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With ever more refined techniques for measuring complex brain activity, scientists are challenging the understanding of thought, memory and emotion–what we have traditionally called “the self.” How do electrical and chemical currents translate to self-awareness? And why does the brain produce consciousness at all? Join a discussion among eminent neuroscientists, philosophers and psychologists who are redefining what it means to be human.

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Moderator

Bill BlakemoreNews Correspondent

Bill Blakemore became a reporter for ABC News 46 years ago, covering a wide variety of stories. He spearheaded ABC’s coverage of global warming, traveling from the tropics to polar regions to report on its impacts, dangers, and possible remedies.

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Participants

Jesse PrinzPhilosopher, Experimental Psychologist

Jesse Prinz is a distinguished professor of Philosophy and director of Interdisciplinary Science Studies at the City University of New York, Graduate Center. Prinz has been a leader in the experimental philosophy movement, which brings empirical methods to bear on philosophical debates.

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Martha FarahNeuroscientist

Martha J. Farah grew up in New York City, was educated at MIT and Harvard, and taught at Carnegie-Mellon University before joining the University of Pennsylvania. Her research in cognitive neuroscience has ranged widely, from vision at the back of the brain to executive function at the front.

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Daphna ShohamyNeuroscientist

Daphna Shohamy, PhD is a neuroscientist and a professor in the department of Psychology and the Zuckerman Mind, Brain, Behavior Institute at Columbia University. Dr. Shohamy’s research aims to understand the neurobiological and cognitive mechanisms underlying learning, memory, and decision making.

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Joy HirschNeuroscientist

Joy Hirsch, a neuroscientist at Yale, studies interpersonal interactions between people in natural environments using novel brain imaging technology (near infrared spectroscopy) that acquires brain signals using head mounted detectors (instead of a scanner) and enables simultaneous functional imaging of two or more communicating partners.

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