Weekly Roundup 112: A Curated Linkfest For The Smartest People On The Web
Handpicked to satisfy your intellectual curiosity!
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He’s got a wonderful head for money. There’s this long slit on the top.
Peter Thiel thinks we are in an education bubble!: The hedge-fund billionaire says we need more innovation — and less herd-thinking — to open a new frontier – via National Review – shaffer: I understand you think we’re in a big higher-education bubble. THIEL: Yes. Education is a bubble in a classic sense. To call something a bubble, it must be overpriced and there must be an intense belief in it. Housing was a classic bubble, as were tech stocks in the ’90s, because they were both very overvalued, but there was an incredibly widespread belief that almost could not be questioned — you had to own a house in 2005, and you had to be in an equity-market index fund in 1999.
How Japan Misallocated Resources During Their Bubble (must read!) – via Spike Japan- Monumental in its conception, extravagant in its execution, and epic in its failure, Huis ten Bosch is the greatest by far of all of the progeny of Japan’s Bubble era dreams.
In the information age, brainy people are rewarded with wealth and influence, says Robert Guest. What does this mean for everyone else? – via Economist – Tommy Gallagher was working across the street when the planes hit the Twin Towers. “As we evacuated, we could see people jumping out of windows,” he recalls. Then the first tower collapsed. Everyone in the street started running. A huge cloud of dust enveloped them. Mr Gallagher could not see or breathe. He thought he was going to die. Soon after he escaped, Mr Gallagher was told to put his bank’s business back together at an office in uptown Manhattan. Plugging the computers in again was easy enough, but the people in the office could not simply be re-booted. After a month Mr Gallagher snapped. “A guy gave me shit. I threatened to beat him up. They fired me,” he says.
Max Bazerman: Blind spots – Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to Do about It – via Princeton – When confronted with an ethical dilemma, most of us like to think we would stand up for our principles. But we are not as ethical as we think we are. In Blind Spots, leading business ethicists Max Bazerman and Ann Tenbrunsel examine the ways we overestimate our ability to do what is right and how we act unethically without meaning to. From the collapse of Enron and corruption in the tobacco industry, to sales of the defective Ford Pinto and the downfall of Bernard Madoff, the authors investigate the nature of ethical failures in the business world and beyond, and illustrate how we can become more ethical, bridging the gap between who we are and who we want to be.
Marketing Obesity? Junk Food, Advertising and Kids– via Policy Pointers – Australian paper examines the debate over the importance of foods high in fat, sugar and salt in childhood obesity
Nikola Tesla: The Other Wizard – via Good.com – Nikola Tesla did as much to electrify the second industrial revolution as any man. If only his legacy weren’t marred by his portrait as a mad scientist. “My enemies have been so successful in portraying me as a poet and a visionary that I must put out something commercial without delay,” Tesla famously said in response to Marconi’s award. In fairness to those who called him a visionary—which held a far less flattering connotation than it does today, suggesting someone prone to naive optimism or cockeyed schemes—few scientists claim to have been divinely inspired with their most towering inventions while quoting Goethe in response to an eye-catching sunset. It wasn’t until 1943, after Tesla’s death, that the Patent Office reversed its decision, and recognized him as radio’s true father. That outcome is perhaps fitting, as the story of his life unfolded more like something out of Nathanael West than Horatio Alger—his financial troubles at times rising in direct proportion to his ambitions.
Video: Could someone use their Nokia phone to avoid a roadside bomb or mine? – via Ideas Project – “IDFIED is intelligent detection for IEDs, improvised explosive devices. We’re using drones to – and radar to find roadside bombs. We had a huge upsurge in places like Afghanistan, where of the 800 civilians that were killed this year, over 600 were children.
How Computer Games Could Help Us All Make Better Decisions in Life – via ScienceDaily – A prototype computer game has been developed to help improve decision making skills in all aspects of our lives.
In Norway, Start-ups Say Ja to Socialism – via Inc.com – We venture to the very heart of the hell that is Scandinavian socialism—and find out that it’s not so bad. Pricey, yes, but a good place to start and run a company. What exactly does that suggest about the link between taxes and entrepreneurship?…..Norway is also full of entrepreneurs like Wiggo Dalmo. Rates of start-up creation here are among the highest in the developed world, and Norway has more entrepreneurs per capita than the United States, according to the latest report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, a Boston-based research consortium. A 2010 study released by the U.S. Small Business Administration reported a similar result: Although America remains near the top of the world in terms of entrepreneurial aspirations — that is, the percentage of people who want to start new things—in terms of actual start-up activity, our country has fallen behind not just Norway but also Canada, Denmark, and Switzerland.
The forger’s story: Following a master art forger – via FT- For nearly three decades, Landis has visited museums across the US in various guises and tried to donate paintings he has forged. As well as Father Scott, he has posed as “Steven Gardiner” among other aliases. He never asks for money, although museums have often hosted meals for him and made small gifts. His only stipulation is that he is donating in his parents’ names – often his actual father, Lieutenant Commander Arthur Landis Jr, a former US Navy officer.
The Future of the Commons – via David Harvey – In the grander scheme of things, and particularly at the global level, some sort of enclosure is often the best way to preserve valued commons. It will take a draconian act of enclosure in Amazonia, for example, to protect both biodiversity and the cultures of indigenous populations as part of our global natural and cultural commons. It will almost certainly require state authority to do so against the philistine democracy of short-term moneyed interests ravaging the land with soybean plantings and cattle ranching. But in this instance there may be another problem: expelling indigenous populations from their forestlands may be deemed necessary to preserve biodiversity. One commons, in other words, may need to be protected at the expense of another.
Video: Ian Ayres Carrots and Sticks, and how to “unlock the power of incentives to get things done.” – via Quantified Self – His video is in three parts below, with over an hour of behavior change insights and goal-sticking goodness.
Video: The Psychology, Biology and Politics of Food – Video Lectures – This course by Yale Professor Kelly D. Brownell from the Department of Psychology, Yale University encompasses the study of eating as it affects the health and well-being of every human. Topics include taste preferences, food aversions, the regulation of hunger and satiety, food as comfort and friendship, eating as social ritual, and social norms of blame for food problems. The politics of food discusses issues such as sustainable agriculture, organic farming, genetically modified foods, nutrition policy, and the influence of food and agriculture industries. Also examined are problems such as malnutrition, eating disorders, and the global obesity epidemic; the impact of food advertising aimed at children; poverty and food; and how each individual’s eating is affected by the modern environment
Perceptions, Expectations, and Entrepreneurship: The Role of Extreme Events – via DIW.de – We provide, for the first time, comparative evidence of the impact of various types of extreme events – natural disasters, terrorism, and violent conflicts – on the perceptions of entrepreneurs concerning some key entrepreneurial issues – such as fear of failure in starting a business venture, whether individuals expect that good opportunities are likely to emerge in the next six months, and the expected level of competition stemming from creating new ventures. The occurrence of extreme events is likely to be exogenous to the perceptions affecting it so that we can identify a causal link from events to entrepreneurs and their perceptions. Using individual-level data from 43 countries from the period 2002 to 2005, we find that neither indicator of the intensity of extreme events has a significant impact on entrepreneurial activity, when country characteristics are not controlled for. Once invariant country characteristics are taken into account, we find that Terrorist Attacks have a positive and significant impact on business creation, Natural Disasters have a positive and negative impact on entrepreneurial activity, and Violent Conflict has no significant effect. These results are consistent with differential impacts of extreme events on perception variables such as Fear of Failure, Expected Business Opportunities, and Expected Level of Competition. Our results suggest that extreme events, while costly at the aggregate level, may induce a positive response in terms of entrepreneurial activity in specific circumstances. There is hence scope for entrepreneurs, and policies supporting them, to create growth from the ruins of extreme events.
Benefits of Being Naked – via Finance Professor – “In a naked CDS position a party pays an income stream to a seller of protection to swap away default risk on an underlying bond without actually holding the underlying bond. In this paper we construct sector level portfolios of 2,846 corporate CDS positions for the US, UK, Japan and the Eurozone and incorporate these into a very broad portfolio of 42,559 conventional assets observed over seven years at the daily frequency. We find compelling evidence that the naked CDS positions can significantly improve the diversification of broad portfolios, a major motivation for active trading in thess instruments. Specifically, we find that risk adjusted portfolios with CDS positions outperform portfolios of standard assets by up to 30% for a logarithmic utility maximizing investor. In addition, our tests show that cumulative portfolio turnover is lower for all weekly, monthly and quarterly rebalancing strategies when CDS positions are included. An important implication is that the booked return on CDS positions from 2004 to 2010 seem not be replicable by combinations of other assets in the market”
A Flaw in the (financial) Model … That Defines How the World Works – via WorldBank – The authors of this paper claim that modeling financial markets based on probability theory is a severe systematic mistake that led to the global financial crisis. They argue that the crisis was not just the result of risk managers using outdated financial data, but that the employed efficiency model—also referred to as the stochastic
model—is basically flawed. In an exemplary way, the This paper—a product of the IDA Resource Mobilization—is part of a larger effort in the department to better understand the recent financial crisis. Policy Research Working Papers are also posted on the Web at http://econ.worldbank.org. The author may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. analysis proves that this model is unable to account for interactions between market participants, neglects strategic interdependences, and hence leads to erroneous solutions. The central message is that the existing efficiency model should be replaced by an approach using agent-based scenario analysis.
Why you’re lazy and can’t break bad habits – via Pop Economics – Researchers from University College London asked participants to watch tennis matches and play referee. They’d make calls on whether the ball bounced in-bounds or out-of-bounds. Sometimes it would be close and sometimes not. But before each test, the researchers told them that either in-bounds or out-of-bounds was the “default” decision. And they’d have to decide if they wanted to reverse the default, by lifting their finger from a button they held down. On the close calls, they ended up being more likely to stick with the default, whether it was in-bounds or out-of-bounds. The referee could go either way with the play based simply on whether the researcher had said one or the other was the standard answer. So what does that mean for my poor resolution to get a raise? I was faced with infinite possibilities, and that meant I was most likely to do…nothing. Think about it next time you try to motivate your kid with the “possibilities are endless” schtik.
What can we do to defang bad science headlines? – via Decisions Science News – his is serious. First, it’s saying something that isn’t true. The news shouldn’t do that. They seem to get away with it by virtue of the fact that most people can’t conduct research themselves. (If they lied about testable relationships, e.g., “Want to avoid a ticket? Park on the sidewalk,” people would stop believing them rather quickly). Second, the effects are pervasive. We’ve seen PhDs in every field get suckered by a bogus headline.
Microcredit: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly by David Korten – via Finance Professor – “Once praised as a universal panacea, microlenders are now being widely attacked as predatory loan sharks. In December 2010, Sheik Hasina Wazed, the prime minister of Bangladesh and former microcredit advocate, accused microcredit programs of “sucking blood from the poor in the name of poverty alleviation.”
Beware “Consensus”? – via Overcoming Bias – f your doctor discourages you from seeking another opinion, you have even more reason to get one. (more) Honest contrarians who expect reasonable outsiders to give their contrarian view more than normal credence should point to strong outside indicators that correlate enough with contrarians tending more to be right. (more) Perhaps one strong outside indicator that a contrarian view is right is when the media goes out of its way to say that it is opposed by a “scientific consensus”!
Do Firms Buy Their Stock at Bargain Prices? Evidence from Actual Stock Repurchase Disclosures – via Finance Professor -We find that smaller S&P 500 firms repurchase less frequently than larger firms, and at a price which is significantly lower than the average market price. Their repurchase activity is followed by a positive and significant abnormal return which lasts up to three months after the repurchase. These findings do not hold for large S&P 500 firms. Our interpretation is that small firms repurchase strategically, whereas the repurchase activity of large firms is more focused on the disbursement of free cash. ”
6 Census trends that will transform the US– via Futurity.org- Data from the 2010 Census will likely confirm several major demographic shifts in the United States, say researchers, including an overall “browning” and “graying” of America.
Eight weeks to a better brain: Meditation study shows changes associated with awareness, stress – via Harard – Participating in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. In a study that will appear in the Jan. 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Harvard-affiliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reported the results of their study, the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain’s gray matter.
The Neuroscience of Fear and Loathing– via Brainblogger – ear is an innate emotion that is triggered by environmental stimuli perceived as potentially threatening or harmful. This emotion is so basic to human existence that its expression on a human face can be accurately recognized by anyone in the world. Thus, fear is a highly evolved, universal emotion whose existence is critical to survival.
America Not as Politically Conservative as You Think – via TruthOut – oters self-identify as conservatives for several reasons, only one of which is that it reflects their politics. Among the many memes floating around in the wake of the 2010 election is that America has taken a rightward turn, and conservative pundits seem re-energized in calling America a center-right nation. After all, a plurality of American voters (42 percent) now call themselves “conservative” — as compared to just 35 percent who say they are “moderate” and 20 percent who say they are “liberal.” Two years ago, moderates and conservatives both were at 37 percent.
To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test – via NYT – Taking a test is not just a passive mechanism for assessing how much people know, according to new research. It actually helps people learn, and it works better than a number of other studying techniques.
Secret Service Study Probes Psyche of U.S. Assassins – via Wired – Contrary to popular assumptions about public killings, the attackers didn’t conform to any particular demographic profile. But when Fein reconstructed their patterns of thinking, he was able to distill them into a handful of recurring motives for killing a public person — motives that seemed consistent regardless of whether a given individual was delusional or not (and three quarters of those who pulled the trigger were not). Some hoped to achieve notoriety by killing a well-known person. Others wanted to end their pain by being killed by Secret Service. Still others hoped to avenge a perceived, idiosyncratic grievance unrelated to mainstream politics. Some hoped, unrealistically, to save the country or call attention to a cause. And some hoped to achieve a special relationship with the person they were killing.
Thinking about ancestors helps test performance – via Boston.com – Next time you need a boost, think about the story of your ancestors. In a new study, researchers found that thinking about one’s ancestors motivates people and can even improve performance on intelligence tests. It didn’t matter whether people thought about long-dead ancestors or living grandparents, or whether they considered positive or negative aspects of their ancestors. Thinking about friends or oneself didn’t generate the same effect, suggesting that ancestors have a special association with success and perseverance.
A look inside what makes language work – via Boston.com – The word rhetoric has come in for a lot of abuse lately. When we see the word these days, it’s at best preceded by “empty,” and at worst fingered as a national threat, as in the recent debate over overheated political rhetoric.
Tim Harford: Can we curb alcohol consumption via pricing – via Tim Harford – But I digress. The real problem for we rational drinkers is that, even if you don’t buy the idea, the evidence that people drink less when the price goes up is pretty strong. Even cirrhosis of the liver falls when liquor duty rises. So I’m in a bit of a state about these plans to put a floor under the price for booze. Admittedly, it’s not much of a floor, but it’s the thin end of the wedge. (Forgive the mixed metaphors. I am drunk.)
How the first cable was laid across the Atlantic – via Wired – We try and maintain a laserlike focus on the future at Wired, but sometimes it’s worth taking a look back at the innovations of the past. On August 16, 1858, the first message was sent across the Atlantic by telegraph cable, reading “Glory to God in the highest; on earth, peace and good will toward men”. The transmission marked the culmination of 19 years of dreams, plans and hard work, bridging the economic and political systems of both the UK and the USA. The idea of a transatlantic communications cable was first floated in 1839, following the introduction of the working telegraph by Wiliam Cooke and Charles Wheatstone. Samuel Morse, the inventor of Morse code, threw his weight behind it in 1840, and by 1850, a link had been laid between Britain and France. The same year, construction began on a telegraph line up the far north-east coast of North America — from Nova Scotia to the very tip of Newfoundland.
Richard Thaler on the new health care law– via Nudge Blog – Richard Thaler says behavioral economics and other lessons from Nudge can help bring clarity to the new health care law. He proposes “seamless enrollment,” and “forfeiture, not fines,” and a Ronald Reagan-like nudge. Full column is here.
3-D gesture control breaks out of the game box – via EE Times – This could be the year 3-D gesture recognition proves it’s not just child’s play. Several years after its first consumer market appearance in the wireless gaming interface for Nintendo’s Wii, MEMS sensor-based gesture recognition is extending its reach to smartphones and is set to take hold of that most iconic of consumer interfaces: the TV remote.
Couples communicate same to strangers – via Uchicago -Couples and close friends may think they’re on the same wavelength, but a new study shows they don’t always convey messages to each other as well as they think
The neuroscience of habits, and what happens when you lose some – via Brains on Purpose
Video: TEd Talk – Silicon-based comedy – via Ted.com – In this first-of-its-kind demo, Heather Knight introduces Data, a robotic stand-up comedian that does much more than rattle off one-liners — it gathers audience feedback (using software co-developed with Scott Satkin and Varun Ramakrishna at CMU) and tunes its act as the crowd responds. Is this thing on?
Why You’re Probably Less Popular Than Your Friends – via SciAm – Are your friends more popular than you are? There doesn’t seem to be any obvious reason to suppose this is true, but it probably is. We are all more likely to become friends with someone who has a lot of friends than we are to befriend someone with few friends. It’s not that we avoid those with few friends; rather it’s more probable that we will be among a popular person’s friends simply because he or she has a larger number of them. This simple realization is relevant not only to real-life friends but also to social media. In Twitter, for example, it gives rise to what might be called the follower paradox: most people have fewer followers than their followers do. Before you resolve to become more scintillating, remember that most people are in similar, sparsely populated boats.
Video: Dire Consequences of Overconnectedness – Fora.tv – Davidow explains how the success of the Internet has also created a set of hazards, in effect overconnecting us, with the direst of consequences. Davidow explains everything from the recent subprime mortgage crisis to the financial meltdown of Iceland, asserting that much of it can be traced to the fact that we were so miraculously wired together.
Video: How Games Can Change The World – via Fora.tv – More than 174 million Americans are gamers, and the average young person in the United States will spend ten thousand hours gaming by the age of 21. According to world-renowned game designer Jane McGonigal, the reason for this mass exodus to virtual worlds is that video games are increasingly fulfilling genuine human needs. In this groundbreaking exploration of the power and future of gaming, McGonigal reveals how we can use the lessons of game design to fix what is wrong with the real world, boost global happiness and create engagement that transcends commerce. Jane McGonigal’s work has helped define this new medium of gamification with a world view that combines elements of reality and fantasy. She believes that we live every story we experience and we really do transform ourselves in this process to become every game we play. Her insights have been compared to plutonium in that they are elegant, concise, and pack an enormous amount of force.
Should You Go With Your Gut? – via APS – Have you ever relied on your gut feeling to make a decision? A new study published in Psychological Science suggests that while one’s “gut intuition” may be helpful when combined with experience, our physiological responses while under pressure may inhibit both our decision-making and learning abilities.
Happiness & Age – via Information Processing – People, studies show, behave differently at different ages. Older people have fewer rows and come up with better solutions to conflict. They are better at controlling their emotions, better at accepting misfortune and less prone to anger. In one study, for instance, subjects were asked to listen to recordings of people supposedly saying disparaging things about them. Older and younger people were similarly saddened, but older people less angry and less inclined to pass judgment, taking the view, as one put it, that “you can’t please all the people all the time.”
How much cash is too much? Looking at Apple – via Musings on Markets – In the midst of lots of news about Apple – Steve Jobs taking a leave of absence and a 78% surge in profits reported today – I saw this news story in the Wall Street Journal. The gist of the story is that a portfolio manager who has about $700 million in Apple’s stock feels that it should pay out some or all of its $ 50 billion cash balance to investors. I do not know the portfolio manager mentioned in the article, Mr. Bonavico, and I hope that he was misquoted because what he is quoted as saying borders on corporate finance malpractice.
Poverty, Population, Inequality, and Development: the Historical Perspective – via MPRA – Seen in historical perspective the main economic predicaments of the present world (such as poverty, inequality, backwardness) appear in a somewhat different light than in many current discussions, especially by sociologists, radical economists and political scientists. In the present paper the achievements of the modern age, and in particular of the post- World War II period, are considered in the perspective of economic and demographic history, and in their connection with the systems of production and of international relations. Some considerations concerning future possible developments conclude the paper.
How Amsterdam Got Fiat Money – via FRB Atlanta – We investigate a fiat money system introduced by the Bank of Amsterdam in 1683. Using data from the Amsterdam Municipal Archives, we partially reconstruct changes in the bank’s balance sheet from 1666 through 1702. Our calculations show that the Bank of Amsterdam, founded in 1609, was engaged in two archetypal central bank activities—lending and open market operations—both before and after its adoption of a fiat standard. After 1683, the bank was able to conduct more regular and aggressive policy interventions, from a virtually nonexistent capital base. The bank’s successful experimentation with a fiat standard foreshadows later developments in the history of central banking.
I’m Embarrassed for You: The Effect of Valuing and Perspective Taking on Empathic Embarrassment and Empathic Concern – via Online Library – Much research has investigated the cognitive-perceptual factors that promote empathic concern. However, little research has investigated such factors for a related emotion: empathic embarrassment. We suggest that 2 factors promote empathic embarrassment for a target in a compromising situation: liking the target, and imagining oneself in the target’s situation. Results revealed that liking a socially compromised target increases both empathic concern and empathic embarrassment (Experiment 1). Furthermore, imagining the person’s thoughts and feelings increases empathic concern and a desire for future exposure to the person, whereas imagining oneself in the person’s situation primarily increases empathic embarrassment (Experiment 2). Implications of these results for future empathy research and applications for those who suffer from chronic embarrassability are discussed.
Video: Neurobiology of Taste – Human taste, scent and flavour and how they’re processed by various neurological pathways. Includes instructions for the jelly bean test demonstrating the role of scent, which can be done at home. Transcript available.
How trust in finance was carried off by the carpetbaggers – via John Kay – The financial world used to have a diversity of corporate organisational forms – listed company partnership, mutual. Most partnerships and mutuals became listed companies, a change that was not usually for the better.There were once three main types of corporate organisation in the financial services industry – the public company, the partnership and the mutual.
History Repeats Itself: Wall St. Wants a Part of Fannie and Freddie’s Gov’t-Guaranteed Deal – via Propublica – As the White House considers how to reform troubled mortgage giants Fannie and Freddie, some of the nation’s largest banks have piped up with their own suggestion. The New York Times reports that banks are suggesting that they be allowed to take over some of Fannie and Freddie’s work of issuing securities backed by a government guarantee. That guarantee can be quite convenient for businesses, which get to keep the profits in good times and—as we saw during the housing market collapse—get to socialize the losses by passing them onto the government
A New Culture of Learning – via BrainPickings – The evolution of education, particularly as filtered through the prism of emerging technology and new media, is something we’re keenly interested in and something of increasing importance to society at large. Now, from authors Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown comes a powerful and refreshing effort to approach the subject with equal parts insight, imagination and optimism, rather than the techno-dystopian views today’s cultural pundits tend to throw our way. A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change makes a compelling case for a new kind of learning, one growing synchronously and fluidly with technology rather than resisting it with restless anxiety — a vision that falls somewhere between Sir Ken Robinson’s call for creativity in education paradigms and Clay Shirky’s notion of “congitive surplus.”
How Social Networks Spread Eating Disorders – via Time – Teens are undeniably influenced by those around them, and by what they see on social media from television to the internet. So what happens when western media infiltrates a remote island society?
Define by Consequences -Overcomign Bias – People often argue about “definitions” as if the main issue was conceptual essences, or “cutting nature at its joints.” But in fact the vast majority definition disputes are really about social convention (including law). For example, I was interviewed recently on our changing “definition of death.” I said we’d long had a perfectly sensible and timeless concept: death is when life is no longer possible. What people want instead is an easy to apply criteria, so they can know when it is socially acceptable to “give up” on someone, or to declare someone a “murderer.” The timeless concept doesn’t serve this role well, so they seek something else. (Which then limits cryonics.)
Preparing for earthquakes – via Institute of Hazard – Preparedness is high on the list of any earthquake hazard mitigation strategy. But in areas of developing countries with little to no expertise or infrastructure to deal with the secondary hazards of earthquakes like landslides or the earthquakes themselves — how do you prepare? In Haiti, researchers have been working with people to help improve their resilience to earthquakes, such as developing hazard maps to identify the movement of faults in order to make local buildings, for example, resilient to future impacts. An article in Nature, quoting Eric Calais, a geophysicist at Purdue University, describes the need for tapping into ‘local talent’ in order to equip Haiti with the expertise it needs to understand seismic data.
Video: Brain Computing at the Time of Decision-Making? – via Lectures – Most organisms facing a choice between multiple stimuli will look repeatedly at them, presumably implementing a comparison process between the items’ values. Little is known about the exact nature of the comparison process in value-based decision-making, or about the role that the visual fixations play in this process. We propose a computational model in which fixations guide the comparison process in simple binary value-based choice and test it using eye-tracking. We present results from an eye-tracking choice experiment showing that the model is able to quantitatively explain complex relationships between fixation patterns and choices, as well as several fixation-driven decision biases. We also present results from several fMRI choice experiments showing that the key processes at work in the model are implemented in the ventromedial and dorsomedial prefrontal cortices (excerpt taken from the lecture description)
Facebook vs Twitter
Starbucks New Trenta vs Gut
Geography of Gun Deaths