This is a trio of videos that shines a light on the modern development on brains, minds, and consciousness. The first in the series, “Building Brains, Making Minds” introduces some past thoughts on this subject. In answering one of the guest comments, Dr. Lynn Nadel reveals that using Artificial Intelligence to model the memory aspect of the brain and for generating hypothesis is still limited. The second one, “Metamemory: How Does the Brain Predict Itself?” provides details on how one is aware of his own memory. The third one , “The Neuroscience of Consciousness” Dr. Susan Greenfield offers a brilliant argument for her view on brains and consciousness. She touches on Machine Singularity towards the end at the Q&A panel. Lastly, the bonus lecture, “How does the brain generate consciousness?” gives you a 2010 version of the same lecture for comparison. [Revised: 12/21/2013 ]
See the following for details:
Building Brains, Making Minds
On February 23, 2010, Dr. Lynn Nadel, University of Arizona Regents’ Professor, Psychology, presented “Building Brains, Making Minds” in the first lecture of the College of Science’s Mind and Brain Lecture Series.
What does the brain do? The ancients thought it was a radiator, cooling the blood. Modern views see it as an activator, using inputs from the environment in combination with prior knowledge to generate behaviors (walking, talking, eating and drinking) and mental states (feelings, desires and beliefs). Recently the idea has emerged that the brain acts as a predictor, using inputs and stored knowledge to generate models of the world, and of the consequences of possible actions we and others might pursue. These models can predict what will happen in the next minute, hour or decade, and allow us to behave in the most adaptive way.
Metamemory: How Does the Brain Predict Itself?
Dr. Alfred W. Kaszniak, Professor and Head, Psychology, presented on March 30, 2010, as the fifth lecture in the University of Arizona College of Science Mind and Body Lecture Series. Dr. Kaszniak’s research program is aimed at increasing our understanding of human brain systems involved in both cognition and emotion.
Our brains recreate past experience, monitor recall efforts, and predict our chances of remembering things in the future. The knowledge we each possess about our own memory, and strategies to aid memory, form what is called metamemory. Studies of persons with impaired metamemory due to neurological illness, along with brain imaging studies of healthy adults making judgments about memory, indicate that the brain systems active in retrieving information are distinct from those that self-monitor memory. Metamemory research is helping build an understanding of a wide range of experiences from tip-of-the-tongue forgetfulness to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
The Neuroscience of Consciousness
Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE, is a British scientist, writer, broadcaster and member of the House of Lords. Specialising in the physiology of the brain, Susan researches the impact of 21st century technologies on the mind, how the brain generates consciousness and novel approaches to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
How does the brain generate consciousness? Baroness Susan Greenfield: ANU
Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE Hon FRCP, Member, House of Lords, United Kingdom, Professor of Synaptic Pharmacology, Lincoln College, Oxford University presents this lecture: How does the brain generate consciousness? This video was recorded at The Australian National University on 30 August 2010, and was the keynote speech at a John Curtin School of Medical Research symposium: New Perspectives in Clinical Neuroscience and Mental Health.
Susan Greenfield was both an undergraduate and graduate at Oxford, but has subsequently spent time in postdoctoral research at the College de France, Paris, with Professor J Glowinski and at the New York University Medical Centre, New York, with Professor R Llinas. As a consequence of working in both biochemical and electrophysiological environments she has developed a multidisciplinary approach to exploring novel neuronal mechanisms in the brain that are common to regions affected in both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The basic theme of her research is to develop strategies to arrest neuronal death in these disorders.
She is also co-founder of a university spin-out company specialising in novel approaches to neurodegeneration, – Synaptica Ltd In addition, Professor Greenfield has a supplementary interest in the neuroscientific basis of consciousness, and accordingly has written ‘Journey to the Centres of the Mind Toward a Science of Consciousness’ (1995) W H Freeman Co, and ‘Private Life of the Brain’ (2000) Penguin. Her latest book ‘Tomorrow’s People: How 21st Century technology is changing the way we think and feel’ (Penguin 2003), explores human nature, and its potential vulnerability in an age of technology.
In addition, she is also Director of the Institute for the Future of the Mind, part of the James Martin 21st Century School, which exploits the parallels between the brains of the very young and very old, and how they are all vunerable to technology, chemical manipulation, and disease.
She has also written ‘The Human Brain’: A Guided Tour (1997) Orion-Phoenix Press, which ranked in the best seller list for hard and paperbacks.
She held the Gresham Chair of Physic from 1996-1999, and has received 28 honorary degrees. In 1998 she was awarded the Michael Faraday medal by the Royal Society and in 1999 was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians. She is also involved in science policy and has given a consultative seminar to the Prime Minister on the future of science in the UK. Susan has been involved in the ‘Science and the Economy’ seminars at No 11 and in response to a request in 2002 from the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, she produced the Greenfield Report ‘SET Fair: A Report on Women in Science, Engineering, and Technology’. She was awarded the CBE in the Millennium New Year’s Honour’s List and Life Peerage (non-political) in 2001. In 2003 she was awarded the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur.