Oct 5, 2011

The Brain and Being Human

Central Lakes College students studying psychology and participating in the Honors Associate in Arts degree program joined instructors Martha Kuehn (psychology) and Robert Brekken (history, leadership) on Oct. 4 and 5 to view live streaming video of speakers on the sold-out Nobel Conference 47 program at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter. They viewed large-screen projection of the webcasts, including one by Dr. Paul Glimcher of New York University (pictured). His topic: Neurobiology of Decision-Making. The 47th conference theme was "The Brain and Being Human." Collaborations between neuroscientists and researchers in seemingly disparate fields have forged new ideas and new questions about the working of the brain. Aspects of daily human life are now incorporated into the scientific arena in a new synthesis to understand the human experience and what it means to be human. The braiding of neuroscience with the humanities, arts, social sciences, theology, and engineering has empowered explanations of the motivations and operations of our daily activities. This insight engenders uncertainty in terms of how to best apply this knowledge responsibly and ethically, and perhaps is even challenging the distinctiveness of our own species. The 2011 Nobel Prizes are being awards this week. For more information go to http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/about/prize_announcements/