Widely considered to be one of the fathers of the field of cognitive neuroscience, APS Past President Michael Gazzaniga will give the keynote address at the 25th APS Annual Convention in Washington, DC, on “Unity in a Modular World.” Gazzaniga is credited with being the first researcher to examine split brain patients in order to understand whether some cognitive functions are predominantly performed in one brain hemisphere or the other. Gazzaniga’s examination of split brain patients and his contributions to the field have greatly enhanced our understanding of lateralization of cognitive function within the brain, and how the two brain hemispheres communicate.
“Fifty years of split-brain studies have led me to a long-term view on how to best understand mind/brain interactions,” he says. “Overall, the view is consistent with the idea that complex neural systems, like all complex information processing systems, are highly modular. At the same time, how the modules come to interact and produce unitary goals is the great unknown.”
Gazzaniga is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the founder of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and served as Editor-in-Chief of The Cognitive Neurosciences — considered to be the sourcebook for that field.