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Psychology feeds update
Psychology Tools
Written by Carnegie    dimanche, 15 août 2010

Please note several update in Psychology feeds I gadget .

Recently, a Science Blogs' bad move led excellent psychology bloggers to move away from this blogging structure. 

Cognitive Daily has ended, as well as Daily monthly. Though I've always liked Dave Munger's posts, it seems that he won't posts others regularly. Tab for his posts so have been replaced with one from the Mouse Trap. It's a very interesting psycho and neuro blog.

1. Feeds that have moved have been updated (such as the Frontal Cortex blog).

2 Important update : you can now choose the blogs you want to show on psychology gadget, simply by checking the parameters. This allows widget to contains more blogs and show only the ones you want.

3. I've chosen to add some other feeds from psycho-blogs I like : 

Developping intelligence by Chris Chatam

The blog of Livia Blackburne by... guess who

Neuronarrative by David DiSalvo

MindBlog by Deric Bownds

We're only Human by Wray Herbert

The Good Life by Christopher Peterson

Neuroanthropology by Paul Mason

MindBlog, We're only Human, The Good Life and NeuroAnthropology have been suggested by Sandeep Gautam from the Mouse Trap. Many Thanks for suggesting those interesting blogs.

Widget also contains the Nop Blog, for those who want to take sometimes a look on my work. I hope this widget will be usefull. 

*It takes a little time before Google entirely update all gadgets. if you don't see any change, just be patient ;).

ResearchBlogging plugin - Blogger - Igoogle...
Psychology Tools
Written by Carnegie    samedi, 09 janvier 2010

Here's an exciting new project for the ResearchBlogging community, this recently developped tool let you choose the feeds you want to follow on ResearchBlogging. Same for the Language, although Chinese language is not completed (no post on some ResearchBlogging domains, so display can be disturbed when trying to read these inexistant feeds). You can test widget here on overlay, directly by clicking this link.

So this Gadget can easily display news from your favorite science domains treated by Research bloggers. Parameters are the following : 

  • Language 
  • Feeds to follow
  • A few display parameters like font-size,  number of feeds entries and their summary length, showing dates, etc...

Note this format allow you to export easily this gadget on other platforms such as Blogger (Google's Blogspots), google toolbar... Basically, widget can be displayed on every platform where you can enter javascript or html code.

  • Display on Blogger : simply choose a new Html/javascript block then enter the widget's url :
  • Add to Google Toolbar (directly on Mozilla Firefox/Interet explorer/Chrome): will be soon released on the toolbar directory


  • Also, note that this widget's format allow you to use the code for your google websites as well. For example, recently, I noticed the psychology sites widget have been exposed on this site.
  • Finally, you can display this widget wherever you want as long as you can use google's gadget features (add the gadget on your page). note that there is an alternate possibility to display the gadget, using iframe (not the google gadget service).

Technically, this new feature made me write new piece of code so as to let user choose parameters that I now can easily add to existant widgets such as Psychology (blogs) Feeds. So I will soon rework them so as to add enhanced properties. Please take a look on the information tabs, inside the widgets, to know when enhanced features will be ready.

Please use the comment form below for any suggestion or comment. I hope this widget will be useful to you.

Clever Crows
Funny Psychology
Written by Carnegie    vendredi, 18 décembre 2009

Some crows have developed kind of surprising eating strategies.

That's what this little documentary shows : like seagull dropping crabs from sky to rocks, to open their carapace, crows of this Japan town drop walnuts on the floor to break their shell. Interesting strategy but some walnuts are coriaceous...
So crows have learn to drop walnuts on the roads : cars roll on the nuts and break them. Food has just to be eaten now!
"Just to be eaten?" well, looks like it's a little dangerous to go through the trafic to take back food... So third part of the learning, crows drop their walnut on special parts of the roads : crosswalks. When red, cars crush the nuts. Crows just now have to wait for green and go eating. Bon appetit !
Giving back speech to Locked-in Syndrome?
News from Earth
Written by Carnegie    mercredi, 16 décembre 2009

One of the most dramatic consequency of local or extensive paralysis, involving the oral motor skills, is certainly the loss of speech production. This inability to verbally communicate hinders the patient's social ties and sometimes isolates him. If the paralysis affects a significant portion of the motor skills, which is the case of Locked-in syndrome patients, the communication can only, in the best case, find a substitute in the development of a code based on the eye and eyelids movements.

The Brain-Machine Interface

A recent approach called BMI (Brain Machine Interface), however, is considering wire the brain to a computer via electrodes implanted in the cortex, recording the signals that go through it in order to send and interpret them as commands for a computer.

Beginning from the early 90s, this approach has shown impressive results in the motor control of artificial limbs, or in control of a cursor on the screen ... The cursor control also helped to partially restore speech and communication: the patient could now form words by selecting letters (by moving the cursor) by the will of his thought (Wolpaw et al, 2000-2004)(1). Other techniques combining the peak detection of visual attention with a heuristic classification of letters have been tested. However, this type of communication is particularly laborious and far from equaling the richness and speed of a casual conversation...

Return to speech

An international team(2) tried to treat the problem of restoration of communication, rather than trying to reorganize a production system of communication based on the selection of letters, but sound: aim was not to reinvent a system of communication but to rebuild a direct link between cerebral motor command and the production of sound.

A Neurotrophic **  electrod has been implanted on the cortex (On the bottom of the precentral gyrus, suspected central motor planning of movements producing speech – the left ventral premotor cortex)(3)  of a 26 years old volunteer which was suffering from deep paralysis locked-in syndrome, caused by a stroke at the brain stem. After an adjustment period during which neurites were able to colonize cones of the electrode, the learning began.

The brain activity recorded by the electrode was then transmitted by radio wave to a receiver connected to a computer, which included an output voice synthesizer. The latency between the recording of cortical activity and its synthetic production took about 50 ms. The patient therefore had a direct auditory feedback almost as fast as it would have been his own words.

Examinated over 5 months in tests of imitation (of vowel sounds), the patient showed a marked improvement in the control of sounds, from 40% of sounds correctly copied to 75%, with a maximum of 89% in the last session. Also note, the electrode itself generates the radio signal, thus limiting the risk of infection because no hole in the scalp was necessary to "connect" the brain machine. The machine itself was limited to an operating system running on a classical computer. This experiment is therefore a major breakthrough in the development of neural prostheses that could allow deep paralyzed people to almost normally “speek” with a simple laptop.

* The title of this article is of course referring to the work of Jean-Dominique Bauby, and the film of the same name, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Which describe the life and the view from inside of a Locked-in Syndrome. Also presented in these works, the art of communication based on eye movement and eyelid, and use of an alphabet of letters, arranged in order of frequency in the language.
** Neurotrophic electrode is specifically designed to be implanted in the cortex. It has several peaks or cones intended to constitute a contact with the neurons, whose extensions can connect to it. In this experiment, the electrode contained very few cones, other experiments using some more sophisticated electrodes implanted on the cortex of monkeys have shown better results in motor control of a synthetic prosthesis, as and as the number of sensors increases. This would suggest a reasonable possibility of refining the technique discussed here.

(1) Wolpaw J, McFarland D, Vaughan T (2000) Brain-computer interface research at the Wadsworth Center. IEEE Trans Rehabil Eng 8: 222-226.

Wolpaw JR, McFarland DJ (2004) Control of a Two-dimensional movement signal by a noninvasive brain-computer interface in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101: 17849-17854.
(2) Guenther FH, Brumberg JS, Wright EJ, Nieto-Castanon A, Tourville JA, et al. (2009) A Wireless Brain-Machine Interface for Real-Time Speech Synthesis . PLoS ONE 4 (12): e8218. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008218
(3) Guenther FH, Hampson M, Johnson D (1998) A theoretical investigation of reference frames for the planning of speech movements. Psych Rev 105: 611-633.

Easily follow Psychology News from several great sites
Psychology Tools
Written by Carnegie    lundi, 14 décembre 2009
New Google Gadget has been recently developed, which allows you to easily follow news from several sites concerned by Psychology. Add this Gadget on your Igoogle personnalized pages simply by clicking this link : Psychology Feeds Part II

this gadget allows you to follow feeds in a multi tabs gadget, each tabs following only one feed, so you can separately watch for what's coming from a set of very interesting sites or part of sites related to psychology. Multi-options allow you to set appearence of the feeds : set title, font-size, number of entries, length of the summaries for each post, viewing dates, description... This gadget also rebuilds the feeds to prevent html code from interfering with your page.

Psychology feeds include feeds from the followings sites : Science Daily's Mind and Brain, Scientific American's Mind and Brain, ScienceBlogs (Channel Brain and Behavior), Research Blogging (Psychology and Neuroscience), Psychology Today, Medical News Today (Psychiatry and psychology), Social Psychology Network, Google News (posts related to psychology and neuroscience)
Also is there an Information Tab, where I can add informations about evolution of the widget, (for example, ask users to vote for a new feed tab or a tools tab). I'm also working on tool tabs like Quicksearch or Translate on the fly. If you want to follow other's sites or want to make a new widget about particular domain of science (i-e, for example, physics) just let me know what you want by contacting me. For developers, Source code is available on Google code. Hope this will be useful to you !
X-Files Syndrome
Written by Carnegie    samedi, 12 décembre 2009
It's a paranormal appearance’s story which began in Friday, October 24, 1997, at a school in northern France. On the eve of the All Souls ’ Day holidays, The SAMU (Service d'Aide Médicale d'Urgence, i-e "Emergency Medical Assistance Service") is alerting the Departmental Directorate of Health and Social Affairs (named DDASS) for a strange epidemic: 32 students of a high school had just been transferred to the nearer hospital emergency service.

A strange epidemic

These students had a mysterious illness, leaving doctors baffled: redness and itching, although minor, that could not be explained by a satisfactory reason. Without being able to establish accurate diagnosis, doctors sent back their patients at home, thinking the manifestations observed were benign. The population, however, seemed worried : firefighters had conducted environmental sampling at the high school, the press was interested in the case and DDASS always wondered about the origin of this sudden epidemic ... Poisoning? Infectious agent? The status of students seemed altogether satisfactory, a little rest during the holidays and this facts would be quickly forgotten ...

But Wednesday, November 5, when students went back to school, the epidemic reappears ... The 6, a Parent Committee provides students and parents to court by filing a complaint against X*. The press has long been on the scene looking for any news on this mysterious freak of nature. Saturday 8, the school head, fearing a spread of a pathogen agent by a student, organized a general search in student school bags ... 10 to 20 cases per day eventually force the medical inspector of public health to look this delicate issue. Wednesday, 12 nov., posters were put up, stating that the disease could represent a danger to pregnant women. A true psychosis develops. 14, finally, the rector decided to close high and middle schools in order them to be disinfected.

Who Framed schoolboys?

Speculations rife, with more than one hundred cases listed and many recurrent cases. Allergic phenomenon, environmental poisoning, infectious agent, presence of dangerous chemicals ... Medical services were at least able to rule out food poisoning, cause several students were affected, including some that were not eating at schools. But the Medical Inspector of Public Health (MISP) has also noticed two other fundamental datas: adults do not seem affected by the phenomenon, which occurs at specific times of the week. These informations probably aroused his suspicions...

Initially he suggested that any new cases in the hospital would be led to Hospital for a dermatological examination and a medical evaluation. Both of them were normal, dermatologists were also puzzled and were only able to diagnose that self-induced injuries or dermatitis artifacts, so, whose origin remains a mystery ...

Given the emotional extent of the phenomenon within the population, the MISP also offers expertise in dermatological CHRU (University research hospital center) of Lille, in the dermatology specialized service. Finally, doctors from CHRU solved the mystery, whose origin dates back to October 17, previous month. 107 cases (71 recidivist cases among them) were then informed of the diagnosis. Necessary measures were taken and no new cases appeared. November 14, the epidemic was finally stopped and the school opened its doors a few days later. But what the hell is the trigger event, October 17, that set the medical machine  in motion?

Mulder and Scully, infectious agents?

Given the symptoms, the two dermatologists CHRU experts could only confirm the diagnosis of previous physicians. Intentional self-induced or accidental injuries. One of them, however, noticed the similarity of these lesions with those he had seen a few weeks ago on television, in the X-Files series, which, in 1997, aroused enthusiasm in the French population, especially in adolescents... That looked to be part of the trigger event.

One of the first  affected student confessed voluntarily rubbing to get injuries. Then the atmosphere of anxiety contributed to the expansion of the "epidemic". Surprisingly, new cases appeared only during the weekdays, not on Week-ends ... The MISP ends by suggesting a collective phenomenon initiated by a few cases, more or less voluntary.

Distribution of epithelial lesions - Image BEH (2002)
Some explanations : Dark cases are unique non recidivist cases. Grey cases are recidivist ones. note that a few or simply no cases are reported on hollidays or saturday/sunday. First and second alert concerned DDASS. Third arrow is when investigation started. Forth is closure of the school. Fifth is when Dermatologic expertise in the CHRU started and diagnosis of X-files syndrome were established - and explained to "sick" peoples. No new cases were then reported...

Several observations support this hypothesis. The first cases described were those of 4 students, older than the others and regarded as leaders, also presenting some kind of psychological and family disorders. In the first 32 cases as well, many students were part of the same friend group. But that alone, does not explain the extent that the phenomenon has taken. Doctors gave it the sweet name of "X-Files syndrom”. Once diagnosis were established, all turned back to normal. But this syndrome is yet indeed, and is named "Mass Psychogenic Illness", formerly known as Mass hysteria. The name of collective hysteria, considered as pejorative, however, is gradually abandoned.
Note that most of affected peoples are adolescents or (surprise?) Medical staff, as evidenced by many observations made in hospitals or clinics(1). The sex ratio is generally oriented toward a predominance of women, which was the case here: 1.8 girls for 1 boy. The disease, atypical, bizarre, erratic and often resistant to diagnosis, occurs more readily during the hours of work than during the holidays or week-end. Trigger factor may be an anxiety event. In the case of the school, the day of onset of symptoms coincided with the distribution of student appreciation report. The atmosphere of collective anxiety is an aggravating factor and even dominant (that’s precisely why it’s called mass phenomenon). Some psychological predispositions (nervousness, depression, psychiatric history) are also individual risk factors.
If the symptoms are becoming better defined, it remains difficult but indispensable to early evoke this diagnosis, in order to avoid the inertia that leads to collective anxiety. When the media get involved, and that medicine fumbles, we’re quick to worry and to encourage the movement, but may it’s just that ... The truth is out there!

(1) - Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin, No. 15-16, April 24, 2007. Psychogenic syndromes: knowledges and case studies. Institut de veille sanitaire
- B. Letourneau, E. Truth, B. Boone, Bleuzé V., Pons E. (2002). X-Files syndrome in a school . BEH, 01 January 2002.
For more information:
- By the same author, Mass psychogenic phenomena On Psychoweb (fr).
- By the same author, Sick building syndrome (fr).

* I don’t know if the term is correct. French “Plainte contre X” means that some peoples ask justice services to open investigation about a fact, without knowing his origin or peoples responsibles for this.
- I will soon make a descriptive article about this Mass psychogenic illness syndrome.
Psychology Feeds
Psychology Tools
Written by Carnegie    vendredi, 11 décembre 2009

Recently developed, this Google Gadget allows you to easily follow news from several blogs concerned by Psychology. Add this Gadget on your Igoogle personnalized pages simply by clicking this link : Psychology Feeds

this gadget allows you to follow feeds in a multi tabs gadget, each tabs following only one feed, so you can separately watch for what's coming from a set of very interesting blogs related to psychology. Multi-options allow you to set appearence of the feeds : set title, font-size, number of entries, length of the summaries for each post, viewing dates, description... This gadget also rebuilds the feeds to prevent html code from interfering with your page.

Psychology feeds include feeds from the followings blogs/sites : BPS Research Digest, Cognitive Daily, Mind Hacks, Neurophilosophy, Psyblog (, PsychCentral (the blog), The Frontal Cortex, Corpus Callosum, Neurotopia, Neuroskeptic and the Neurocritic. Even though Not Exactly Rocket Science is also Not Exactly Related to Psychology, it's representing a open window to other sciences that I thought, will be useful in this widget.

Further developments could be include in the future. For this, i've made an Information Tab, where I can add informations about evolution of the widget, (for example, ask users to vote for a new feed tab or a tools tab). I now plan to create others widgets like this about Psychology sites (following Science Dailly or Scientific American's Mind & Brain, for example), about General Science or about Research Blogging. I'm also working on tool tabs like Quicksearch or Translate on the fly. If you want to follow other's sites or want to make a new widget about particular domain of science (i-e, for example, physics) just let me know what you want by contacting me. For developers, Source code is available on Google code. Hope this will be useful to you !

Not only Psychology - About this site
Wild Posts
Written by Carnegie    jeudi, 10 décembre 2009

Welcome to the Not only Psychology (Nop) blog.

First of all, you may want to know who's behind this site. I'm a french student, Psychology fascinates me and for sure, i'd like to share some informations related to it on this blog. Cause I'm french and not particularly good at speaking english, I first ask you to be indulgent, if you see any grammar or vocabulary mistakes, or if my writing style looks strange to you. Be sure I'll try to do my best.

Why not only Psychology?

there are several reasons for which I want to deal here with Psychology in particular ways.

  • First, there are a lot of interesting blogs or site that talk about Psychology. You can see on the Nop Blog homepage some examples of them : Mind Hacks, Cognitive Daily, BPSrd, etc...English and American's blogospher is particularly dense, concerning psychology. Many interesting writings are posted each day on these blogs. So i'll try to talk about Psychology with some original points of view, dealing with subjects that are not particularely discussed, or sharing tools, scripts or informations that i hope, will be usefull for Psychology blogs webmasters. So first point is that i'll try to give to American and English Psychology blogospher, original information about psychology thematics that are not well documented, such as atypical syndroms (Mass hysteria, foreign accent syndrom, synaesthesia...),  artificial intelligence and life, animal psychology, or summary transcriptions of french articles.
  • Others Sciences. Since end of year 2007, i've made and participated to a french site named , on which i share some writings about impact of others sciences like mathematics or physics, on Psychology (for example, i talk about Lambda calculus or chaos theory, history of the eye for an eye law, behaviors of ants or bumblebees...). I think there are a lot of interesting informations on others sciences that could greatly help psychologists and researchers. So second, i'll try to write posts about those links between Psycho and others sciences.
  • Tools for psychologists, webmasters. As a webmaster, i sometimes create and share scripts or graphic tools, gadgets or else. For example, i've made a (sorry, french only) wordpress plugin that gives readers, for each article, html code to cite an article with normative format of APA or MLA style ; it also have others general features like send by mails or share in especially chosen social sites (reliables for science or psychology). I've too created some gadgets to follow interesting feeds more easily, scripts for others sites/blogs principally related to psychology, or the googlepsy (fr) platforms that allows french readers to do a request and have many results related to psychology on a single page (ordered by type - articles, books, videos... - or style - articles, news, forum, definitions...- of documents). I also sometimes discuss about Internet in the field of psychology, developments that could be useful or tools that looks useful to me for psychologists or Psy webmasters. Increase Psychology activity on the web doesn't limit to sharing informations, it also is concerned by adaptating web for psychology and psychology for web, so, third, i'll try to write some posts about scripts, tools and practices on internet, related to psychology, psychologists or Psy webmastering.
  • Humourous posts ! Sure, Psychology is a serious science. That doesn't mean it allways have to be taken seriously. Like Ed Yong from Not Exactly Rocket Science, I think that strong scientific articles could be sometimes "digested" in order to make them accessible to peoples that are not scientists or students. More, I think we can find pedagogic ways in some entertaining activities. For example, films that talk about some psychological diseases could be an amazing entry door, that interest people in learning more about it. That's kind of pedagogic way to lead readers and viewers to increase their knowledge, and for us, to share our exciting subjects.
Internet Addiction / Internet pratice troubles
Funny Psychology
Written by Carnegie    mercredi, 09 décembre 2009

The Neurocritic discuss in an interesting article(1) about the meaning of what Kimberley Young calls Internet addiction. In 1996, Young proposed in "Internet addiction, the emergence of a new clinical disorder" some criteria that may be used to diagnose this controversal condition.

Far away from the debate, here are some clinical facts about use of internet, including mails, games or other web practices.

Teenages, the easier target of Internet addiction?

Contrary to what medias commonly divulgate, not teenages but mens from 20 to 30 years olds seem to be more concerned by intensive practice of game or others activities ont the web.


Internet Kills !


As well as taking a bath is the sea with a knight's armor. This is really rare (but it did happen !). Medias strongly exaggerate dangerosity of internet, as they prefer emotionnal schock rather than reasonnable discuss about real dangers of "Internet addiction", such as lack of sociabilization, affective retreat... Isn't it funny that parents self-scandalized about dangerosity of computer when the number of road kills, because of the portable telephon, increase. Adults are far more concerned by riskly behaviors related to technology than their kids.

As well as for other addiction, men with Internet practice troubles underestim their dependance. Some clues in conversation point out their internet activity is omnipresent in mind. Such behaviors as leaving early their friends in order to reach the screen, breaking conversation to make "something more urgent", or being irritable when no connexion is possible, can show Internet is a bind for some men. Still, the controversy about considering Internet practice troubles as addiction is vigourous. As an addiction, Internet addiction would be closely related to others ackknowledged addictions such as alcoolism or hazard games addiction (casino).


Internet Addiction at work?

Some says Internet addiction exists, even at work : Study by Hewlett Packard showed that one adult on five could rather treat and answer their mails than eat at lunch time.

Want to know more? Here are some interesting further readings :

(1) The Neurocritic : Does internet addiction really shrink your brain? Nov 2009. retrieved on 8 dec 2009. (eng)

Dr Vaughan Bell (Mind Hacks) Internet addiction storms break in China . Aug. 2009. retrieved as well on 8 dec 2009. (eng)

From the same author : Jeux vidéos et Psychologie 3 : Cyberdépendance . Dec 2007. retrieved on 8 dec 2009. (fr)

The Brain Google
Internet Psychology
Written by Carnegie    mardi, 08 décembre 2009
Action Potential or Pagerank Algorithm? Learning or Duplicate content management? Is Google, the most popular search engine,  that successful because of the similarities that its working reveals, with our own brain? Has this analogy something reliable? Well, it seems that we can find in the program, algorithms reflecting some cerebral functions that optimize our own performances.... What if Google was the brain of the humanity?
Does it sounds strange to you? A few years ago, Joshua Knobe and Jesse Prinz(1) showed that we commonly discern, in entities like God, Microsoft, (and so on Google), intentionality, and some others capacities that we generally attribute to human. We naturally personnalized these entities as if they were relatively close to be human person. So, sentences like "Google plans to create a new service" sounds as plausible to us as "B. Obama plans to create a new administrative section". Among this capacities, we commonly attribute to such entities, willingness, planification, believes, decision-making or knowledge. However, immediate experiences as joy or anger, don't seem to apply to God or business corporations, according to this Scientific American's article(2).
Nevertheless, we feel like, face to these entities, that we can attribute them some characteristics that we generally considered as human's ones, or at least, as characteristics of living organisms. With the 5 capacities cited above, we're not as far as we should believe from the consciouness capacity (planification, cognition, motivation...).

Especially concerning Google, the "aim" of this entity looks more similar to the human thought : google's aim is to (automatically) find, like we would want to find (well, with a very long searching time). What the user wants to find, Google must, sometimes guess it, and in the best case, find it.  In this way, its aim is : replacing our own brain while searching through information on the web. So it's not as strange as it first looked, that we can see in Google some "brain capacities", simulated and made in order to do what the real brain usually do.

Neuron Networks and Web Pages

Some of the most known facts about the Search Engine Google, is the use of links when creating the index and attributing pagerank. The web crawler analyses pages and follow links on it, like an electric message going through the neurons, reaching others via chemical synapses. Each link is considered as a vote for the page linked. Importance attributed to a Page A is higher when the link comes from a high pageranked page B. So, original pagerank B constitutes a ponderation for vote from B to A. That's kindly similar to neurons : each neuron intersection (synapse) can have more importance than its neighbors. Some will not be sufficiant to get fired the post-neuron, some other will. Post neuron has higher probability of activation if there's a lot of activating pre-neuron (instead of just a few), and higher probability too if the activating pre-neurons are better connected to him (i-e, if there are many synapses connecting them, or if the synapses are more efficient - due to learning by precedent firings). These similarities between the brain machinery and the google's programms are not the only ones !

Informatic - Google
Biology - Brain
Pages network
Neurons network
Google exploration bot (web crawler). It goes through pages and follow links they contains.
Nerve influx. Electro-chemical influx go through the neurons and follow synapses they contains.

How googles learn? Google Programs attribute pagerank to Page A, regarding its importance, i-e thenumber of links and their pagerank, which the bot has passed through to join page A.

How network learn? Networks "attribute ponderations" to connexions, regarding the number, activation frequency and power of these connexions.

The more there are links to a Page A, the higher is Pagerank A
The more there are active simultaneous connexions exciting the neuron, the higher is probability of activation
The higher is pagerank with a link to page A, the higher is pagerank A
 The better neuron B is connected to neuron A (synaptic efficiency or high number of synaptic connexions between the two neurons), the higher is the probability of activation

Duplicate Content : this parameter increase learning. If two pages have the same content, baclinks don't add, these are two different pages for Google. So pageranking is inefficient, better have only one page that concentrates all backlinks. This duplicate content parameter allows google to "prefer" original pages and separate original content from duplicate, in order to propose the best searching results.                                        

Learning network. When you try for the first time an activity, that's kindly hard, your mind have to be concentrated, and distractors can interfer easily. However, as you repeat this activity, the most efficient neurons ways are "preferred" and some treatments become unconscious, you're becoming an expert. What with your neurons? They're like a wild forest at the beginning of the learning : there's not a prefered way but several to a goal. As you walk through a specific way several times, to reach this goal more rapidly and efficiently, your foots crush grass and begin to form a real road, and other ways are neglected. Same for neurons. At the beginning, there are several neuronal roads, then with learning, the more efficient road is prefered, and the activity becomes progressively automatic or routine.

Semantic. Link anchors are very important for Google to define subject of the page linked. Link as "click here" doesn't mean anything to Google. Same link noted "discover this article from Stephane, dealing with similarities between mechanical Google and the biological brain" allows google to define tags that give a signification, semantic attributes, to the page linked.

There are local and global semantic contexts defined by several techniques : key words of the sites gives global contexte (like a specific part of a semantic graph), keywords of the page gives local context (like a node in this graph), links are like semantic arcs between nodes.

Note that if you can't really control links from outer sites, you can define and controls your own links, in order to help google in attributing semantic to your pages.

 According to some memory theories, connexions define semantics and contextual fields. In that way, thinking of a Fireman will pre-active some concepts as "red", "truck", "hot"... the more the context is define and important, the better the learning is. Power of the context is high.For example, you may not recognize a student if you see him on hollidays, cause you are used to see him only in the university. Some experimentations have shown that informations are better remembered if you have the same conditions (like color of the ink, noise, emotionnal state) that were when you learn. Some researchers believe these properties are effective at the neuron's level

A summary of some Google's "cerebral capacities"

So, conclusion?

Google is created to be a simulation, the more efficient as possible, of the search and decision capacities of the user. So, if you want to create a correct site, you can try to considered search engine as a replica of human brain. When you want to train your brain, you work and learn. In that way, you increase its activity by receiving informations from outside and reasoning on information from inside. Google do the same. It's not sufficient that backlinks points to your site, that's reasonable to improve your site's structure in order to give meanings to your pages and links, in order to make your pages accessibles (meaningful links between your pages of your site). Don't use the "click here" or "this page" links, prefer meaningful ones like "alzheimer disease" or "Neurological characteristics of the cortex".

Keep in mind that semantic information of a page (i-e the meaning that google associates to your page) is closely related to 4 parameters :

  • Url : is less meaningful than
  • Metas :principally keywords, define your content and help google to associates search words to your content. Description of your page too, and in addition, it appears on the search results, so that often the first thing users see when searching. 
  • The content ! it is analysed by Google, so better be your content in adequation with your keywords and description, as well as when you search through your memory a recollection of you when you were 8 years old, you start to search through your child recollections, not through your recent recollections. Your content should contains your keywords, so they will be seen by google as a resume, indexation of your page.
  • Links and anchors. In order to "judge" what a site "think" about yours, google can only base its statement on the url, the "alt and title" attributes, the anchors (words displayed), and the thematics of the page. So, in order to help google, others sites and yours, define good and meaningfull links.


Pour en savoir plus : Knobe J., Prinz J. (2006). Intuitions about consciouness. Experimental studies.
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