Sleeping and Dreaming

We sleep through one third of our life, and dreams dominate two of the eight hours that we typically sleep during a day—but why we do both is a continuing mystery. Sleep is basically a brain phenomenon, since other body organs and (brainless) plants don’t sleep. Its biological importance is underscored by the fact that…

Biology and Theology

We’re living in a contradictory period in which spirituality and religious belief are thriving during an era of unprecedented biological enlightenment. Further, the fundamentalist religious groups that seem most concerned about recent biological discoveries are experiencing the most growth, and are gaining substantial political power in the process. Our society is currently debating issues related…

The Role of Wisdom In Intelligence: The Reward For An Intellectually Stimulating Life

The two previous columns focused on recent proposals about the roles that prediction and intuition play in intelligent thought and behavior. This month’s column will focus on wisdom, one of the rewards we can get from an extended intellectually stimulating life. Elkhonon Goldberg explores the underlying neurobiology of this intriguing concept in his fascinating informative…

The Role of Snap Judgments in Intelligence: An Intriguing Perspective

Last month’s column focused on Jeff Hawkins’ thoughtprovoking analysis of the nature of the elusive human property we call intelligence. Hawkins defines intelligence as the ability to predict what will occur and to develop an appropriate response. He argues that prediction requires a continual cognitive comparison between what is occurring and what we expect will…

Human and Machine Intelligence: An Intriguing Perspective

Jeff Hawkins developed the Palm Pilot, the Treo smart phone, and other mobile computerized devices. It’s not surprising that he’s also very interested in our brain—another pretty good mobile information processor. He’s now teamed with Sandra Blakeslee (the renowned New York Times science writer) to produce a marvelous thoughtprovoking book, On Intelligence: How a New…