Why do we continually engage in behavioral patterns that are destructive to ourselves, to society, and to the environment? How did we become such a society of mindless consumers? Peter C. Whybrow, MD, author of the book, The Well-Tuned Brain: The Remedy for a Manic Society attempts to answer these questions and more. He is a psychiatrist and endocrinologist, and director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. Born and educated in England, he is the author of, among other books, A Mood Apart and the award-winning American Mania: When More Is Not Enough.
Kurt Gray is the author of the new book, The Mind Club: Who thinks, what feels, and why it matters. Kurt Gray is a professor of social psychology at UNC Chapel Hill who received his PhD from Harvard University. He studies mind perception and morality, pondering such questions as “what is the nature of good and evil,” “can we ever truly know ourselves,” “why are humanoid robots so creepy,” and “what makes grandma’s cooking taste so good?”
Alva Noë is the author of the new book Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature. Alva works on the nature of mind and human experience. What is art? Why does it matter to us? What does art reveal about our nature? Drawing on philosophy, art history, and cognitive science, and making provocative use of examples from all three of these fields, Alva offers new answers to such questions. He also shows why recent efforts to frame questions about art in terms of neuroscience and evolutionary biology alone have been, and will continue to be, unsuccessful.
Andrew Newberg is the author of Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth. Andrew is a member of the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is an associate professor in the Department of Radiology and Psychiatry, adjunct assistant Professor in the department of Religious Studies,and director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind. He is also one of the founders of a new interdisciplinary field called neurotheology, and is currently teaching a course called “Science and the Sacred: An introduction to Neurotheology.”
John Horgan talks about his book, Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality. John is the Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey. A former senior writer at Scientific American (1986-1997), he has also written for The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, and others.