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September 23 2014

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September 22 2014

John the Salafist
(Leonardo da Vinci, 1513-16, Louvre)
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Wzorowa rodzina
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September 21 2014

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September 20 2014

September 19 2014

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Atheist vs Christian Fundraiser
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21 Important Moments In The Life of An Atheist
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The Ig Nobel Neuroscience Prize 2014

Seeing Jesus in toast:
Neural and behavioral correlates of face pareidolia

by Jiangang Liu, Jun Li, Lu Feng, Ling Li, Jie Tian, Kang Lee
Cortex, 01/2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2014.01.013

Face pareidolia is the illusory perception of non-existent faces. The present study, for the first time, contrasted behavioral and neural responses of face pareidolia with those of letter pareidolia to explore face-specific behavioral and neural responses during illusory face processing. Participants were shown pure-noise images but were led to believe that 50% of them contained either faces or letters; they reported seeing faces or letters illusorily 34% and 38% of the time, respectively. The right fusiform face area (rFFA) showed a specific response when participants “saw” faces as opposed to letters in the pure-noise images. Behavioral responses during face pareidolia produced a classification image that resembled a face, whereas those during letter pareidolia produced a classification image that was letter-like. Further, the extent to which such behavioral classification images resembled faces was directly related to the level of face-specific activations in the right FFA. This finding suggests that the right FFA plays a specific role not only in processing of real faces but also in illusory face perception, perhaps serving to facilitate the interaction between bottom-up information from the primary visual cortex and top-down signals from the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Whole brain analyses revealed a network specialized in face pareidolia, including both the frontal and occipito-temporal regions. Our findings suggest that human face processing has a strong top-down component whereby sensory input with even the slightest suggestion of a face can result in the interpretation of a face.
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September 18 2014

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Air Force will no longer require 'so help me God' in oaths | Circa News
The Air Force says it has changed its policy and will now allow service members to omit the phrase "so help me God" from their enlistment oaths.
The policy change, reported by the AP, follows a threat of legal action from an atheist airman in Nevada who was trying to re-enlist. The airman, who was religious when he enlisted in 2003, recently crossed out "so help me God" on his re-enlistment paperwork. Crossing out the words violated a policy against omissions.
The airman had been told he would not be able to enlist unless he swore an oath to God. The airman's lawyer subsequently threatened to sue if his client wasn't allowed to re-enlist by Sept. 19.
-- cir.ca news
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September 15 2014

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God is Love
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