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Nicholas Humphrey + David Freedberg

Soul Dust: The Problem of Consciousness

Wednesday, March 2, 2011
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

“Humphrey, a theoretical psychologist at the top of his game, combines the romantic spirit of a Shelley or Keats with the razor sharp intellect of a Sherlock Holmes.” –V. S.Ramachandran, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, UC San Diego
Nicholas Humphrey is a theoretical psychologist who studies the evolution of human intelligence and consciousness. He studied mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey in Rwanda and was the first to demonstrate the existence of “blindsight” after brain damage in monkeys. He was Lecturer in Psychology at Oxford, Assistant Director of the Subdepartment of Animal Behavior and Senior Research Fellow in Parapsychology atCambridge, Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York, and School Professor at the London School of Economics. Humphrey’s books include Consciousness Regained, The Inner Eye, A History of the Mind, Leaps of Faith, The Mind Made Flesh, and most recently Seeing Red. He has received several honors, including the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize and the British Psychological Society’s book award.
David Freedberg is the Pierre Matisse Professor of the History of Art and Director of The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University. He is best known for his work on psychological responses to art, and particularly for his studies on iconoclasm and censorship (Iconoclasts and their Motives, 1984; The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response, 1989). He has been concerned with the importance of the new cognitive neurosciences for the study of art and its history, particularly with the intersection of art and science in the age of Galileo (The Eye of the Lynx: Galileo, his Friends, and the Beginnings of Modern Natural History, 2002). He is now devoting a substantial portion of his attention to collaborations with neuroscientists working in fields of vision, movement and emotion. His more traditional art historical writing originally centered on the fields of Dutch and Flemish art. Professor Freedberg is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society, as well as of the Accademia Nazionale di Agricultura and the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti.