In this talk, the early brain-computer analogy is investigated for how strange and surprising it started out being, challenging researchers to imagine what it might be like to be running programs. Following up suggestions from Allan Newell, perhaps neuroscience can go beyond binary hypothesis testing and design experiments that follow what neurons care about. Examples from Lettvin et. al. are used to demonstrate that one can experimentally play with neurons and generate surprising results. In this manner, brains are not confused with persons, rather, persons are understood to do things with their brains.
Kevin Ochsner, Professor in Psychology at Columbia University, will serve as moderator.
The Neuroscience and History Working Group talks foster interdisciplinary conversation about the promises and challenges of contemporary neuroscience. We will explore the historical conditions for the emergence of neuroscience as a discipline, as well as the synergies and tensions between historical and neuroscientific modes of explanation. We welcome scholars, clinicians, students, and the interested public.