Why is traditional altruism so ineffective?

While this question may sound like what you would hear in philosophy classes, Harvard’s Psychology Professor Joshua Greene took an experimental approach to respond, using the development of neural imaging techniques and the discovery of synaptic plasticity. By incorporating new neuroscience technology, Greene was able to embark his journey in a new field of psychology research, moral cognition, which explores the underlying cognitive mechanisms of moral … Continue reading Why is traditional altruism so ineffective?

Next step for Neuroscience: Neurobiological engineering (part 2)

Breakthrough had the privilege of listening to Dr. Jasanoff and Dr. Boyden speak at Sidney Pacific Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture at MIT, where they introduced the history of neuroimaging, limits and challenges of the current techniques, and the future role they hope neurobiological engineering will take in order to deepen our understanding of the brain. Part one will introduce the professors and give an overview of the history … Continue reading Next step for Neuroscience: Neurobiological engineering (part 2)

Next step for Neuroscience: Neurobiological engineering (part 1)

Breakthrough had the privilege of listening to Dr. Jasanoff and Dr. Boyden speak at Sidney Pacific Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture at MIT, where they introduced the history of neuroimaging, limits and challenges of the current techniques, and the future role they hope neurobiological engineering will take in order to deepen our understanding of the brain. Part one will introduce the professors and give an overview of the history … Continue reading Next step for Neuroscience: Neurobiological engineering (part 1)

Planaria, the incredible regenerating worm

What does it mean to be a regenerative organism? Well, unlike simple healing that happens when you get a paper cut, and new skin forms, regeneration involves the formation of multiple tissues and complex shapes. Your first reaction to regeneration may be to think of something like in Hercules when he fights the Hydra monster that upon having its head amputated immediately grows two more. When found in … Continue reading Planaria, the incredible regenerating worm

Modeling Moral Competence in Robots: Interview with Professor Scheutz (Part 3)

This is part three of a three-part series taken from an interview between Professor Matthias Scheutz, the director of the Tufts Human-Robot Interaction Lab, and Breakthrough’s Josh Lee. You can read Part One here and Part Two here. Q) Socially autonomous robots with moral competence, as you have stated in your papers, seem to be computationally possible and could indeed be materialized in the future. … Continue reading Modeling Moral Competence in Robots: Interview with Professor Scheutz (Part 3)

Why Women Miscarry, and How Miscarriage Stigma Needs to End

I first heard about the stigma surrounding miscarriages in a post that Mark Zuckerberg made on Facebook, announcing his wife Pricilla’s pregnancy, and how they went through three previous miscarriages before they got to this point. He writes, “It’s a lonely experience. Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you — as if you’re defective or did something … Continue reading Why Women Miscarry, and How Miscarriage Stigma Needs to End

Modeling Moral Competence in Robots: Interview with Professor Scheutz (Part 2)

This is part two of a three-part series taken from an interview between Professor Matthias Scheutz, the director of the Tufts Human-Robot Interaction Lab, and Breakthrough’s Josh Lee. You can read Part One here. Q) Your lab is made up of many researchers that hold interdisciplinary degrees. What does this tell us about interdisciplinary collaborations of research that seem to be becoming a norm today? … Continue reading Modeling Moral Competence in Robots: Interview with Professor Scheutz (Part 2)

Modeling Moral Competence in Robots: Interview with Professor Scheutz (Part 1)

Professor Matthias Scheutz, the director of the Tufts Human-Robot Interaction Lab, is currently investigating the moral competence of computational architectures. Breakthrough had the opportunity to sit down with him and discuss his views of human morality, how morality applies to robots and artificial intelligences, and how these come together when humans and robots interact with one another. Part 2 and 3 of this interview will be released … Continue reading Modeling Moral Competence in Robots: Interview with Professor Scheutz (Part 1)

A Biased Survey of the Best Tufts Classes

Course selection is coming up soon, so I asked a few of my senior friends (hence the biased sampling) to identify their favorite STEM classes at Tufts. I got back a few answers. A majority were pretty major-specific… “My favorite STEM-related class was Physical Organic Chemistry (Chem 151) because it involved class participation and Thomas is really good at explaining difficult concepts. (Class is not … Continue reading A Biased Survey of the Best Tufts Classes

Group Highlight: Active Minds

  “My idea of our club’s success would be if saying ‘I’m going to Counseling Services’ is as normal as saying ‘I’m going to Health Services.’” Active Minds, a DC-based nonprofit, unites young adults under a common cause: raising awareness about and erasing the stigma surrounding mental illness. For the past few years, Active Minds at Tufts has joined the upwards of 400 campus chapters … Continue reading Group Highlight: Active Minds