The Last Mile Problem

Solving Social Problems with a Nudge
Sendhil Mullainathan
Behavioral economist
TEDIndia 2009

MacArthur winner Sendhil Mullainathan uses the lens of behavioral economics to study a tricky set of social problems — those we know how to solve, but don’t. We know how to reduce child deaths due to diarrhea, how to prevent diabetes-related blindness and how to implement solar-cell technology … yet somehow, we don’t or can’t. Why?

cited in:
http://www.ideas42.org/learn
[http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/08/06/487620412/scientific-secrets-to-keep-kids-in-college]

How Can A Nudge Save A Life?
TED Radio Hour
June 24, 2016
http://www.npr.org/2016/06/24/483136951/how-can-a-nudge-save-a-life

October 24, 2015
http://thepsychreport.com/business-org/how-do-we-solve-the-last-mile

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Unconscious determinants of free decisions (2008)

Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain
Nature Neuroscience 11, 543 – 545 (2008)
http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v11/n5/full/nn.2112.html
Chun Siong Soon, … John-Dylan Haynes

There has been a long controversy as to whether subjectively ‘free’ decisions are determined by brain activity ahead of time.
We found that the outcome of a decision can be encoded in brain activity of prefrontal and parietal cortex up to 10 s before it enters awareness.
This delay presumably reflects the operation of a network of high-level control areas that begin to prepare an upcoming decision long before it enters awareness.

cited by:
Introduction to Neuroeconomics: how the brain makes decisions
Coursera. July 2014
https://www.coursera.org/course/neuroec

cf:
Wilheml Wundt
structuralist
structuralism
introspection
{Understanding Psychology © 2014. p. 8}

related:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/time-flew-we-must-have-been-having-fun

Decoding visual object perception from fMRI

fusiform face area (FFA, red) and parahippocampal place area (PPA, blue).
A human observer, who was only given signals from the FFA and PPA of each participant, was able to estimate with 85% accuracy which of the two categories the participants were imagining.

Decoding mental states from brain activity in humans
John-Dylan Haynes and Geraint Rees
Nature Reviews Neuroscience 7, 523-534 (July 2006)
http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v7/n7/full/nrn1931.html

Recent advances in human neuroimaging have shown that it is possible to accurately decode a person’s conscious experience based only on non-invasive measurements of their brain activity. Such ‘brain reading‘ has mostly been studied in the domain of visual perception, where it helps reveal the way in which individual experiences are encoded in the human brain.
The same approach can also be extended to other types of mental state, such as covert attitudes and lie detection. Such applications raise important ethical issues concerning the privacy of personal thought.

cited by:
Introduction to Neuroeconomics: how the brain makes decisions
Coursera. July 2014
https://www.coursera.org/course/neuroec

Richard Gregory’s Dalmatian image

Richard Gregory’s Dalmatian image
http://pmrb.net/blog/tag/images

when we are talking about elite art, such as art galleries, classic music, even very good rock concerts, there is much more to it than just hyper-stimulation. There is an aspect of cleverness involved. One of them has to do with what Ramachandran calls a “pick-a-boo” principle in our brain. This is perfectly illustrated in Richard Gregory’s Dalmatian image.

Now, if you look at the image, you see pure black spots on a white background. But if you keep looking at it, you’ll notice a “pattern”, that of a dalmatian dog. When your mind finds out that it fits the Dalmatian pattern and “solves” the image puzzle, it reacts as if it said “Aha! There it is!”

figure used by:
Introduction to Neuroeconomics: how the brain makes decisions
Coursera. July 2014
https://www.coursera.org/course/neuroec

Prefrontal lobe regions & decision making

Prefrontal lobe regions of human brain activated during decision making.

Brains and Decision Making
in: Principles of Animal Communication
Bradbury & Vehrencamp
© 2011 Sinauer Associates, Inc.
http://sites.sinauer.com/animalcommunication2e/chapter08.07.html

figure used by:
Introduction to Neuroeconomics: how the brain makes decisions
Coursera. July 2014
https://www.coursera.org/course/neuroec