Our Quest to Understand the Brain – with Matthew Cobb

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The brain might be the most complicated object in the universe. Matthew Cobb explains how we know what we know.
Matthew's book "The Idea of the Brain" is available now on Amazon:

Today we tend to picture the brain as a computer. Earlier scientists thought about it in their own technological terms: as a telephone switchboard, or a clock, or all manner of fantastic mechanical or hydraulic devices. Could the right metaphor unlock the brain's deepest secrets once and for all?

Galloping through centuries of wild speculation and ingenious, sometimes macabre anatomical investigations, scientist and historian Matthew Cobb reveals how we came to our present state of knowledge. Our latest theories allow us to create artificial memories in the brain of a mouse, and to build AI programmes capable of extraordinary cognitive feats. A complete understanding seems within our grasp.

Watch the Q&A:

Matthew Cobb is professor of zoology at the University of Manchester, where his research focuses on the sense of smell, insect behaviour and the history of science.

This lecture was filmed in the Ri on 12 March 2020.

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