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  • Computational Psychiatry is hosting a 1.5-day course which aims to introduce the tools and methods of this new approach to mental function and dysfunction, in Washington D.C. (USA) on November 10 and 11. As the time of this special event approaches, we check in with Dr. Peter Dayan and Dr. Read Montague, both of whom are the helms of Computational Psychiatry. They answered a few questions for us about this upcoming conference.

    Posted at 09:55 am on Tue, 10 Oct 2017 in journals
  • The New Year welcomes Emma Hart to the helm of Evolutionary Computation. She takes over the role of Editor-in-Chief from Hans-Georg Beyer (who had assumed the role himself in 2010). Professor Hart is the Director of the Centre for Algorithms, Visualisation and Evolving Systems at Edinburgh Napier University and her research is focused on biologically inspired computing. Professor Hart answered a few questions for us about her work with the journal and her hopes for its future.

    You’ve published a number of articles in Evolutionary Computation (and various other journals) over the years. How did you move from contributor to editor?

    I think it has helped to take as many opportunities as possible to be actively involved in the EC community—this has enabled me to get to know a lot of people across the world. I’ve moved gradually from chairing workshops in smaller conferences to more prominent roles such as Track Chair at GECCO (Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference), Technical Chair at CEC (IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation), and General Chair of PPSN (International Conference on Parallel Problem Solving from Nature) in 2016. I also serve on the SIGEVO (ACM Special Interest Group on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation) board and edit the SIGEVO newsletter, which has helped raise my profile. Of course, acting as an Associate Editor of Evolutionary Computation for several years has been incredibly useful in getting a better understanding of how the journal works!

    Posted at 10:00 am on Fri, 13 Jan 2017 in journals
  • We spoke with Dr. Jeremy Trevelyan Burman, PhD for this month’s Spotlight on Science Q&A. Dr. Burman was recently named to a tenure-track position supporting the new Reflecting on Psychology graduate program at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

    Posted at 10:00 am on Thu, 22 Sep 2016 in journals, science
  • The MIT Press and Leonardo/ISAST are pleased to announce the launch of ARTECA, a curated space for essential content linking the arts, sciences, and technologies. The platform was built and is developed by the ArtSci Lab at the University of Texas at Dallas. 

    With a growing collection of nearly 200 books and 300 journal issues, ARTECA provides scholars and practitioners the resources to bridge the once independent fields of art, science, and technology. The full text of Leonardo, Computer Music Journal, and Leonardo Music Journal are available in ARTECA. Books from MIT Press book series include Game Studies, Leonardo Book Series, Platform Studies, Software Studies, and Technologies of the Lived Abstraction. 

    Posted at 02:05 pm on Tue, 20 Sep 2016 in journals
  • This month’s Spotlight on Science looks at the intersection of synesthesia and art. Carol Steen discusses her own synesthesia and her journey to understand it, how synesthesia has impacted her art, and the increase in synesthesia awareness and research. Her article, “Visions Shared: A Firsthand Look into Synesthesia and Art” (Leonardo, June 2001) was one of the earliest first-hand accounts of synesthesia and its role in art, and her story helped inspire Wendy Mass's award-winning novel, A Mango-Shaped Space. Steen has since co-written a chapter for the Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia, and continues to create art from her synesthetic visions.  Read the article for free on our SOS page.

    You write that you first learned about synesthesia in 1993 when Richard E. Cytowic was in the process of bringing it back into mainstream science. Your article was published seven years later, in 2001. In 2003, author Wendy Mass wrote a young adult novel about an artistic and synesthetic girl named Mia, called A Mango-Shaped Space. Ten years later, Oxford University Press published the Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia, and just last year, your article was cited in an extensive paper titled "Color Synesthesia: Insight into perception, emotion, and consciousness," published in the journal Current Opinion in Neurology. How has the rise in awareness of synesthesia, and the accompanying increase in research about it, impacted you? Has it affected your art, or your artistic process, at all?

    In 1993, we didn't have computers. Well, a few people did, but for most of us computers didn't exist. More importantly, even if you had a computer, you were still isolated. Early in 1995 I would make long trips by subway to the one branch of my college where they had a computer lab. In a very small dark room on the top floor of an old NYC building were about 20 small screened computers. I could use them if a class was not being held, or if, with permission and providing I was very quiet, there was an available seat. I remember one day I sat in this room and learned I could ask a search engine for information about synesthesia. I did and waited for the answer. It gave me 35 “hits”—seventeen of those were duplicates. 

    Posted at 08:00 am on Tue, 16 Aug 2016 in art, journals, science
  • We’re back with another installment of Spotlight on Science. Dr. Beatrice A. Golomb (University of California, San Diego) talks about her research into how the chemical compound Coenzyme Q10 could benefit Gulf War veterans suffering from Gulf War Illness (GWI). Her article is among the most popular from the journal Neural Computation over the last year, according to Altmetric Explorer. Read the article for free on our SOS page.

    How did you first become familiar with Gulf War Illness (GWI)? Has there been a significant increase recently in awareness of this condition?

    I first heard about the condition in the mid-1990s, around the time reports came out on the condition from the Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) and Institute of Medicine (IOM). I was immediately concerned that the demands for evidence differed radically for postulated physiological vs. psychological causes. Where postulated “organic” (physiological) causes were considered, the bar was high: absence of evidence for a causal role was construed as evidence of absence of a role. Moreover, they hadn’t looked hard for evidence—e.g. omitting consideration of animal studies, the primary setting in which controlled exposure to toxins is allowed. In contrast, for hypothesized stress and psychological causes, mere suggestion of a role was deemed sufficient proof. No evidence was required that those with more stress were more likely to become ill. No demands were made for evidence that people in other historical settings with similar psychological stress, without the chemical stress, had become similarly ill, etc.*

    Posted at 09:45 am on Thu, 30 Jun 2016 in journals, science
  • Douglas Keislar, Editor of Computer Music Journal, reflects on how the discipline of computer music has evolved since the journal was founded in 1976.

    Posted at 08:00 am on Tue, 07 Jun 2016 in journals
  • “The ubiquity and utility of networks has given rise to a new interdisciplinary field called network science, devoted to new methods, tools, and theoretical ideas that aim to understand complex systems from a network perspective.”

    We’re excited to introduce Network Neuroscience, the latest journal to join our open access program. We speak with Dr. Olaf Sporns, MIT Press author and Distinguished Professor, Provost Professor, and Robert H. Shaffer Chair, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, Bloomington. Dr. Sporns is editor of Network Neuroscience, which will launch in 2017.

    Posted at 11:00 am on Mon, 11 Apr 2016 in journals, neuroscience

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Books, news, and ideas from MIT Press

The MIT PressLog is the official blog of MIT Press. Founded in 2005, the Log chronicles news about MIT Press authors and books. The MIT PressLog also serves as forum for our authors to discuss issues related to their books and scholarship. Views expressed by guest contributors to the blog do not necessarily represent those of MIT Press.