Over the past couple of days, I've come across two very interesting posts which I thought I'd share: the first is the concept of "Cognitive Reserve", by way of an interview with one of its main proponents, and the second is an interesting look at robot ethics and machine consciousness, with some nice links to some very interesting people.
Cognitive Reserve: SharpBrains has an interview with Yaakov Stern (Division Leader of the Cognitive Neuroscience Division of the Sergievsky Center, and Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York) on Cognitive Reserve. The idea is basically that some people who are better able to withstand the effects of Alzheimer's have a greater cognitive reserve, i.e. numbers of neurons, which make up for the deficit. Also central to the theory is that mental and physical training aids in the building up of this cognitive reserve in a cumulative way.
Robot Ethics: A nice post I came across a few days ago at Bloggetiblog - a discussion of robot ethics. It mentions the humanoid robot Cronos in relation to Owen Hollands machine consciousness project, a quote from Murray Shanahan, and a brief look at the ethical issues facing robots and their designers. Altogether a nice read.