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Isaac Lidsky + Jacqueline Gottlieb

How to perceive without sight

Saturday, March 18, 2017
6:00 PM–7:30 PM

“Whether we’re blind or not, our vision is limited by our past experiences, biases, and emotions.” —Isaac Lidsky

Isaac Lidsky knows better than most how the brain confronts new challenges. He went from childhood actor, to Harvard Law graduate, to successful entrepreneur. He also began to go blind at age thirteen, eventually losing his sight entirely by the time he was twenty-five. He will discuss how the brain overcomes limitations and how perception goes beyond the visual with neuroscientist Dr. Jacqueline Gottlieb.

The program will be followed by a book signing with Isaac Lidsky and his book Eyes Wide Open: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities in a World That Can’t See Clearly.

Isaac Lidsky is presented in partnership with the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.

Brainwave is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


About the Speakers

Isaac Lidsky is the author of Eyes Wide Open: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities in a World That Can’t See Clearly. His TED talk has been viewed over a million times. According to Inc. Magazine, Lidsky “may possess the most eclectic resume in entrepreneurship:” he starred as “Weasel” on the TV series Saved by the Bell: The New Class; graduated from Harvard College at age nineteen; graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude; served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg; argued more than a dozen appeals in federal court on behalf of the United States and never lost a case; started a tech company that sold for $230 million; transformed a struggling $15 million concrete subcontractor into an industry-leading $150 million construction services company in five years; and founded the nonprofit Hope for Vision—all while coping with vision impairment and blindness.


Jacqueline Gottlieb is an internationally renowned neuroscientist who studies the neural basis of attention, decision making and curiosity at Columbia University. Her work is dedicated to the idea that intelligence is a motivated process““that our brains decide, through complex interactions among millions of cells, what is more interesting to look at, think about, and learn at a particular point in time. She studies how these decisions are made using a multidisciplinary approach that integrates psychology, economics, artificial intelligence, and biology. Dr Gottlieb received her undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her PhD from Yale University, and her postdoctoral training at the National Eye Institute. She joined the Columbia faculty in 2001.


Tickets: $22.00

Member Tickets: $19.80
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