Minds and Machines: A Conversation with Miguel Nicolelis
This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Miguel Nicolelis, Professor of Neurobiology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Biomedical Engineering, Psychology and Neuroscience and Orthopaedic Surgery and Co-Director of the Center for Neuroengineering at Duke University.
This thought-provoking conversation examines Miguel Nicolelis’ extensive and important research for over 20 years now and how he has been blurring the line between science fiction and science fact, developing increasingly sophisticated ways of harnessing the thoughts of rats, monkeys and humans to drive mechanical devices in the rapidly emerging field of brain-machine interfaces. As he continues to explore how best to apply this fascinating technology to liberate paralysis victims and Parkinson’s sufferers from their neurological constraints, Nicolelis remains focused on challenging conventional wisdom of what the brain is and how it works, consistently probing the evolving frontier between body and mind.
This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, From Science Fiction to Science Fact, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:
I. Revolutionary Rumblings - Beyond 1:1 maps
II. Plowing Ahead - Pivotal results and scientific scepticism
III. Interface - Powering robots with monkey minds
IV. Against Reductionism - The pernicious influence of physicists
V. Incarnating Our Surroundings - How the brain blurs “outside” and “inside”
VI. Imposing Representations - How the brain interacts with the world
VII. Distributed vs. Local - The big issue
VIII. Technological Applications - From medical rehabilitation to a joint operating system
IX. Getting Metaphysical - The brain as a reality-mediator
X. Final Questions - Big ones, dark ones and ontological ones
About Ideas Roadshow Conversations Series:
This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert in a relaxed and informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks.