The brain’s neural activity is irregular, changing from one moment to the next. To date, this apparent “noise” has been thought to be due to random natural variations or measurement error. However, researchers have shown that this neural variability may provide a unique window into brain function.
The online world is largely driven by the logic of the attention economy: Users’ attention is a precious currency, and online environments are designed to capture and steer that attention. How can users respond to these challenges of the digital age and how might the design of the online world be improved? A team of researchers has addressed these questions from the perspective of behavioral science.
How is mental health linked to brain development? To answer this question neuroscientists have launched an app that tests cognitive brain functions and anonymously queries mental health. Anyone can take part, regardless of whether or not they have a mental illness. The researchers' goal is to gather as much data as possible from a wide range of age groups in German and English-speaking countries.
Manuel Cebrian, head of the research group "Digital Mobilisation", is one of the pioneers of contact tracing by mobile phones. Last year, his paper on the subject, published in 2014, gained unexpected relevance. In a recent article in nature electronics, he outlines the conditions under which Covid-19 tracing apps can be helpful in containing the pandemic.
How can we best communicate information about the new COVID-19 vaccines to inform as many people as possible and prevent the spread of misinformation? This question has been addressed by an international team of more than 25 scientists, including Stefan Herzog from the Center for Adaptive Rationality. Their results have been published in The COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook.
While more progress is being made all the time in Artificial Intelligence (AI), some scientists and philosophers warn of the dangers of an uncontrollable superintelligent AI. Using theoretical calculations, an international team of researchers, including scientists from the Center for Humans and Machines at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, shows that it would not be possible to control a superintelligent AI.
Citizens of East Germany wanted to use music and lyrical forms to propagate hopes, desires, and visions of socialist Germany’s future and to influence the coming generation on an emotional level. Writing of the GDR as a “modern time regime”, Juliane Brauer tells the story of a promised future and the results of its failure to be realized. The certainty and belief in progress that characterized the beginnings were replaced with mistrust and disappointment over shattered dreams.
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