סמינר מחקר 22 במאי: אלן יאנג (אוניברסיטת מק'גיל) - Memory, Human Nature, and the Bayesian Brain

סמינר מחקר 22 במאי: אלן יאנג (אוניברסיטת מק'גיל) - Memory, Human Nature, and the Bayesian Brain
16 מאי 2017

Memory, Human Nature, and the Bayesian Brain

Allan Young, Departments of Social Studies of Medicine, Anthropology, and Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal

In this talk, I recall the contrasting perspectives of Sigmund Freud and Hermann von Helmholtz

concerning relations between brain, mind, and unconscious. My account begins with two

illusions: optical illusions of the Muller-Lyer type and culture-historical illusions of the sort that

Freud describes in The Future of an Illusion (1927). Helmholtz’s thesis concerning optical

illusions attracted relatively little interest and soon migrated to the margins of scholarly

discourse; Freud’s thesis, on the other hand, continued to attract the attention of scholars and

intellectuals into the 1980s. Helmholtz and Freud were working with different visions of the

brain, although this difference attracted little interest until recently. However, contemporary

neuroscience has effectively resurrected the Helmholtzian brain (also known now as the

Bayesian brain) and, with it, Helmholtz’s notion of the unconscious. My talk is focused on these

recent developments and their unsettling implications for our collective understanding of ‘human nature’

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אוניברסיטת תל-אביב, ת.ד. 39040, תל-אביב 6997801
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