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About the Mind/Brain Lecture Series

The Mind/Brain Lecture Series is hosted by Stony Brook's Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and is supported by the Swartz Foundation which launched the lecture series at Stony Brook University in 1997 to acquaint the campus and the public with current thoughts on brain research. The lecture series promotes the philosophical and scientific perspective that properties of the mind—from sensory perception to learning to thinking to consciousness—are a direct product of the intrinsic physical properties of the brain. The mind is the brain at work. Results from neuroscience research are converging to show that much of what the brain does can be modeled computationally. Understanding the relationship between neural computation and mental function is the work at hand. Getting there will require the collaboration of investigators from many disciplines and may involve principles and technology not yet conceived. Understanding the mind/brain relationship is an Everest of science, as well as one of the enduring conundrums of philosophy. 

Prior speakers in this series:

2016
Alan Alda
Visiting Professor, Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science

Eric R. Kandel, MD 
University Professor and Fred Kavli Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University;
Founding director of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia; and
Senior Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute 

Jim Simons
Chair of the Simons Foundation, and
Founder and board chair of Renaissance Technologies LLC

2015
William Bialek
John Archibald Wheeler/Battelle Professor in 
Physics, Princeton University and
Director, Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences,
The Graduate Center/CUNY

2014
William Newsome, PhD
Professor of Neurobiology, Stanford University
Director, Stanford Neurosciences Institute

2013
Michael Wigler, PhD
Professor of Genetics
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 

2012
John P. Donoghue, PhD
Henry Merritt Wriston Professor of Neuroscience and Engineering and
Director of the Institute for Brain Science, Brown University
Senior Research Scientist, US Department of Veterans Affairs

2011
Allison Doupe, MD, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry and Physiology, Keck Center for Integrative Neuroscience
University of California, San Francisco 

2010
Nicholas D. Schiff, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, Weill Medical College, Cornell University 
Assistant Attending Neurologist, New York Presbyterian Hospital 

2009
Larry Abbott, PhD 
Professor and Co-director, Center for Theoretical Neuroscience
Columbia University

2008
Patricia Smith Churchland, B. Phil. 
Professor of Philosophy
University of California, San Diego

2007
Michael N. Shadlen, MD, PhD
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Department of Physiology and Biophysics
University of Washington

2006
Helen Fisher, PhD 
Research Professor and member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies
Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University

2005
Daniel Wolpert, PhD
Professor of Motor Neuroscience and Co-Director, Institute of Movement Neuroscience
University College, London

2004
Charles F. Stevens, PhD
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Professor of Molecular Neurobiology
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

2003
Joseph E. LeDoux, PhD
Professor of Neural Science and Psychology
Director, Center for the Neuroscience of Fear and Anxiety
New York University

2002
V.S. Ramachandran, MD, PhD
Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology
University of California, San Diego

2001
Michael M. Merzenich, PhD
Professor of Neuroscience
University of California, San Francisco

2000 
Paul Churchland, PhD
Professor of Philosophy
University of California, San Diego

1999
Michael Gazzaniga, PhD
Director, SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind
University of California, Santa Barbara 

1998
Terence Sejnowski, MD, PhD
Professor of Computational Biology
The Salk Institute

1997
Antonio Damasio, MD, PhD
David Dornsife Chair in Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology and Neurology 
Director of the USC College Brain and Creativity Institute 

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