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Michael Gazzaniga

Biography:

Michael Gazzaniga is a Professor of Psychology and the Director for the SAGE Center for the Study of Mind at the University of California Santa Barbara. He oversees an extensive and broad research program investigating how the brain enables the mind. Over the course of several decades, a major focus of his research has been an extensive study of patients that have undergone split-brain surgery that have revealed lateralization of functions across the cerebral hemispheres.

In addition to his position in Santa Barbara, Professor Gazzaniga is also the Director of the Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience, President of the Cognitive Neuroscience Institute, and is a member of the President's Council on Bioethics.

Past Shows:

Free Will & the Brain

The father of cognitive neuroscience, Michael Gazzaniga, joined Ian to offer a provocative argument against the common belief that our lives are wholly determined by physical processes and we are therefore not responsible for our actions. In the first hour, Andy Hines discussed how people's values are reshaping the consumer landscape. ... More »

Host: Ian Punnett

Hardwired Human Nature

Researcher Dr. Michael Gazzaniga discussed how the structure of the brain defines humanity. In describing the direction that brain research is heading, he said, "we're going to have to abandon our little 'cause and effect' model and get into what's called 'complex systems thinking' if we're going to really understand how the brain does its work."He detailed how studies show that certain values are hardwired into peoples' brains, as opposed to being the result of outside forces. Aversion to murder, cheating, and incest are some of the moral judgements that cut across all cultures, according to Gazzaniga. While the question of "nature versus nurture" has been debated for decades, he said that advanced research techniques allow us to "actually see the brain mechanisms involved and you can understand the underlying physiological nature" of the mind. Gazzaniga also noted that humans are unique in that, by nature, they are socially aware creatures. As such, he said, "a whole n ... More »

Host: Ian Punnett

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