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Keynote Address/Opening Ceremony

The Specialized Brain

Friday, May 22, 2009, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Yerba Buena 9

Nancy Kanwisher

Nancy Kanwisher
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Is the brain like a Swiss Army knife, composed of specialized mechanisms, each tailored to solve a single specific problem? Or do we have a more general kind of intelligence, ready to confront a broad range of challenges but not specifically tailored to any one in particular? Kanwisher argues that some regions of the brain conduct a single specific high-level cognitive process. She will discuss how much of the brain is like this, why we have specialized regions for some functions but not others, and how this specificity arises in development.

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Gordon Bower