Fondazione Prada

Culture and Consciousness 9 – 13 Nov 2020

Idan Segev

Prof. Idan Segev is the David & Inez Myers Professor in Computational Neurosciences and a member of the Edmond and Lily Safra Centre for Brain Sciences (ELSC) at the ~hebrew university of Jersualem. He published more than 100 scientific papers in top journals including, Science, Nature, Neuron and PNAS, and has supervised more than 50 Ph.D. students. His research team utilizes computational and theoretical tools to study: (i) What kind of computing devices are human neurons (obtained from fresh tissue following brain surgery at hospitals); (ii) Network structure and dynamics, as part of the EPFL’s “Blue Brain Project”, whereby a whole piece of the mammalian cortex is simulated in details in the computer; (iii) Brain and Art – Idan Segev takes a keen interest in the connection between art and the brain. He co-edited an “Artists” book with original brain-inspired etchings by ten top Israeli artists and has recently co-edited a special research topic (open access via Frontiers journals) on “Art and Brain”. Segev serves as a Chief Editor of Frontiers in Neuroscience scientific journal where he developed the Frontiers for young minds, FYMs, a unique freely available scientific journal for 10-15 years old kids, in which top scientist, including Nobel laureates, present their state-of-the-art work and kids serve as reviewers for these articles. FYMs has above 6 million views. In September 2019, the Hebrew FYMs was inaugurated in Israel with more than 1000 Israeli kids and family participating and top researchers lecturing and already 150,000 views of the Hebrew articles.

 

THURSDAY, 12 NOVEMBER 2020, 7 – 9 PM (CET)
DISCUSSION 4 | EVOLUTION OF CULTURE: HOW FAR WE WILL GO? (FROM ANTHROPOLOGY TO TECHNOLOGY)

Design for a Creative Brain

Although the brain of each species is unique, the human brain has one outstanding characteristic that sets it apart from all others. It is extraordinarily creative, constantly generating new ideas, new science, new art, and innovative technologies. But what makes our brain so creative? What are the fundamental features and design principles of the human brain that underlie our powerful capability to create? This is probably the most challenging enigma in brain research—and the most intriguing. Five biologically based ideas on the brain-origin of human creativity will be considered, including the role of its enormous number of neurons, the highly dense intra- and inter-region connectivity, and the importance of the slow development of the brain. Interwoven throughout this presentation, beautiful (and artistic) brain images will be presented that have recently emerged from new technologies (such as the connectomics and computer simulations from the Blue Brain Project). These technologies help us better understand what makes us so creative.