Few scientists know the brain as well as APS Past President Michael Gazzaniga does. A pioneer in cognitive neuroscience, Gazzaniga was the first researcher to study patients in whom the right and left hemispheres of the brain had been split to treat epilepsy. This research contributed greatly to scientists’ understanding of lateralized cognitive function within the brain and communication between the two brain hemispheres.
More recently, Gazznniga has been asking whether advances in neuroscience should change our beliefs about personal responsibility. He is deeply skeptical of the argument that brain abnormalities should absolve people of responsibility for their actions and believes that neuroscience has little use in the courtroom. These views are discussed in his latest book, Who’s in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain. Gazzaniga will be signing copies of Who’s in Charge at the Welcome Reception, held in the APS Exhibit Hall, immediately following his Keynote Address on Thursday, May 24, at the 25th APS Annual Convention in Washington, DC.
For more on Gazzaniga’s research, listen to his 2011 interview with radio personality Diane Rhem or watch him discuss his career with The New York Times in this video.
Gazzaniga M (2011). Interview with Michael Gazzaniga. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1224, 1-8 PMID: 21486292