Michael Gazzaniga Professor of Psychology

University of California, Santa Barbara; Director of the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind


Michael Gazzaniga is a leading psychologist and researcher in cognitive neuroscience, investigating how the brain underlies the mind. A major focus of his research has been the study of patients who have undergone split-brain surgery, with which he has pinpointed where in the brain various functions are located. Particularly interesting is how the sense of self can be dramatically altered by pathologies of or damage to the brain. Like a detective, Gazzaniga's work has been the finding of clues in the wake of trauma, and using them to learn things about the non-traumatized brain, such as how and where the sense of self is generated. On this topic, Gazzaniga says, “There is no ghost in the machine, no secret stuff that is YOU. That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest.” His recent work deals with how developments in cognitive neuroscience relate to the question of free will. Gazzaniga is also the founder and editor-in-chief emeritus of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

The Bisected Brain
The Integrated Mind
Social Brain: Discovering the Networks of the Mind
Mind Matters: How Mind and Brain Interact to Create our Conscious Lives
Nature's Mind: The Biological Roots of Thinking, Emotions, Sexuality, Language and Intelligence
The Mind's Past
The Ethical Brain
Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind
Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique

Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain

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