Benjamin James Kuper Smith public
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This is the first episode of a book club series on Peter Gärdenfors's book Conceptual Spaces. In this episode, we will discuss chapters 1 and 2, which provide an overview over the book, and a discussion of the three kinds of representation: subconceptual, conceptual, and symbolic. For this series, I'm joined by Koen Frolichcs, who was already my co…
 
Michael Hornberger is a professor of applied dementia research who developed Sea Hero Quest, a mobile game for studying spatial navigation that was downloaded more than 4 million times. In this conversation, we talk about Sea Hero Quest, how Michael (together with Hugo Spiers) developed it, the first findings, and dementia in general. BJKS Podcast …
 
Dan Quintana is a senior researcher at the University of Olso, where his research focuses on oxytocin, autism, and meta-analyses. In this conversation, we talk about Dan's primer on synthetic datasets, science comunication, Everything Hertz, and podcasting in general. BJKS Podcast is a podcast about neuroscience, psychology, and anything vaguely re…
 
In episode 42 I interviewed Matthias Stangl about his work on spatial navigation. I wanted to ask him a few questions about postdoc applications, but we ran out of time. Matthias kindly agreed to meet again for a few questions that I would add to the end of our conversation. We ended up speaking for almost an hour, so instead of adding this to an e…
 
Matthias Stangl is a postdoc at UCLA, where he studies the neural representations of spatial navigation in social situations. In this conversation, we talk about his PhD work about aging, grid cells, and path integration, about his recent Nature paper, about the difference between movement in VR and actual physical movement, and much more. BJKS Pod…
 
This is the second episode of an experiment: I'll be reviewing all books called "Prisoner's Dilemma". Today I'm reviewing The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart and Prisoner's Dilemma by Ilexa Yardley. BJKS Podcast is a podcast about neuroscience, psychology, and anything vaguely related, hosted by Benjami…
 
This episode is the start of an experiment: I'll be reviewing all books called "Prisoner's Dilemma", and today I'm starting with the first two books. Basically, I use the Prisoner's Dilemma in my own work and realised that there are 26 books with that title (or minor variant thereof). So, as a very silly idea, I decided to review them all and see w…
 
Nikolai Axmacher is professor at the Institue for Cognitive Neuroscience at the Ruhr University Bochum where his research focuses on memory, spatial navigation, and neurodegenerative diseases. In this conversation, we talk about how he and his colleagues found that people with a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's showed reduced grid-cell like acti…
 
Keno Juechems is a Junior Research Fellow at St John's College in Oxford. He studies how humans make decisions, using computational modelling, behavioural tasks, and fMRI. In this conversation, we talk about his papers "Optimal utility and probability functions for agents with finite computational precision" and "Where does value come from?", and v…
 
Jacob Bellmund is a postdoc at the Max Planck in Leipzig, studying spatial navigation, cognitive maps, and episodic memory. In this conversation, we talk about his research on deforming cognitive maps, abstract cognitive maps, and the translation of the spatial navigation literature to abstract spaces. BJKS Podcast is a podcast about neuroscience, …
 
This is the third and final episode of our discussion of Andrea Wulf's biography of Alexander von Humboldt, The Invention of Nature. In this episode, we will discuss part 5 and have a general discussion about the entire book. As always with the book club, in each episode we will talk about whatever happened, so there will be spoilers and it probabl…
 
This is the second episode of our discussion of Andrea Wulf's biography of Alexander von Humboldt, The Invention of Nature. In this episode, we will discuss parts 3 and 4. As always with the book club, in each episode we will talk about whatever happened, so there will be spoilers and it probably makes most sense if you have read as far as we have.…
 
This is the first episode of the third edition of the book club. This time, we're reading Andrea Wulf's biography of Alexander von Humboldt, The Invention of Nature. In this episode, we will discuss parts 1 and 2. As always with the book club, in each episode we will talk about whatever happened, so there will be spoilers and it probably makes most…
 
Bryan Bruns is an independent consultant sociologist, working mainly on water irrigation systems in southeast Asia. He also publishes academic papers about game theory. In this conversation, we talk about how he became a consultant sociologist, what that even means, how to learn foreign languages, his work on 2*2 games, how to transform a social di…
 
In this episode, we discuss Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World. Unlike the book club episodes (in which we read around 100 pages per week of the book), the book discussions will be one-off discussions of books that for one reason or another affected me. For this book discussion, I'm again joined by Antonia Eisenköck, who works in academic publis…
 
Stuart Ritchie is Lecturer at King's College London, where he studies behavioural genetics in relation to personality and cognitive ability. In this conversation, we don't talk about any of that though but instead focus on his book Science Fictions, a book about how science goes wrong, and the topics covered therein. BJKS Podcast is a podcast about…
 
This is the third and final episode of our book club on Lee Child's first novel Killing Floor, the novel that introduced Jack Reacher. As always with the book club, there will be spoilers and it probably makes most sense if you have read as far as we have. I will also be reading some quotes I highlighted from Reacher Said Nothing by Andy Martin, a …
 
Anna Riedl is a cognitive scientist, currently finishing her MSc in cognitive science in Vienna. She is also founder of Effective Altruism Austria, and co-organiser of the Rationality Vienna Meetup. In this conversation, we talk about cognitive science, rationality, effective altruism, visualisation in science communication, and much more. BJKS Pod…
 
This is the second episode of our book club on Lee Child's first novel Killing Floor, the novel that introduced Jack Reacher. As always with the book club, there will be spoilers and it probably makes most sense if you have read as far as we have. I will also be reading some quotes I highlighted from Reacher Said Nothing by Andy Martin, a book I'm …
 
Nichola Raihani is a professor of evolution and behaviour at University College London. Her research focuses on the evolution of punishment and paranoia. In this conversation, we talk about the fieldwork she did for her PhD in the Kalahari desert, the evolution of punishment, proximate and ultimate explanations, cleaner fish, and Nichola's book The…
 
This is the first episode of our book club on Killing Floor by Lee Child, his first novel, the novel that introduced Jack Reacher. As always with the book club, there will be spoilers and it probably makes most sense if you have read as far as we have. I will also be reading some quotes I highlighted from Reacher Said Nothing by Andy Martin, a book…
 
Désirée Brucks is a postdoc at the University of Giessen and studies social cognition in animals, having worked with dogs, wolves, parrots, and a few more species. She is currently studying farm animals. In this conversation, we talk mainly about her work on inequty aversion in dogs and helping behaviour in parrots. Along the way, I get to ask all …
 
This is the final episode of our discussion of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment (Oliver Ready's translation for Penguin Classics), in which we discuss the epilogue and have a more general discussion about the book. For this first book club series, I'm joined by Antonia Eisenköck. We did our Masters degree in Brain and Mind Sciences together…
 
Pete Trimmer is a behavioural scientist who works as a senior teaching fellow at the University of Wawrick. His research, almost exclusively theoretical, focuses on the evolution of learning, decision-making, and physiological processes. In this conversation, we talk about a wide range of topics: how Pete became a world-class croquet player (former…
 
In this episode, we discuss part 5 and then part 6 of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment (Oliver Ready's translation for Penguin Classics). For this first book club series, I'm joined by Antonia Eisenköck. We did our Masters degree in Brain and Mind Sciences together at UCL. Since then, Antonia has gotten a PhD in psychology and now works in …
 
Giuliana Spadaro is a postdoc in the Amsterdam Cooperation Lab, directed by Daniel Balliet. Her research focuses on cooperation and prosociality. In this conversation, we talk about Giuliana's recent work on the Cooperation Databank (https://cooperationdatabank.org/), a database that contains around 2,600 studies on cooperation, coded by experts to…
 
In this episode, we discuss part 3 and then part 4 of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment (Oliver Ready's translation for Penguin Classics). For this first book club series, I'm joined by Antonia Eisenköck. We did our Masters degree in Brain and Mind Sciences together at UCL. Since then, Antonia has gotten a PhD in psychology and now works in …
 
Erik Wengström is a Professor of Economics at Lund University where he studies how people behave in economic and financial situations. In this conversation, we talk about his study about loss aversion when deciding for others and his recent study on prosociality during the COVID-19 pandemic. Along the way, we also discuss the differences and simila…
 
This is a new kind of episode for this podcast: in addition to the interviews, I will now do a book club in which I and a friend read a long book (>500 pages) I've always wanted to read but haven't gotten around to. We will read around 100 pages per week and sit down for an hour to chat about the book. To not clog up the podcast feed, I'll publish …
 
Bianca Trovò is a PhD student at Neurospin and Sorbonne Université, where she studies self-initiated movements. Recently, she is a developer of Ants-Review, a blockchain-based protocol for incentivising scientific peer review. In this conversation, we talk mainly about Ants-Review and I ask questions from the perspective of a scientist who isn't pa…
 
Brock Bastian is a professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne whose research focuses on pain, happiness, and morality. In this conversation, we talk about Brock's work on how and why pain is meaningful. We talk about Brock's work on pain and cooperation, reproducibility in social psychology, his books The Other Side of Happiness, the va…
 
Kate Jeffery is a professor of behavioural neuroscience at University College London, where she works on spatial navigation. In this conversation, we talk about the history of spatial navigation, Kate's work on grid cells and place cells in 3D, and her recent work on entropy and brain evolution. Timestamps 0:00:05: Kate's journey from medicine to n…
 
Tessa Rusch is a postdoc working on computational modelling of social interactions at Caltech in the labs of Ralph Adolphs and John O'Doherty. She is also part of COVID-Dynamic project, a large-scale longitudinal study on the psychological effects of the COVID pandemic. In this conversation, we talk about Tessa's experiences of being part of such a…
 
Joe Hilgard is Assistant Professor of Social Psychology at Illinois State University. In this conversation, we discuss his work on detecting and reporting scientific fraud. BJKS Podcast is a podcast about neuroscience, psychology, and anything vaguely related, hosted by Benjamin James Kuper-Smith. New conversations every other Friday. You can find …
 
Eiko Fried is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at Leiden University. He recently published a target article in Psychological Inquiry about the lack of theory building in network and factor models, and how this impedes progress. In this conversation, we talk about that article, problems with theories in psychology, Eiko's general approa…
 
Jesse Geerts is a PhD student at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre at UCL, in the lab of Neil Burgess. We met a few years ago when we were in the same cohort of the Dual Masters in Brain and Mind Sciences, hosted in the first year in London by UCL and in the second year in Paris by UPMC and ENS. In this conversation, we talk about Jesse's new paper in …
 
Hanne Watkins is an adviser for the Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government. Previously, she was a PhD student and postdoc studying how humans think about morality in the context of war. In this conversation, we talk about Hanne's move from academia to governmental work, and about her previous work on morality in a war context. We a…
 
This episode features two guests: Coco Kühnapfel and Ian Stewart, who are half of the team behind EDGE. EDGE is an organisation that tries to bring together neuroscientists and artists to enable communication and to strengthen the intersection between the two fields. EDGE organises workshops and art exhibitions. In this conversation, we talk about …
 
Paul Smaldino is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Merced. His research focus is broad and includes cultural and social evolution, cooperation, and philosophy of science. In this conversation, we focus on Paul's recent papers on modelling, which I have found very useful in my own attempts of getting started with creating forma…
 
Jonathan Berman is Associate Professor of Marketing at the London Business School. His main research focus is on judgment and decision-making. In this conversation, we talk predominately about Jonathan's paper "Moral Choice When Harming is Unavoidable" that came out this year in Psychological Science. As part of our conversation about this paper, w…
 
Toby Wise is a postdoc at UCL and Caltech. He uses computational modelling and neuroimaging to study the mechanisms underlying anxiety and depression. I first encountered Toby when he and I published separate preprints on PsyArXiv on the same topic (risk perception for COVID-19) within a few hours of each other. In this conversation, we talk about …
 
Antonia Wesseloh is a fashion model who has worked with some of the most esteemed fashion brands (including Prada, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, and Dior). We first met when Antonia did an internship for her Bachelor's degree in Psychology in our lab. In this conversation, we talk about Antonia's path in fashion, and I ask Antonia for some ad…
 
Cody Kommers is a PhD student in experimental psychology at the University of Oxford, focussing on social cognition. He also writes popular science and hosts two podcasts: Cognitive Revolution and Notes From The Field. In this conversation, we talk about a variety of topics, including how to start a podcast, how to run a podcast while doing a PhD, …
 
Catherine Preston is a cognitive neuroscientist, studying body perception and self-awareness. Catherine and I first met in Stockholm in 2014 when I was doing an internship in Henrik Ehrsson's lab. Catherine was my day-to-day supervisor, and our project investigated full-body illusions viewed in a mirror. Catherine has since moved to York, where she…
 
Aaron is a cognitive neuroscientist, working on volition and consciousness. Aaron and I met in 2016 in Paris when I did my MSc thesis in his lab at Neurospin on decoding planned and spontaneous movements, using M/EEG. Aaron has since moved to California where he is Assistant Professor at Chapman University. In this conversation, we talk about Aaron…
 
Matthias Nau is a cognitive neuroscientist at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience in Trondheim, Norway. He finished his PhD recently in Christian Doeller's group at the Kavli, where he currently works as a postdoc. Whenever the current pandemic cools down, Matthias will start a position as a postdoc at NIH with Chris Baker (this position w…
 
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