The Neurons That Shaped Civilization

TED recent­ly took its show to India, and one of the more inter­est­ing pre­sen­ta­tions fea­tured neu­ro­sci­en­tist Vilaya­nur Ramachan­dran (UCSD) explain­ing how mir­ror neu­rons, a recent­ly dis­cov­ered sys­tem in the brain, “allow us to learn com­plex social behav­iors, some of which formed the foun­da­tions of human civ­i­liza­tion,” and also helped us evolve as a species. Good stuff. You can find more TED India Talks here.

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  • Ana says:

    Hi. I have been check­ing this site for months and I nev­er real­ized that I could post a com­ment… well, any­way, let’s put aside my poor inter­net skills and let me add myself to the list of peo­ple who is more than hap­py read­ing your posts. Inter­net is great but most of what you can see is rub­bish or non rel­e­vant. Only 1% is inter­est­ing (prob­a­bly much less than that but a huge amount anyway)and I con­sid­er this web the reser­voir of that 1% of intel­li­gent life online. You have lots of great links to check and I rec­om­mend it to who­ev­er I know.

    I am not Amer­i­can and cer­tain things like your post about your mar­ket­ing strate­gies for your book seems to me out of whack. It is very use­ful indeed if you want to sell books but out of synch with the rest of the web which, let me say it again, it is great.

    Keep going, then (in Japan­ese, gan­bat­te kuda­sai… thanks a lot for your post about Kuro­sawa’s lega­cy. Let me invite you to study this lan­guage if you don’ know it. It is as hard to learn as beau­ti­ful). If you accept links and rec­om­men­da­tions from read­ers, send me an email. I would be more than hap­py to send you some good stuff to post here.

    Good luck

  • Dan says:

    Hi Ana,

    Thanks very much for your kind words. It’s always great to see that peo­ple are enjoy­ing the site, and appre­ci­at­ing what it does. To answer your ques­tion, we def­i­nite­ly wel­come links/recommendations from read­ers. In fact, yes­ter­day, I added a but­ton on the upper right hand side of the site that encour­ages just that. You can send any ideas to mail at open­cul­ture dot com. Or fill out the form here:

    Thanks again for your com­ments, and hope you stay with us.


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