For a long time, the brain was thought to function like clockwork, with specialized parts working together due to physical connections. However, in recent decades, our understanding has undergone a major shift. While the individual parts and anatomical connections are still important, many cognitive functions are driven by emergent properties – higher-level properties that arise from the interactions between the parts. A key aspect of these emergent properties are brain waves, oscillating rhythms of electrical activity that allow millions of neurons to self-organize and control our thoughts, much like a crowd doing ‘the wave’.
Earl K. Miller is the Picower Professor of Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has academic appointments at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and The Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT.
Professor Miller studies the neural foundations of advanced cognitive functions like working memory, attention, decision-making, and learning. His research has made discoveries about how categories and concepts form, the importance of multifunctional “mixed selectivity” neurons in neural computation, and the role of neural dynamics in controlling perception, thought, and action. This research offers vital insights for understanding cognition and its disorders in conditions such as autism, schizophrenia, and attention deficit disorder.
O seminário será realizado em videoconferência, via Zoom.