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Michael S. Gazzaniga

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Michael S. Gazzaniga is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he heads the new SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind. He is one of the leading researchers in cognitive neuroscience, the study of the neural basis of mind. In 1961, Gazzaniga graduated from Dartmouth College. In 1964, he received a Ph.D. in psychobiology from the California Institute of Technology, where he worked under the guidance of Roger Sperry, with primary responsibility for initiating human split-brain research. In his subsequent work he has made important advances in our understanding of functional lateralization in the brain and how the cerebral hemispheres communicate with one another. Gazzaniga’s publication career includes books for a general audience The Social Brain, Mind Matters, and Nature’s Mind. His most recent book Who’s In Charge investigates the question of free will in light of current neuroscience.


Michael Gazzaniga: Scientists we sometimes get annoyed with, but not science.

There are seven billion of us now and contrary to the evening news we all get along, kind of.

Michael Gazzaniga: Why does the human always seem to like fiction? Could it be that it prepares us for unexpected things that happen in our life? 

Science gets things right and it takes a long time and it takes a lot of chatter to get there.

I don’t think we’ve conceptualized yet well enough how the brain gets its job done to abstract all of that activity in our brain into meaningful units to which we can then think about how to move those around to…

It is just an extremely satisfying and wondrous moment when you think you’ve unlocked a secret of nature. 

Figuring out how to build a brain is a very powerful intellectual exercise for sure, but the project is a long way off. 

The job of the human being, as you go through life, is to become less stupid.

The constant posture of disbelief of the current is what makes science great.

“The interpreter” is a very powerful force in the human condition that is always trying to figure out and seek explanations for our behavior. 

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