BSP 117 is an interview with pioneering neuroscientist Dr. Michael Gazzaniga about his new autobiography Tales from Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience.Read More
William Uttal, PhD
There is nothing more exciting than the mind/brain problem" according to Dr. William Uttal, author of Mind and Brain: A Critical Appraisal of Cognitive Neuroscience. In the latest episode of the Brain Science Podcast (BSP 83) I talked with Dr. Uttal about why he feels that brain imaging can not solve this mystery.
First, there is the problem that brain imaging represents the wrong level of analysis because every spot you see on a brain scan actaully represents thousands of neurons. This means that the activity and interaction between individual neurons has been lost. Then there is the problem of reproducibility, with divergent results between studies.
The evidence is accumulating that "much of the brain responds to any stimulus, and every area of the brain participates in multiple functions." This means that asking where a given function occurs may be the wrong question.
BSP 83 represents an on-going discussion of these issues, so I have included links to related episodes in the show notes.
How to get this episode:
- Uttal, W. R. (2011) Mind and Brain: A Critical Appraisal of Cognitive Neuroscience.
- Uttal, W. R. (2009) Neuroscience in the Courtroom: What Every Lawyer Should Know About the Mind and the Brain.
- Ihnen, S. K. Z., Church, J. A.. Petersen, S. E., & Schlaggar, B.L. (2009) Lack of generalizability of sex difference in the fMRI Bold Activity associated with language processes in adults. NeuroImage, 45, 1020-1032.
- Ioannidis, J. P. A. (2005). "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False". PLoS Medicine 2 (8): e124.
- BSP 46: How fMRI works.
- BSP 78: Discussion of Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines---and How It Will Change Our Lives, by Miguel Nicolelis.
- BSP 79: Interview with Miguel Nicolelis.
- BSP 82: Discussion of Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain, by Michael S. Gazzaniga.
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Send me feedback at gincampbell at mac dot.com.
Episode 58 of the Brain Science Podcast is an interview with philosopher, Alva Noë, whose book, Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness, argues persuasively that our minds are MORE than just our brains. He says that "the brain is necessary but not sufficient" to create the mind.
How to get this episode:
Show Notes and Links:
- Alva Noe (University of California, Berkeley).
- Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness, by Alva Noé.
Important scientists mentioned in the interview:
- Paul Bach-y-Rita: pioneering studies in sensory substitution using tactile stimuli to substitute for vision.
- Held and Hein: experiments with cats showing that development of normal vision requires motor-sensory feedback.
- Brain Mechanisms in Sensory Substitution by Paul Bach-y-Rita, 1972.
- Bach-y-Rita, P "Tactile-Vision Substitution: past and future", International Journal of Neuroscience 19, nos. 1-4, 29-36, 1983.
- Held, R and Hein, "Movement-produced stimulation in the development of visually guided behavior." Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology. 56(5), 872-876, 1963.
- Held, R. "Plasticity in sensory-motor systems." Scientific American. 213(5) 84-91, 1965.
- Special thanks to Diane Jacobs, Jenine John and Lori Wolfson for transcribing all the episodes of the Brain Science Podcast.
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