Thursday, November 13, 2008

Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience

cognitive research
Complexity (the number of ways-hows-and-whys a system can act) may become an anachronism as novel research demystifies consciousness reducing human complexity to a deterministic system. Biomachines that bypass time consuming conscious activity ultimately may be fielded by the DOD. The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) is already working towards this end. Through its Neurotechnology for Intelligence Analysts program, it has probed brain signals triggered when an analyst sees something interesting in a satellite image. The analyst's brain registers the discovery long before the analyst becomes cognitively aware of it. "The brain can signal the discovery three times faster than the analyst can respond... My goal is to use these technologies to harness the speed of thought... I know it's possible, especially if we confront these challenges not just as problems of biology and neuroscience but problems of physics, math, materials science and microtechnology."

That is how John Stanton, a Virginia based writer specializing in political and national security affairs, summarizes Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience in his article Dual Use Discipline for Understanding & Managing Complexity and Altering Warfare [cryptome.org], dated June 24, 2007. According to Stanton, The DOD has a very aggressive interest in understanding and adapting to the Human Terrain (brain-behavior relationships in local, regional, national and global environments). With a budget of approximately $1.2 trillion ($US), and the ability to obtain additional funding, the DOD stands alone in its ability to accelerate research and development (R&D) programs in ECN, as well as catalyze the fusion of the data-heavy and social sciences. Such an effort may be as significant as the Manhattan Project (Atomic Bomb) or the development of Quantum Theory. There is historical precedent for thinking as much, he says.

One can not help but wonder, seeing all those so-called social networks and others pouring vast resources so that they can know your pet's name and the color of your underwear. A heavy but thought provoking article; recommended.

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