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Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran, professor of neurosciences and psychology at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), will deliver the first Hans-Lukas Teuber Memorial Lecture, sponsored by the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, on Monday, Sept. 21 at 4pm in Rm E25-111.
In his talk on "What Neurology Can Tell Us About Human Nature and the Architecture of the Mind," Dr. Ramachandran will discuss his work on neurological syndromes such as "phantom limbs," and the insights they provide into the healthy brain. Dr. Ramachandran said in his lecture abstract: "We find that merely viewing the reflection of the normal hand in a mirror causes the phantom to spring to life and start moving. Experiments of this kind may allow us to explore the elusive interface between mind and brain and may provide key insights into how the brain constructs a 'body image' and how we constantly update our model of 'reality' in response to novel sensory inputs."
Dr. Ramachandran, director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at UCSD, is best known for his research on perceptual and cognitive deficits arising from brain damage. His early, acclaimed research in human visual perception made a considerable impact on computational modeling and visual neurophysiology.
His research has been featured on national television and in the New York Times, National Geographic and Time. Newsweek named him a member of the "Century Club," a list of 100 prominent people to watch in the next century.
The Teuber Memorial Lecture was established to honor the memory of Hans-Lukas Teuber, professor and head of the Department of Psychology at MIT, who died in 1977 while swimming in the British Virgin Islands. He had won worldwide recognition as a leader in psychology and neurosciences. He came to MIT in 1961, and in 1964 became head of what has now developed into the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Just before his death, Professor Teuber had been selected as the next Killian Lecturer.
The Hans-Lukas Teuber Memorial Lectures are made possible by a grant from the Robert K. Yin Fund. Dr. Yin, president of the Cosmos Corp., received the PhD in brain and cognitive sciences from MIT in 1970.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 16, 1998.