SIM announces FA10 Guest Lecturer Margaret Livingstone

September 29th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

December 2, 2010, 2 pm – 3pm,
Pozen Center, North Building, Massart Campus.
Her lecture, entitled What Art Can Tell Us About the Brain, will review the research she has been doing on this topic:
Artists have been doing experiments on vision longer than neurobiologists. Some major works of art have provided insights as to how we see; some of these insights are so fundamental that they can be understood in terms of the underlying neurobiology. For example, artists have long realized that color and luminance can play independent roles in visual perception. Picasso said, “Colors are only symbols. Reality is to be found in luminance alone.” This observation has a parallel in the functional subdivision of our visual systems, where color and luminance are processed by the newer, primate-specific What system, and the older, colorblind, Where (or How) system. Many techniques developed over the centuries by artists can be understood in terms of the parallel organization of our visual systems. I will explore how the segregation of color and luminance processing are the basis for why some Impressionist paintings seem to shimmer, why some op art paintings seem to move, some principles of Matisse’s use of color, and how the Impressionists painted “air”. Central and peripheral vision are distinct, and I will show how the differences in resolution across our visual field make the Mona Lisa’s smile elusive, and produce a dynamic illusion in Pointillist paintings, Chuck Close paintings, and photomosaics. I will explore how artists have intuited important features about how our brains extract relevant information about faces and objects, and I will discuss why learning disabilities may be associated with artistic talent.
This lecture is part of the Studio for Interrelated Media’s Major Studio class. Guests are welcome.
For more info contact:
Nita Sturiale
617-879-7481

Subtle Technologies Festival

June 28th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

University of Toronto
Subtle Technologies Festival.

For 3 days in June at the 13th annual Subtle Technologies Festival, sales an exciting line up of scientists, artists and designers will journey from around the world to share ideas, science and artworks that explore this year’s theme – Sustainability.

Conference | Biological Foundations of Morality?

February 24th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Conference | College of the Holy Cross.

Biological Foundations of Morality?

Neuroscience, Evolution and Morality

Thursday-Friday, March 18-19, 2010
Conference fee: $35 (optional Thursday dinner: $20 additional)
Space is limited. Register online now! (Holy Cross faculty, staff and students, please register here.)

How does what we are learning about the brain through neuroscience and evolutionary science influence how we ought to think about ethics? Recent advances in functional neuroimaging have increased scientists’ understanding of how our brains process moral decisions. Some thinkers suggest that moral decision making is fundamentally an intuitive or emotional process, and that what we call “reason” is a post-decision making method of justification for actions, not a “higher order” process for making decisions. If so, the new science challenges the principle of free will, the argument that reason is the foundation of moral decision making, and the importance of understanding intentions before judging responsibility for action. The potential implications for most Western ethical traditions are enormous.

This two-day conference will bring together some of the world’s leading neuroscientists, moral psychologists, ethicists, including:

  • Kenote speaker Michael Gazzaniga, professor of psychology and the director for the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind, University of California Santa Barbara;
  • Patrick Haggard, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London;
  • Ethicist Robert Kane ’60, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Texas at Austin;
  • Marc Hauser, Cognitive Evolution Laboratory, Harvard University;
  • Joshua Greene, Moral Cognition Lab, Harvard University;
  • Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, professor of philosophy and Hardy Professor of Legal Studies, Dartmouth College, and co-director of the The MacArthur Law and Neuroscience Project
  • Anne Harrington, professor and chair, History of Science, Harvard University
  • James Blair, chief of the Unit on Affective Cognitive Neuroscience in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, National Institute of Mental Health
  • Jeanette Kennett, Department of Philosophy and Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science, Macquarie University, Australia
  • Stephen J. Pope, professor of theology, Boston College
  • Rachana Kamtekar, associate professor of philosophy, University of Arizona

Who is coming with me???

Gail Wight to speak at Harvard Museum of Natural History

November 4th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Gail Wight to speak at Harvard Museum of Natural History

Exploring Art, Nature, and City with the Ghost of Darwin

Artist’s talk with Gail Wight

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 4:00- 6:00 PM

If Charles Darwin were to come to your neighborhood today, and you could show him just a few things, what would they be? Artist Gail Wight, Associate Professor of Art at Stanford University, takes Darwin’s ghost for a tour around the San Francisco Bay area, seeks out local flora and fauna he would relish, addresses the legacy of his ideas, and considers environmental degradation over the intervening years. She will discuss this and other new works of art involving science collections, as well as a brief survey of her recent projects. Free and open to the public at 26 Oxford Street. Following the talk join the artist in the museum galleries.

Learn more about the artwork of Gail Wight.

Lectures + special events - Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Vaughn Bell – eco art in Oakland

August 5th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Oakland Art | Swarm Gallery.

 

visit this Verdana, information pills Helvetica, ailment Arial;”>If you are in the Bay Area please join me for an opening at Swarm Gallery in Oakland this Friday.

NATURAL SELECTION
Vaughn Bell + Josh Keyes
August 7 – September 13, 2009
Exhibit Opening | Friday, August 7, 6-8PM 

Origins of Self-consciousness

July 9th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

bluehead1

For a brain to be self-conscious it must be able to represent the world symbolically, clinic which implies the use of symbols such as marks, visual shapes and patterns, rhythmic and tonal patterns. Expanded long-term memory is a primary requirement for a self-conscious brain. By definition, a self-conscious brain must also include language, with an innate set of grammatical rules, or syntax. For a brain to be self-conscious, it must be able to think abstractly, question, predict, generalize, categorize, and reason.

My theory of the origins of self-consciousness proposes that the combination of increased brain capacity, intensified socialization, and introspection has resulted in THE SEARCH FOR PERSONAL AND SOCIAL IDENTITY, which ultimately led to our ability to think about ourselves both privately and socially.

John Holland

View text:  Origins of Self-consciousness

Happening NOW! World Science Festival

June 13th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

 Tomorrow is the last day….

The mission of the World Science Festival is to cultivate and sustain a general public informed by the content of science, generic inspired by its wonder, dosage convinced of its value, sickness and prepared to engage with its implications for the future.

The World Science Festival, an unprecedented annual tribute to imagination, ingenuity and inventiveness, takes science out of the laboratory and into the streets, theaters, museums, and public halls of New York City, making the esoteric understandable and the familiar fascinating.

Opening night (last week) sounds awesome!

2009 Opening GalaFEATURING Alan Alda • Marin Alsop • Christine Baranski
Joshua Bell • Danny Burstein • Glenn Close
Todd Ellison • Yo-Yo Ma • Marcus Printup • Anna Deavere Smith
National Dance Institute • The Inspirational Voices of Abyssinian Baptist Church

Performance directed and produced by Damian Woetzel HONORING Edward O. Wilson, explorer, poet and champion of the natural world on his 80th birthday read more 

World Science Festival

Cafe Sci events to kick off Cambridge Science Festival

April 23rd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Boston’s first “simul-café” is coming up this Sunday evening, just in time to kick off the Cambridge Science Festival.

Pick from three science cafe events starting at the same time, each based on the same theme: “Life as we don’t know it.”

We’ve made it easy to enjoy your Sunday night. No lectures or technical jargon, only great venues, great food and drink, and great conversations. The only hard part is choosing!

THE CAFES:

Café Sci is Digging for Martians.
Sam Kounaves has spent a lot of time on Mars recently, whether it’s scratching the surface with the robotic Phoenix Lander or experimenting in simulated environments. All of this time is starting to pay off, as he uncovers evidence that increases the chance that we will find signs of life there soon. What could this life look like? How would it change our world back on Earth?

Starts at 7:30pm, Sunday, April 26
Tommy Doyle’s Kendall Square (www.tommydoyles.com)
1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02138
Validated parking in Kendal Square garage (by cinema on Binney Street)

Hosted by the public television science series NOVA scienceNOW, produced by WGBH. Watch online at: www.pbs.org/nova/sciencenow
Get started by watching this video online: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/0306/01.html

*****************************************************************

Synthetic Biology: Recoding Life.
If you could use living cells to build anything, what would you build? We can read the language of DNA. And we’ve gotten pretty good at writing it…if only we knew WHAT to write, and how to get new designs to actually work. Peter Carr will give some examples of how this is rapidly changing, from his own work and others in the field of Synthetic Biology.

Starts at 7:30pm, Sunday, April 26
Cambridge Brewing Company (www.cambrew.com)
1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02138

Hosted by MIT’s Technology and Culture Forum: http://web.mit.edu/tac/
Get started by watching this video online: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3410/03.html

*****************************************************************

At Sea with Symbiotic Outlaws: exploring the mysteries of a marine ménage à trois.
Much of modern biology is based on intense study of “model” organisms: lab rats, E. coli, fruit flies, and the like. But millions of other species live on our planet—some right here in our neighborhood—that have not read the textbooks and happily go about their lives without obeying the rules we’ve created for them. We’ll discuss the value of these unique life forms as provocateurs that encourage us to re-think the way that life can be organized.

Starts at 7:30pm, Sunday, April 26
Atwoods Tavern (www.atwoodstavern.com)
877 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Hosted by Harvard’s Science in the News: www.hms.harvard.edu/sitn/
Get started by watching this video online: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/0305/04.html

*****************************************************************

SPECIAL EVENT ON WEDNESDAY

Picked out your café for Sunday? Save your Wednesday too…

NOVA: Meet the Producers
Starts at 6:30pm, Wednesday, April 29
WGBH Studios, One Guest Street, Boston, MA 02135

Catch a preview of NOVA’s 36th season and NOVA scienceNOW’s fourth season (premiering June 30, 2009) followed by a discussion with the filmmakers. Director of the WGBH Science Unit and Senior Executive Producer NOVA and NsN, Paula Apsell, Senior Science Editor of NOVA and NsN, Evan Hadingham, and Senior Producer for NsN, Julia Cort, will discuss what it takes to produce two of television’s most critically-acclaimed science programs with moderator Philip J. Hilts, Director of MIT’s Knight Science Journalism program. After the discussion, meet the team in the WGBH Yawkey Atrium during a light reception. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. RSVP at: http://support.wgbh.org/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=101861

*****************************************************************

Cafe Sci encourages open, easy-to-understand conversation. No lectures. No PowerPoint. No technical jargon.

Cafe Sci is free and open to all.
Bring your friends, tell your neighbors, post this message, and pass it along.

Cafe Sci is an ongoing series.
To be added to the e-mail list write to getinvolved@wgbh.org.
Find other science cafes at www.sciencecafes.org.

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