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Society, Law and Policy

By Russell Brandom for The Verge

(Images from Facebook's DeepFace scan)

(Images from Facebook’s DeepFace scan)

If you’re worried about Big Brother and computerized facial recognition, this summer has given you plenty of reason to be scared. Law enforcement has been toying with facial recognition for a while, but the FBI is getting set to deploy its own system, called Next Generation Identification (NGI for short), planned to be fully operational this summer. NGI will bring together millions of photos in a central federal database, reaching all 50 states by the end of the year. After years of relative anonymity, it’s easy to think 2014 is the year that law enforcement will finally know you by face.  Read More

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By Dr Llewellyn Cox, Principal, LieuLabs

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Image from: The Maury Show

The young gentleman on the Maury Show is looking uncomfortable. He shuffles uncomfortably in his seat as the genial Maury Povich reads aloud the results of his recent polygraph test to the audience in the studio, who dutifully greet each new result with a hearty chorus of boos.

You told the Lie Detector that you did not sleep with Tiffany’s best friend, Candace.

The Lie Detector determined that was a lie.

More booing. Tiffany, a heavy-set young woman sitting in the next seat along, jumps to her feet and screams a continual stream of expletives at the young man that lasts for at least a minute. The censorious *bleep* edit will be working overtime on this episode. An immense bodyguard effortlessly holds her back as she flails madly around him with her fists, trying to make contact with the young man’s face. Eventually, she gives up and storms off the stage, a mobile camera crew hot in pursuit as she flees backstage to the Green Room.

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NPR Fresh Air interview, aired on April 30, 2013 and March 21, 2014.

Adrian Raine has studied the brains of violent criminals, including that of serial killer Randy Kraft, aka the "Freeway Killer."

Twenty years ago, when brain imaging made it possible for researchers to study the minds of violent criminals and compare them to the brain imaging of “normal” people, a whole new field of research — neurocriminology — opened up.

Adrian Raine was the first person to conduct a brain imaging study on murderers and has since continued to study the brains of violent criminals and psychopaths. His research has convinced him that while there is a social and environmental element to violent behavior, there’s another side of the coin, and that side is biology.

“Just as there’s a biological basis for schizophrenia and anxiety disorders and depression, I’m saying here there’s a biological basis also to recidivistic violent offending,” Raine, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the book The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime, tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross. Read More

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Photos by: BeiBei Song, 2011

Denmark has firmly established its reputation as the happiest country in the world, ranked consistently on top of indices from the World Map of Happiness, to the most recent World Happiness Report 2013.

Those passionate about urban bicycling know Denmark as the modern day “Bicycle Kingdom”, as can be evidenced by these photos I took in Copenhagen streets in the fall of 2011.

Those who care about politics with a worldly view would also know Denmark for its strong social welfare benefits to its citizens, similar to its Scandinavian neighbors such as Sweden and Norway.

While the bicycle maybe a manifestation of the Danes’ happiness, as ABC journalists Bill Weir and Sylvia Johnson wisely observed:

“And perhaps the bicycle is the best symbol of Danish happiness. Danes can all afford cars, but they choose bikes — simple, economical, nonpolluting machines that show no status and help keep people fit.”

20140123-Political-Economy_book cover… the strong social welfare explains the socio-political construct as a foundation of the happy citizenry, according to Benjamin Radcliff, a political science professor, and author of a new book ‘The Political Economy of Human Happiness: How Voters Choices Determine the Quality of Life.

The radio program “Here and Now” recently interviewed him about his findings on societal happiness. Read More

Formed in the spring of 2013, the Stanford Neurosciences Institute aims to solve problems of the brain. In this talk, Professor Bill Newsome discusses neuroscience’s implications in health, law and business.

Bill Newsome is the Harman Family Provostial Professor, the director of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute, and a professor of neurobiology and, by courtesy, of psychology. A leading investigator in sensory and cognitive neuroscience, he teaches graduate and medical courses in neuroscience, and co-teaches an undergraduate course on social and ethical issues in the neurosciences. Professor Newsome’s honors include the Rank Prize for Optoelectronics, the Spencer Award for highly original contributions to research in neurobiology, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association, the Dan David Prize and the Karl Lashley Award of the American Philosophical Society.

where neural understanding interacts with the rest of life

The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education

where neural understanding interacts with the rest of life

Musings on Memory and Aging

where neural understanding interacts with the rest of life

where neural understanding interacts with the rest of life

Stanford Center on Longevity

where neural understanding interacts with the rest of life

where neural understanding interacts with the rest of life

The Beautiful Brain

a website about neuroscience and art that peaked in 2009 but is still going