About the Mind/Brain Lecture Series

In our approach to brain research, the Swartz Foundation operates from 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 now the work at hand. We believe that this goal is achievable. 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. The Swartz Foundation and Stony Brook University present this ongoing lecture series to acquaint the University community and the public with current research and thought on this topic.

Prior speakers in this series:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Helen Fisher, PhD
Research Professor and member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies
Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University
Author of Why We Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Gazzaniga, PhD
Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience
Dartmouth College

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

Antonio Damasio, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology
University of Iowa