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Neuroskeptic In The Papers

Neuroskeptic iconNeuroskepticBy NeuroskepticJanuary 18, 2012 7:35 PM


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Two more academic papers have appeared that refer to this blog:

The Openness of Illusions is a philosophy piece about the epistemological implications of optical illusions. It cites my post about a paper dealing with the spooky Hollow Face Illusion. Long-time readers will remember this, but most of you probably won't, so here it is again; it truly is weird:

In my view, an even better demonstration of the same effect is the incredible magic dragon:

You can make your own dragon by printing it out from this helpful page. It takes like 5 minutes to make and it'll provide hours of philosophical fun.

Meanwhile, Stereotypes and stereotyping: What's the brain got to do with it? takes a neuro-skeptical look at the psychology and neuroscience of prejudice. It flatters me with a mention:

It should go without saying that activity in the brain does not indicate in any way whether a mental act is hard-wired (Beck, 2010). It is equally absurd to argue that the amygdala is on anyone’s team or feels occasionally upset. Alas, non-experts should not be expected to spot such fundamental ?aws in reasoning without help.

Thus scientists using neuroscienti?c methods to study phenomena of social relevance are not only expected to be particularly critical towards over-interpreting their own ?ndings, but also to monitor the ways in which their and other researchers’ data are reported in the media. Courageous attempts to counter overblown neuroscience-based claims in non-scienti?c outlets have so far resulted in numerous critical blogs (e.g.,; as well as in the publication of counterstatements in popular magazines (e.g., Aron et al., 2007).

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