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Jan 14, 2019

Our Next Visiting Speaker January 25 - Dr. Felipe De Brigard

Dr. Felipe De Brigard of Duke University will be giving a talk in our department on Friday, January 25. Felipe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, and he is affiliated with Duke's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. His talk, titled "The Mirage of Big Data Phrenology,” will be given from 2-4pm in 185 McCain Hall. His abstract is as follows:

Cognitive neuroscience seeks to discover the neural correlates of different cognitive functions. The earliest efforts sought a one-to-one mapping between cognitive functions and brain regions. These efforts followed a top-down approach: starting with existing psychological categories researchers attempted to find the individual brain regions realizing them. However, mounting evidence now suggests that mind-brain mappings are not one-to-one, or even one-to-many. Many diverse functions are associated with the same regions in dynamic and context-dependent ways. To overcome the shortcomings of the top-down approach, a new proposal provocatively argues for a bottom-up approach, whereby employing data from thousands of studies researchers can begin with the “a priori construct of a brain region” and work their way up to the “unknowns”, which are the psychological categories associated with it. In this talk I discuss several limitations of the bottom-up “big data" approach, and defend instead a piece-meal approach that is neither fully top-down nor bottom-up.

We hope to see you there!

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