The brain could well be the most complicated organ in the universe. Matthew Cobb explains how we know what we know.
Today some scientists tend to see the brain as a computer. When the field of neuroscience was established neuroscientists maxim in their own technological terms: as a telephone switchboard, or a clock, or all manner of fantastic mechanical or hydraulic devices. Here The Royal Institution accompanied by Matthew Cobb discuss the organ known as the brain.
Galloping through centuries of wild speculation and ingenious, sometimes macabre anatomical investigations, scientist and historian Matthew Cobb reveals how we came to our present state of knowledge. Our latest theories allow us to create artificial memories in the brain of a mouse, and to build AI programmes capable of extraordinary cognitive feats. A complete understanding seems within our grasp.
Watch the Q&A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTl2zXPjGWs
Matthew Cobb is professor of zoology at the University of Manchester, where his research focuses on the sense of smell, insect behaviour and the history of science.
This lecture was filmed in the Ri on 12 March 2020.
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