Biology of Mind

Saturday, February 22, 2014
Past Roundtable

What is mind? Is it a property attributable to biological functionality alone, and, in particular, arising from the morphology of the mammalian brain and/or the influence of that animal’s body? How far down the evolutionary scale can we apply terms like cognition, consciousness, and intelligence? Are we capable of engineering artificial minds?




John Krakauer

Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Director of BLAM Lab, Co-founder of the KATA project

Dr. Krakauer received his bachelor’s and master’s deegree from Cambridge University, and his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. After completing an internship in Internal Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, he returned to Columbia University for his residency in Neurology at the Neurological Institute of New York. He subsequently completed a research fellowship in motor control in the Center of Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia and a clinical fellowship in stroke at the Neurological Institute at Columbia University Medical Center.

Areas of research interest: (1) Experimental and computational studies of  motor control and motor learning in humans (2) Tracking long-term motor skill learning and its relation to higher cognitive processes such as decision making. (3) Prediction of motor recovery after stroke (4) Mechanisms of spontaneous motor recovery after stroke in humans and in mouse models (5) New neuro-rehabilitation approaches for patients in the first 3 months after stroke.

Dr. Krakauer’s clinical interest is stroke, including ischemic cerebrovascular disease, subarachnoid and intracerebral hemorrhage, arteriovenous malformations, cerebral vasculitis, cerebral aneurysms, and  sinus thrombosis.

Roundtable Appearances


Gary Marcus

Professor of Psychology, New York University, and Director, NYU Center for Language and Music

Gary Marcus, described by the New York Times as “one of the country’s best known cognitive psychologists”, has published numerous articles on language, evolution, computation, and cognitive development, in leading journals such as Science and Nature. He is the author of four books, including: Kluge; The Algebraic Mind; and the New York Times Bestseller, Guitar Zero. Co-editor of the forthcoming book, The Future of the Brain: Essays By The World’s Leading Neuroscientists, Marcus frequently blogs on neuroscience and artificial intelligence for The New Yorker.

Roundtable Appearances

Ken Miller

Ken Miller

Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Physiology and Director, Center for Theoretical Biology, Columbia University

Kenneth Miller is Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Department of Physiology and Director, Center for Theoretical Neurobiology, Columbia University. Co-Director of Columbia’s Swartz Program in Theoretical Neurobiology, its Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, as well as its Neurobiology and Behavior Graduate Program, Professor Miller also serves as Vice-Chair of its Department of Neuroscience. He received his B.A. from Reed College, his M.S. and Ph.D. (with distinction) from Stanford University, and completed his postdoctoral work at UCSF and Caltech. A founding member of the editorial board of Journal of Computational Neuroscience, he is also Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, in Goettingen, Germany, and an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. He has served as faculty for many years at Woods Hole, teaching Methods in Computational Neuroscience. He is a recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, Searle Scholar’s Award, Dell Webb Biology Fellowship, and National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship.

Roundtable Appearances


David Rosenthal

Professor of Philosophy and Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Concentration in Cognitive Science, CUNY Graduate Center

David Rosenthal is Professor of Philosophy and Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Concentration in Cognitive Science at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  He has published widely on consciousness, the mental qualities of perceiving and sensation, the representational character of thought, the nature of emotions, the self, and related topics, including his 2005 book, Consciousness and Mind.  He is past president of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, and has been a Visiting Professor at Nihon University, Tokyo, and Washington University in St. Louis, and a Research Fellow at the Universities of Bielefeld, Bremen, and Oxford.  He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton and an A.B. from the University of Chicago.

Roundtable Appearances


Matthew Stone

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Rutgers University

Matthew Stone completed his Ph.D. in the Computer and Information Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania in 1998.  Since then he has had an appointment in the Computer Science Department and Center for Cognitive Science at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.  Stone has had visiting positions at the University of Edinburgh and the Universität Potsdam.  He works on problems of meaning in human-human and human-computer conversation.

Roundtable Appearances

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