Neuroscience Study Group
The Mind and Consciousness
The next meeting of the Neuroscience Study Group is scheduled for March 20, 2018 at my apartment #1909 at 2 pm. Our reading assignments are as follows:
1. Michio Kaku - the Future of the Mind, Chapter 6: Einstein's Brain and Enhancing Our Intelligence. In his delightful analysis of Einstein's brain, he questions whether genius can be learned and delves further into the problem of measuring intelligence, "savants," and what we can learn form them. His discourse on intelligence is so exciting, we may be unable to do more than to discuss his ideas in this meeting.
2. Sy Montgomery - The Soul of an Octopus, Chapter 4— Eggs: Beginning, Ending, and Shape-Shifting. Much of this chapter is devoted to Octavia's destiny to face her mortality after she lays and nurtures her eggs. The author's emotional relationship to Octavia as well as to Kali reveal her deep affinity to a world of creatures most of us have never explored. It takes a second reading to appreciate how much scientific knowledge Montgomery shares with us.
3. Peter Godfrey-Smith - Other Minds, The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness, Chapter 5: Making Colors. The chapter starts with a description of the cuttlefish and how it manufactures and changes color. There are some beautiful photographs as illustrations. Even though cephalopods are said to be color- blind, he discusses how they are able to distinguish between colors, compares cuttlefish and octopuses in their ability to camouflage to escape predators and the maneuvers of baboons and cuttlefish.