Will Machines Ever Become Conscious? – Scientific American 0 (0)

Machines with human-level intelligence are on the horizon.
Whether they will actually be conscious remains unknown.
Why? Even the most sophisticated brain simulations are unlikely to produce conscious feelings.

Generally, researchers study human consciousness in one of two states — when we’re awake or when we’re sleeping. “However, we’re missing a big part of the picture if we don’t take into account other ways” of being conscious, says Christopher Timmermann, a co-author on the Scientific Reports paper and a researcher with Imperial College London. By studying other, induced forms of awareness, researchers like Timmermann hope to learn more about how our brains operate in the real world.
— Read on www.scientificamerican.com/article/will-machines-ever-become-conscious/

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We’re All ‘P-Hacking’ Now | WIRED 0 (0)

An insiders’ term for scientific malpractice has worked its way into pop culture. Is that a good thing?

Results from a study can be analyzed in a variety of ways, and p-hacking refers to a practice where researchers select the analysis that yields a pleasing result. The p refers to the p-value, a ridiculously complicated statistical entity that’s essentially a measure of how surprising the results of a study would be if the effect you’re looking for wasn’t there. Read on www.wired.com/story/were-all-p-hacking-now/

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New work on how and why we sleep. 0 (0)

The fact that I’m finding the quality of my sleep to be central to my robustness and well-being makes me want to pass on descriptions of four pieces of work described in recent issues of Science Magazine, work showing housekeeping changes in our brains happening while we sleep, changes whose disruption by sleep deprivation has debilitating consequences. Fultz et al. show that deep sleep drives brain fluid oscillations that may facilitate communication between fluid compartments and clearance of waste products. Todorova and Zugaro show that spikes during delta waves of sleep (widespread cortical silence) support memory consolidation. Brüning et al. find in the mouse brain that half of the 2000 synaptic phosphoproteins quantified show changes with daily activity-rest cycles. Sleep deprivation abolishes nearly all (98%) of these phosphorylation cycles at synapses. Noya et al. find a sleep-wake cycle in which transcripts and proteins associated with synaptic signaling accumulate before the active phase (dusk for nocturnal mice), whereas messenger RNAs and proteins associated with metabolism and translation accumulate before the resting phase.

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