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Superstitious pigeons and lab-grown brains

September 5, 2013

Nautilus has an interesting article on pattern detection, explaining the creation of superstitions by both pigeons and baseball players as the brain’s attempt to find patterns in data where there is no real signal. While it takes some interpretive liberty, it references hard data. And it perhaps provides partial explanation why so many results in the soft sciences go beyond what the data actually supports. The notion that thinking about science triggers moral behavior is a recent example of that. I can think of a half-dozen alternate explanations for the data from that experiment.

Advancing hard science about the brain, researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Science in Vienna have grown human brain organoids (Nature abstract) from stem cells, creating a really cool research model. PZ Myers explains.

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