Watch the Full Episode: “Mind Brain Machine”
Meet Tony Grobmeier, who was born without a corpus callosum, the structure that connects the two interdependent halves of our brains: language and linear thinking on the left, emotion and visual perception on the right. Next, enter the FlyLab at Caltech, where Michael Dickinson and his graduate students are researching the brain with help from [...]
Inside the Fly Lab
Perhaps the world leader in fruit fly (drosophila) research, The Dickinson Lab at California Institute of Technology is located in Pasadena, California. The exhaustive study of the brain and function of the fruit fly is necessarily esoteric yet endlessly fascinating. Research projects at the lab include the grand unified fly model, aerodynamics of flapping flight, [...]
Robotics: The Cutting Edge
Jet Propulsion Laboratory The Robotics Laboratory at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology has developed some of the most advanced robotic devices in use today, including the Mars Exploration Rover, which has perhaps sparked the public’s interest more than any other real-live robot. The JPL agenda includes a vast array of [...]
The Future of Robot Ethics
The Three Laws of Robotics, introduced by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in his 1942 short story “Runaround” and subsequently informing his ROBOT novels and other works, have resonated throughout science fiction literature. As we approach an era when robots will be ubiquitous in our daily lives, there is concern about how humans and these [...]
Dr. Lynn Paul and the Corpus Callosum Research Program
Dr. Lynn K. Paul, who is featured in the segment on agenesis of the corpus callosum (AgCC), is the founding president of the National Organization of Disorders of the Corpus Callosum (NODCC). She is also the head of the Corpus Callosum Research Program at the California Institute of Technology. This program represents the hub of [...]
What Is Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum?
The corpus callosum — the largest white-matter structure in the brain — connects the left and right hemispheres. Agenesis of the corpus callosum (AgCC) is a condition in which the structure is partly or completely missing, severely limiting integration of left-brain and right-brain function. AgCC is rare, occurring in just one in 4,000 individuals. It [...]
The Ellsberg Paradox
Recognized today primarily as the man who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers to the NEW YORK TIMES, Daniel Ellsberg had an early career as an economic theorist specializing in decision making. His major contribution to the field, the Ellsberg paradox in decision making, illustrates people’s aversion to ambiguity when they have to make choices. [...]
What is Neuroeconomics?
Economic theory is built on the assumption that human behavior is rational and predictable. At its most basic, economic decision making involves three steps: Obtain information regarding possible actions. Evaluate those actions. Choose between them. Yet we know that in practice, our allocation of scarce resources (in this case, money) is frequently hardly rational at [...]