Dr. Michael Gazzaniga – Philomathean Annual Oration: The Consciousness Instinct

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Dr. Michael Gazzaniga – Philomathean Annual Oration: The Consciousness Instinct

March 21, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Update Mar. 20, 2018:

Event with Mike Gazzaniga CANCELED due to weather. Watch for an announcement of a rescheduled visit in the fall!

Doors open at 6:30 PM. The Lecture will begin at 7 PM.

The Philomathean Society of the University of Pennsylvania is proud to present Dr. Michael Gazzaniga as the 2018 Annual Orator. Dr. Gazzaniga is known as the founder of the field of cognitive neuroscience and is famous for his split brain studies.

As per Philo’s mission statement of increasing intellectual accessibility, the Annual Oration is free and public.

The Annual Oration will feature a lecture and a following Q&A. There will be a subsequent book signing with Dr. Michael Gazzaniga. A limited number of his newest book The Consciousness Instinct (April 3, 2018) will be available for purchase before its actual release date after the lecture.

The problem of consciousness has gnawed at us for millennia. How do neurons turn into minds? How does physical “stuff”―atoms, molecules, chemicals, and cells―create the vivid and various worlds inside our heads? In the last century there have been massive breakthroughs that have rewritten the science of the brain, and yet the puzzles faced by the ancient Greeks still perplex scientists to this day. In this lecture, Dr. Gazzaniga will review the the history of human thinking about the mind/brain problem, giving a big-picture view of what science has revealed. Understanding how consciousness could emanate from a confederation of independent brain modules working together will help define the future of brain science and artificial intelligence, and close the gap between brain and mind.

Michael S. Gazzaniga is the Director of the Sage Center for the study of Mind at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received a Ph.D from the California Institute of Technology in 1964/65, where had primary responsibility for initiating human split-brain research. He has carried out extensive studies on both sub-human primate and human behavior and cognition.  He has established and served as Director of Centers for Cognitive Neuroscience at Cornell Medical School and Dartmouth College and the Center for Neuroscience at UC, Davis. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience and also a founder of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society.  For 20 years he directed the Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the major reference text, The Cognitive Neurosciences. He was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2001-2009.   He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.  His new book The Consciousness Instinct presents a fresh view on how to close the gap between neurons and mind.

Following the Annual Oration will be a reception with Dr. Gazzaniga in Philomathean Halls, College Hall from 9:30 to 11pm.

Feel free to contact Julia Pan (aodirector@philomathean.org) with any questions.

Cosponsors: Center for Neuroscience and Society


March 21, 2018
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Fagin Hall Auditorium (Penn Nursing)
418 Curie Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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