The Ancestors in Our Brains

Date(s) - 3 Mar 2014
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

U of A Centennial Hall

What: The Evolving Brain Lecture Series

When: Mondays, Jan. 27 to March 10, at 7 p.m.

Where: Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. Visitor pay parking is available in the Tyndall Avenue Garage, 880 E. Fourth St.

Admission: All lectures are free and open to the public. To learn more, visit the College of Science Spring 2014 Lectures website.

The University of Arizona College of Science‘s popular spring lecture series will present six free lectures exploring the evolution of the astonishingly complex human brain.

The topics to be covered over the entire series include brain imaging, the history of brain surgery, the ancestral circuits that can be found in the modern brain and the essentially perfect way our brains solve problems. The first lecture will be on Monday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall on the UA campus.

The human brain is the product of hundreds of millions of years of evolution.

Layered upon its ancestral core of ancient molecules and neural circuits, new structures evolved that expand the capacity of our brains to process information flexibly and to perform complex behaviors.

Human brains are continuously remodeled by environmental forces and by the enormous sum of information and technologies generated by human inventiveness. These new technologies further expand our power to manipulate information and interact with countless others in remote environments that once were far beyond our reach.

Today sophisticated techniques allow us to probe the structure and function of our own brains and those of other species to better understand how brains originated and where the evolution of our own brain will take us.

All “The Evolving Brain” lectures are free and open to the public. The lectures will be held at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., on the UA campus. Pay visitor parking is available in the Tyndall Avenue Garage, 880 E. Fourth St.

The scheduled lectures:

Mar. 3 | The Ancestors in Our Brains 
Associate Professor, Physiology
Assistant Professor, Neurology
Assistant Professor, Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute
The human brain retains ancestral neural circuits that support behaviors geared toward satisfying basic biological needs. Superimposed on these core circuits are newly evolved structures that specialize in complex computations. These specializations convey flexibility to the brain and the ability to distill information into abstract thought. The ancient molecules and core circuits that make us social and emotional beings interface harmoniously with the newly evolved structures that make us thinkers and inventors of technology.
Funding for the College of Science Spring 2014 Lecture Series is provided by: Arizona Daily Star; Galileo Circle; Godat Design; Holualoa Companies; Marshall Foundation; Steven J. Miller Foundation; Miraval Resort & Spa; Raytheon; Research Corporation for Science Advancement; Hugh and Allyn Thompson; Tucson Electric Power Co.; University of Arizona Medical Center; and Ventana Medical Systems Inc.