Extraordinary Variations of the Human Mind: Lessons for Anthropogeny

Event Dates (Pacific Time): 
Friday, May 5, 2017 - 1:00pm to 5:30pm

Co-sponsored by the Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) and the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind (KIBM)

The human mind is one of the features that makes our species unusual, and any narrative of our origins must include explanations for how our mental facilities were generated by genetic and cultural evolutionary processes. Comparative studies with the minds of other species and direct studies of how the typical human brain creates the mind are valuable approaches. However, many useful clues can also be gleaned from studying extraordinary variations of the human mind. This Symposium brings together experts who have pursued in-depth explorations of some of these variations.

Event Sessions

Media for each talk can be played by clicking on icons in the "Media" column, or by clicking on the individual talk titles below and then the attachment file at the bottom of the page.

Speakers Media Session Title

Fred Gage
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
File Welcome

Daniel Geschwind
University of California, Los Angeles
File Our Brains: Life on a Continuum

Karen Berman
National Institute of Health
File From Genes to Neural Circuits to Behavior & Back Again: Neurogenetic Mechanisms in Williams Syndrome

Simon Fisher
Max Planck Institute
File Language at the Extremes

James McGaugh
University of California, Irvine
File Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory

Darold Treffert
University of Wisconsin
File The Incredible Savant Syndrome

Bruce Miller
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
File Acquired Savantism in Neurological Conditions

Isabelle Peretz
BRAMS, Université de Montréal
File Born to be Musical: What We can Learn from Congenital Anomalies

Adam Ockelford
University of Roehampton
File Fragments of Genius: Mapping the Mind of a Musical Savant

Jamie Ward
University of Sussex
File Synaesthesia: From Extraordinary Experiences to Enhanced Abilities

Daniel Geschwind
University of California, Los Angeles

Isabelle Peretz
BRAMS, Université de Montréal
File Question and Answer Session, Closing Remarks