In this series, a panel debates a topic with the aim of fostering interdisciplinary communication and mutual understanding. Emphasis will be placed on trying to identify common questions and on seeking to integrate knowledge from different areas of expertise.

Is the Brain a Predictive Machine?

Thursday 15 January, 6.30 – 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

Paul Fletcher|, Bernard Wolfe Professor of Health Neuroscience, University of Cambridge
Karl Friston|, Professor of Neuroscience, University College London
Demis Hassabis|, Vice President of Engineering, Google DeepMind
Richard Holton|, Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Chair: Benedetto De Martino|, Cognitive Neuroscientist, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge

Is the world you are experiencing a mere forecast created by your brain? Research in neuroscience has suggested that you don’t see the colour of the sky but you anticipate its blueness and use your sense of vision to adjust this prediction. This radical idea explains how your brain can be one step ahead of reality, but also susceptible to placebos and illusions. In this event, psychiatrist Paul Fletcher, neuroscientist Karl Friston, expert in artificial intelligence Demis Hassabis and philosopher Richard Holton will discuss the implications of this idea.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEbrain 


Gender and the Brain

Monday 2 March, 6.30 – 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

John Dupré|, Professor of Philosophy of Science, University of Exeter
Gina Rippon|, Professor of Cognitive Neuroimaging, Aston University

Chair: Jonathan Birch|, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow

Are there ‘hardwired’ psychological differences between men and women? Do these alleged differences show that gender differences in society have a biological explanation? And what does talk of ‘hardwiring’ even mean? In this interdisciplinary dialogue, philosopher John Dupré and cognitive neuroscientist Gina Rippon will debate these and other issues concerning the science and philosophy of gender.  

 Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEbrain