Cambridge Forum: Eric R. Kandel
The Disordered Mind:
What Unusual Brains Tell Us About Ourselves
December 5, 2018
First Parish Church
1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
This event has been canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Cambridge Forum welcomes Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist ERIC R. KANDEL for a discussion of his book, The Disordered Mind, a probing investigation of what brain disorders can tell us about human nature.
About The Disordered Mind
In his seminal new book, The Disordered Mind, Kandel draws on a lifetime of pathbreaking research and the work of many other leading neuroscientists to take us on an unusual tour of the brain. He confronts one of the most difficult questions we face: How does our mind, our individual sense of self, emerge from the physical matter of the brain? The brain’s 86 billion neurons communicate with one another through very precise connections. But sometimes those connections are disrupted. The brain processes that give rise to our mind can become disordered, resulting in diseases such as autism, depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. While these disruptions bring great suffering, they can also reveal the mysteries of how the brain produces our most fundamental experiences and capabilities―the very nature of what it means to be human. Studies of autism illuminate the neurological foundations of our social instincts, research into depression offers important insights on emotions and the integrity of the self, and paradigm-shifting work on addiction has led to a new understanding of the relationship between pleasure and willpower.
By studying disruptions to typical brain functioning and exploring their potential treatments, we will deepen our understanding of thought, feeling, behavior, memory, and creativity. Only then can we grapple with the big question of how billions of neurons generate consciousness itself.
"Engaging . . . Kandel’s well-constructed narrative smoothly blends historical perspective and first-person accounts with explanations of recent experiments . . . Excellent." ―Alan Jasanoff, New York Times Book Review
"Kandel is an astute reader and a reflective observer . . . Neuroscience comes alive in Kandel’s study through the personal and imaginative ruminations of disordered minds . . . Kandel asks his reader to confront the anecdotal and inexplicable and think hard about what it means." ―Stephen T. Casper, Science
"A lucidly written, accessible and fascinating read." ―Eliezer J. Sternberg, Washington Post
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and look for the newsstand called Crimson Corner. Turn right and proceed north along Mass. Ave. going toward the Cambridge Common. You will pass the Harvard Coop, Bank of America, and CVS. The First Parish Church is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Church St. Please enter through the front door of the church.
For the past fifty years, Cambridge Forum has provided free public forums for the discussion of the issues and ideas that are shaping our world. From culture to technology, the environment to public policy, Cambridge Forum offers citizens vital information about the challenges facing contemporary society.
Forum programs, which are edited and produced for subsequent broadcast on public radio stations nation-wide, feature the nation's most noted thinkers, creators, social entrepreneurs, and leaders from the worlds of academia, business, government, media and the arts. Programs are held in Harvard Square with book sales provided by Harvard Book Store.
Learn more at cambridgeforum.org.
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