The Great Brain Debate: New York, April 2

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerMar 9, 2012 5:20 AM


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If you're in New York please consider joining me and Robert Krulwich of Radiolab on April 2 for a fascinating debate about the future of neuroscience. Tickets are free, but limited, so grab them when they become available on noon, 3/12.

Here are the details from the event page

: Does the brain’s wiring make us who we are?

Two leading neuroscientists debate maps, minds and the future of their field.

Sebastian Seung (MIT)


Anthony Movshon (NYU)

Professor of Computational Neuroscience, MIT Author of Connectome: How the Brain’s WiringMakes Us Who We Are

Professor and Director, Center for Neural Science, NYU

Moderators: Robert Krulwich

 of NPR’s Radiolab

 and Carl Zimmer

, science journalist (NYTimesDiscover, NPR)


What will be the next big breakthrough in neuroscience? What will finally explain how brains work, how they fail in disease, and what makes us each unique? Some neuroscientists believe that research would be radically accelerated by finding and deciphering “connectomes,” maps of connections between neurons. Funding agencies are wagering millions of dollars on the idea that connectomics will be as fundamental to neuroscience as genomics is to molecular biology. But others disagree, arguing that maps of the brain by themselves cannot offer much insight into how this remarkable organ does its job. Just as a genome by itself is only a blueprint with little power to explain how an organism works, a connectome is at best a framework with little power to explain brain function. Should neuroscience make it a priority to launch a significant connectomics program, diverting human and financial resources from other worthy goals? Join us as leading “connectomist” Dr. Sebastian Seung defends his position in public against the formidable neurophysiologist Dr. Anthony Movshon. Award-winning science writer Carl Zimmer teams up with co-creator of NPR's Radiolab, Robert Krulwich, to moderate this debate on neural cartography, guiding the audience through both known and unknown territory as we ask the question: Are brain maps the future of neuroscience or an empty promise? Date: Monday, April 2, 2012 Time: 6:30 pm, cocktails. 7 pm, program. Location: Havemeyer Hall 309, Columbia University, Broadway @ 116th St Seating is limited. Tickets can be reserved beginning March 12 at Noon . Questions: neuwrite@gmail.com

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