Eric Kandel: Unconscious Decision Making

bigthink.com Nobel Prize-winning neuropsychiatrist Eric Kandel describes research which hints at the possibility of a biological basis to the unconscious mind. Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd — Eric Kandel’s latest book is “The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present” (amzn.to
Video Rating: 4 / 5

John R. Anderson believes that one of the things that makes us as humans unique is our ability to pick up a brand new competence — whether it’s driving a car or solving math problems. This notion has driven Anderson to spend the past four decades researching how the brain works and creating better ways for students to learn. Anderson, the RK Mellon University Professor of Psychology and Computer Science, joined the Carnegie Mellon University faculty in 1978 and developed the Adaptive Control of Thought (ACT) theory, which provides an overall organization of human thought and cognition. He then took the theory a step further and led a team that created an intelligent computer tutor to teach algebra to high school students, essentially re-defining the field of cognitive psychology by doing what is often impossible: taking a theory and applying it in a real world setting. For these achievements, Anderson recently received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science, an honor given to trailblazers in science, business and technology. Previous honorees include Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Allen Newell, the late CMU professor and one of Anderson’s mentors.


24 Comments so far »

  1. skierdudeSC said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 9:51 am

    science is simply logic applied to the real world. you dont believe in science.

    for instance, many people say they dont believe in anthropogenic global warming. however, you dont hear people saying the “believe” in global warming, only that they don’t.

    when you carry out the logic all the way, you find some very controversial answers. but it is simply logic, which can be traced all the way down to indesputable axioms.

  2. skierdudeSC said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 10:29 am

    no. the part of the brain that was telling the right arm to raise was a low level motion centre.
    in a car, if i wire it up so the right wheel begins to turn, the driver can still stop it by turning off the car.
    the brain was simply being hotwired artificially. then a higher-level part, which is more difficult to hotwire, tried to put down the arm.
    what you’re saying is that the experimenter made the subject WANT to raise his right hand. he never wanted to, he was forced to by the “hotwiring”.

  3. mikeymikemikey1 said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 11:23 am

    You read it all right, I’m not religious at all, I was just mocking the guy.

  4. skierdudeSC said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    wow. i am just rendered speechless by that.

  5. skierdudeSC said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

    THANK YOU! FINALLY SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS THAT!
    columbus had no amazing new view on the world. he simply had a error in his calculation of the earth’s circumference. had he not ran into america, he would have died.

  6. skierdudeSC said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    that makes no sense.
    again… im with Binaurals1

  7. luke18169 said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

    people with closed minds should not watch these videos.

  8. mbmhs said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

    I remember Sam Harris talking about this. Personally I think that they’re still “your” decisions. We just don’t perceive all the individual factors that are involved in making this process happen. And that’s just fine.

    I don’t feel blood get pumped into my arm, but I know through other ways when it isn’t. It’s just how our body works.

  9. jpawhees said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

    Science is looking in the wrong direction. Its hard to tell if a car is comming if ur back is turned to it.

  10. 2bsirius said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

    Excellent comment!
    Only on YouTube could the opinions of a brilliant thinker like Eric Kandel’s be labelled  “retarded.”

  11. coxo81 said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

    can’t get enough of these

  12. Niskirin said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

    People of the time knew that the world was round and laughed at Columbus because they knew how long the distance between europe and asia was and considered a sea journey that long to be suicidial. Columbus was known as a hack in his time for getting the distance wrong in his calculations. What they didn’t know was that there was a landmass in the way.

  13. scottswan said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

    Many very logical people used to call that the “spirit”. The American Indians.

  14. QuantumTesla said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

    It’s impossible to argue with a religious know it all.
    Obviously magic, the anti-science, is the clear answer.
    Why do any type of research when you can just claim every thing is magic?
    It’s unexplainable but certainly real!
    I bet the world ends this year too.

  15. mikeymikemikey1 said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    Well what do you believe?

  16. xfunccarter2011 said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

    Now you’re doing the straw man logical fallacy.

  17. mikeymikemikey1 said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

    You’re right, you’re right, but clearly God makes the cells do what they do, not this “proven” quantumleap stuff these atheist go on about and chemical what nots.

  18. xfunccarter2011 said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

    Why do you think evolution is crackpot stuff? I don’t.

    It doesn’t sound like you have much to say.

  19. xfunccarter2011 said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

    Why would you think I thought evolution was crackpot stuff?

  20. mikeymikemikey1 said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

    Man you are on fire, pretending is indeed exactly, without a doubt, the same as imagination. When Darwin was thinking up evolution, (that crack pot stuff), I bet he was pretending to be monkey, silly man.

  21. xfunccarter2011 said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 6:25 pm

    Your using the appeal to ridicule logical fallacy.

    Remember: even the scientific method understands that you need to step outside of proof and knowledge occasionally. Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge.

  22. mikeymikemikey1 said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

    I know so true, I don’t know anyone who pretends to be outside the universe myself, but I’m sure there out there, being ridiculous and what not.

  23. xfunccarter2011 said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

    Well, it’s no more ridiculous than pretending you can stand outside the universe and study the universe at the same time.

  24. mikeymikemikey1 said,

    Wrote on April 20, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

    You’re so right, we don’t need more atheist trying to explain things. Why can’t they just accept it’s clearly magic.
    Clearly God is real because that guy that no one has every met err… Jesus, told us he was God, who would claim to be that who was not.

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