59 episodes

CogNation is a podcast by Rolf Nelson and Joe Hardy, two cognitive psychologists interested in the future of brain science and technology. We explore relevant topics in the areas of cognitive science, technology, AI, and philosophy. Although we dabble with dystopian implications of new technologies (such as the impending robopocalypse), we are led by our curiosity and try to keep it light and fun. https://www.facebook.com/CognationPodcast/ email: cognationpodcast@gmail.com

CogNation CogNation Media

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 23 Ratings

CogNation is a podcast by Rolf Nelson and Joe Hardy, two cognitive psychologists interested in the future of brain science and technology. We explore relevant topics in the areas of cognitive science, technology, AI, and philosophy. Although we dabble with dystopian implications of new technologies (such as the impending robopocalypse), we are led by our curiosity and try to keep it light and fun. https://www.facebook.com/CognationPodcast/ email: cognationpodcast@gmail.com

    Daniel Dennett: A Retrospective

    Daniel Dennett: A Retrospective

    Daniel Dennett, who passed away on April 19th at the age of 82, was one of the great philosophers of our time. Rolf and Joe discuss his ideas and his influence on the field of philosophy, including (especially) bringing consciousness back as a topic of serious study with his book "Consciousness Explained", as well as his work on free will, evolution, religion, and constructing a convincing argument.

    • 48 min
    AI and Cognition with Daniel Sternberg

    AI and Cognition with Daniel Sternberg

    What can neuroscience teach us about AI, and vice versa, what can AI teach us about our own intelligence?

    Joe and Rolf talk to returning guest Daniel Sternberg about advances in AI over the past year. Topics include using the methods of cognitive psychology to understand AI; representation in artificial intelligence; what current large language models  (LLMs) are good at and not good at; sentience in AI; the future of humanity; and other important stuff.

    Natural and Artificial Intelligence: A brief introduction to the interplay between AI and neuroscience research [https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0893608021003683] (Macpherson, et al., 2021)

    Can AI language models replace human participants? [https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5e57f82eb306fc38c7637f33/t/6490afc6074d6e3982f6d049/1687203782514/can-AI-language-models-replace-human-participants.pdf] (Dillion, et al., 2023)

    Language models show human-like content effects on reasoning [https://stanford.edu/~jlmcc/papers/DasguptaLampinenEtAl22LMsShowHumanLikeContentEffectsInReasoning.pdf] (Dasgupta et al., 2022)

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Autism with guest Matthew Goodwin

    Autism with guest Matthew Goodwin

    This episode is dedicated to the memory of colleague and friend Grace Baron [https://wheatoncollege.edu/news/no-time-like-now/].

    Joe and Rolf talk to Dr. Matthew Goodwin, a professor at Northeastern University whose research focus is on autism. His most recent paper [https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2813185] used biosensing (heart rate, skin conductance, etc.) to predict aggressive behavior in profound autistic individuals up to three minutes before the event. 

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Donald Hoffman's Case Against Reality

    Donald Hoffman's Case Against Reality

    Joe and Rolf discuss the ideas of perceptual psychologist Donald Hoffman, who has argued that our perceptual systems have no access to reality, since evolution is driven by fitness functions, not objective truth. He has also argued that our perception is a user interface (like a desktop on a computer, or a VR headset), and that objects such as the moon don't exist when we are not apprehending them.  

    Hoffman, Donald. The case against reality: Why evolution hid the truth from our eyes. WW Norton & Company, 2019.

    Bagwell, J. N. (2023). Debunking interface theory: why Hoffman's skepticism (really) is self-defeating. Synthese, 201(1), 25.

    • 44 min
    Episode 53: Beckley Retreats CEO Neil Markey on guided psychedelic retreats

    Episode 53: Beckley Retreats CEO Neil Markey on guided psychedelic retreats

    Neil Markey, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, used meditation for years to deal with depression and PTSD. He is currently CEO of Beckley Retreats, a group that runs retreats to Jamaica and the Netherlands for guided psychedelic experiences. He talks about his path from the military to consulting to his work with Beckley, how guided psychedelic retreats are run (including work to prepare in advance, as well as to integrate after), and how he envisions the future of psychedelics for both treatment of disorders and for enhancing quality of life for those without disorders.

    Special Guest: Neil Markey.

    • 56 min
    Episode 52: The IIT controversy with Felipe De Brigard

    Episode 52: The IIT controversy with Felipe De Brigard

    We discuss the recent controversy about Integrated Information Theory (IIT), a theory about the neural correlates of consciousness, with Felipe De Brigard, a philosophy and psychology professor at Duke University who signed a letter describing the theory as pseudoscience.

    The letter: https://osf.io/preprints/psyarxiv/zsr78/
    The adversarial collaboration: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0268577
    Description of IIT: https://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1011465

    • 1 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

carylwampus ,

Cognition

Excellent podcast. Rolf and Joe are great!

VR minds think alike ,

Awesome podcast on cognitive psychology!

Awesome podcast on cognitive psychology.

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