STT 73 – Brain Visions

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Neuroscientific research aims to understand the workings of the human brain and mind. Like genetics, it tries to unravel the biological basis of human nature. Following the explosion of knowledge in the genetic sciences over the past twenty years, the same revolution is expected in the neurosciences and cognitive sciences in the decades ahead. The biology of the mind will be to the 21ste century what the biology of the gene was tot the 20th.

Personal scope

Never before has scientific research got so personal, not even in genetics. Research on the brain and mind deals with our very selves, the conscious and unconscious behaviour that defines our identities and personalities. If we come to fully understand the workings of the brain and mind, we will understand how we ourselves think and behave, with potential relevance in every domain of life.

Major challenges

So far the brain sciences have been largely technologically driven. Every new technology, for example the various neuro-imaging techniques and patch-clamp technology, has pushed the field forward in ever-larger steps. The new advances have expanded our knowledge of the anatomy of the brain, the way individual neurons process information and communicate with one another, how the major sensory input systems collect and represent information, and how output systems such as muscles are addressed. Nevertheless, we still face major challenges in understanding the brain and mind. After all, the brain is the most complex system known to mankind.

Proof

We do not need to understand everything about the brain and its mechanisms to be able to think about how to use our rapidly growing knowledge, however. The STT project Brain Visions offers conclusive proof if this. In three expert groups and one large-scale conference, STT has explored how society can profit from the moutnig scientific insights into the mechanisms of the brain and mind in four important areas of application: food, man-machine interfaces (MMI), education and judicial practice. This STT publication reflects the ideas of and discussions between the more than seventy experts from academia, industry, government and other relevant professions participating in the Brain Visions project.

Clues

The publication is intended for everyone with an interest in the imminent revolution in the brain sciences and how it could change the way we eat, communicate, learn and judge. In addition, the publication offers some clues about the conditions that will allow the brain sciences to develop for the benefit of society.
How the Brain sciences Could Change the Way We Eat, Learn, Communicate and judge
Edited by: Ira van Keulen, 2008
ISBN: 978-90-80961-36-4

Price: € 49,00 (excluding shipping)
Pdf: free of charge. Please send an e-mail to info@stt.nlDo not forget to mention the title of the publication or the publication number (STT 73).