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.
August 10th, 2020 | Season 2 | 1 hr 3 mins
baty, brain, chris baty, cognition, creative, creativity, nanowrimo, national novel writing month, novel
Chris Baty, the founder of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) talks with us about why creativity feels good, the way it can spread to other aspects of our life, and in what ways life is (or is not) like a narrative.
May 12th, 2020 | Season 2 | 31 mins 23 secs
brain, c elegans, cognition, connectome, fruit fly, neuron, neuroscience
30 min episode
A connectome is a representation of every connection between neurons in the brain. Recent brain-slicing technology, in addition to image recognition tools, has begun to make this science-fiction idea become a reality. Rolf and Joe discuss the recent publication of the largest completed connectome to date, that of the fruit fly drosophilia. The database for the connectome is publicly available, and includes huge amounts of data about every one of the approximately 25,000 neurons mapped to date.
March 24th, 2020 | Season 2 | 55 mins 35 secs
behavior, behavioral immune system, brain, cognition, corona virus, covid-19, evolutionary psychology, joshua ackerman, michigan, pandemic, psychology, social psychology
How do people behave in a pandemic? Joshua Ackerman of the University of Michigan talks about how we alter our behavior in the face of pathogens from the perspective of social and evolutionary psychology. A repertoire of responses (such as avoidance) referred to as the "behavioral immune system" is discussed as a way for humans to avoid pathogens BEFORE our biochemical immune system encounters them.