspirations to be an artist but his dad had other ideas and gave him a nudge into medicine.

Check out this article in The Smithsonian and find out how his artistic skills crossed with neural research are still being used.

Read more

Neuromagic

Neuroscience might seem to be magic to the outsider, but can magic be explained through neuroscience?

Psychology and neuroscience are used to study perception, and perception or lack thereof, is what makes magic fascinating.

Check out the article on SBS that breaks down the study of magic and consider how easily you might be tricked.

Read more here

Machine learning for alien detection?

Skytree, the company that helps others make sense of big data through machine learning has raised $18 million in series A funding. That’s news in itself, but did you know that this company’s data-crunching services are being used by SETI to search the cosmos for intelligent life?

Though there are plenty of ways in which machine learning can be applied to big data in terrestrial situations, it’s interesting to know that the SETI Institute is still collecting vast amounts of data and using neat tools to process it.

Read more

Or machine learning for gaming?

Machine learning has many different uses and a more amusing application has been realised by Tom Murphy who trained his computer to play Super Mario Bros for itself.

Though initially the computer appeared to struggle, before long, it was not half bad at navigating the game. Check out the video he made about the process and see the game play for yourself.

Read more here

Psychology for business

It’s clear from our speaker profiles that there is a role for psychology in all sorts of businesses, but is this clear to psych students?

Kayla Hill, a research analyst at Payscale has written an interesting blog post about training psychology students to aim high and how their expertise can be used in a number of ways.

Read more here

Older minds for better decisions

Equal opportunities employment is good for everyone and employing older people looks like a very good bet if you need someone who is a great decision maker.

According to a report in Forbes, changes in the way the brain processes information can influence decision making. Maybe that can translate as older being wiser after all.

Read more here

Plenty to think about there, but if you’re after a little more to consider when it comes to these topics in relation to business - you’d better snag a ticket for Chinwag Psych to find out more.

Photo (cc) The World According to Marty

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