terça-feira, 28 de dezembro de 2010

Michael Gazzaniga: Brains, Beliefs, and Beyond

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Michael Gazzaniga SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind, UC Santa Barbara
Michael Gazzaniga lays the framework for the conference “Biological Foundations of Morality? Neuroscience, Evolution, and Morality” by exploring the 24/7 brain. He describes the brain as a parallel distributive system, constantly and unconsciously processing information. Meanwhile, a region in the left hemisphere of the brain collects the information from all systems and interprets some of what’s going on. The running narrative gives us the illusion of unity and control.

Sharing his decades-long research with split-brain patients, Gazzaniga pinpoints the hemispheres of the brain responsible for processing certain types of information including language, imagery and empathy. He shows how the interpreter works even when the hemispheres of the brain aren’t connected. Gazzaniga also introduces the theory of mind and the concept of mirror neurons and how they characterize our social interactions and our ability to model others and empathize.

This lecture is part of the conference "Biological Foundations of Morality? Neuroscience, Evolution & Morality", held at College of the Holy Cross in March of 2010.