Evidence and Theory in Neuroscience – Seminars in Society and Neuroscience

We consider the relationship between theory and evidence in neuroscience by exploring how researchers, practitioners and theorists negotiate the multiple dimensions of evidence. What kind of knowledge does neuroscience offer? How independent is it from psychology and the behavioral sciences? READ MORE

How the Brain Decides, Thinks and Creates – Brain Insight Lecture

Michael Shadlen, Professor of Neuroscience and Principal Investigator at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute, argues that the brain follows simple rules to make both simple and complex decisions. To test this, he studies the brain’s parietal cortex, which helps the brain make sense of what we see in order to guide our behaviors. With implications for medicine, his research could shed light on why people with damage to the parietal cortex have trouble with various skills, such as understanding numbers. It could also lead to new ways to treat the effects of this damage. READ MORE

Metaphors and Models: The Neuroscience of Comparison – Seminars in Society and Neuroscience

This event explores the conceptual force of metaphors in neuroscience. How do metaphors shape how we think and communicate? How are they represented in the brain? Featuring perspectives from neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, and philosophy, our speakers probe the distinction between metaphors and models that emerge from thinking and reasoning and how these are applied in public discourse about science. READ MORE

Music and Meaning – Seminars in Society and Neuroscience

The extraordinary power of music to communicate complex emotions and thoughts has fascinated scientists and philosophers for centuries. How do the philosophical, historical, and cultural analyses of music complement cognitive approaches to explain the social and ethical functions of music? How do these modes of inquiry bear on each other to explain what gives meaning to music? READ MORE