In Our Time: Neuroscience

From BBC Radio 4’s weekly show “In Our Time” presented by Melvyn Bragg:


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In the mid-19th century a doctor had a patient who had suffered a stroke. The patient was unable to speak save for one word. The word was ‘Tan’ which became his name. When Tan died, the doctor discovered damage to the left side of his brain and concluded that the ability to speak was housed there.

This is how neuroscience used to work – by examining the dead or investigating the damaged – but now things have changed. Imaging machines and other technologies enable us to see the active brain in everyday life, to observe the activation of its cells and the mass firing of its neuron batteries.

But what picture of the brain has emerged, how has our understanding of it changed and what are the implications for understanding that most mysterious and significant of all phenomena – the human mind?


Martin Conway, Professor of Psychology at the University of Leeds

Gemma Calvert, Professor of Applied Neuroimaging at WMG, University of Warwick

David Papineau, Professor of Philosophy of Science at King’s College London”

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