Columbia University in the City of New York

Nov 13, 20196:30 pm

What’s a Brain For? A Moving Story

Above: Daniel Wolpert, PhD (Credit: John Abbott for Columbia's Zuckerman Institute).

Join us for a conversation with Zuckerman Institute Principal Investigator Daniel Wolpert, PhD, as he discusses what makes control so hard, especially in the face of incomplete or rapidly changing information about the world.

November 13th, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University

Register Here

**This lecture is currently at capacity. You can register to join the waitlist, or view our livestream via YouTube beginning at 6:30 pm ET on November 13.**

Neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert, PhD, is fascinated by how the brain controls our every movement. The ease with which humans move our arms, our eyes, even our lips when we speak masks the true complexity of the control. While computers can now beat grandmasters at chess, no computer can yet control a robot to manipulate a chess piece with the dexterity of a six-year-old child. Join Dr. Wolpert as he discusses what makes control so hard, especially in the face of incomplete or rapidly changing information about the world.

Daniel Wolpert read medicine at Cambridge before completing an Oxford Physiology DPhil and a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT. He joined the faculty at the Institute of Neurology, UCL in 1995 and moved to Cambridge University in 2005 where he was Professor of Engineering and a Royal Society Research Professor. In 2012 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) and made a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator. In 2018 he joined Columbia's Zuckerman Institute Professor of Neuroscience. His research interests are computational and experimental approaches to human movement.

This conversation will be moderated by Shreya Saxena, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute. Dr. Saxena is broadly interested in the neural control of coordinated, complex movements. She completed her PhD at MIT studying the closed-loop control of fast movements from a control theory standpoint. In her work at the Zuckerman Institute, she looking at how global cortical activity leads to a variety of task-related as well as spontaneous movements, and exploring how population activity in the motor cortex flexibly controls movements at a continuum of speeds. 

Please register by November 6, 2019. Registration is required; seating is first come, first served. This event will also be live streamed (link to come).


This talk is part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Brain Insight Lecture series, offered free to the public to enhance understanding of the biology of the mind and the complexity of human behavior. The lectures are hosted by Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.


Venue: Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University
2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

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