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The Ever-Changing Brain with David Eagleman and Brian Eno

The leading neuroscientist takes us on a tour of the astonishing plasticity and interconnectedness of our brains

What does drug withdrawal have in common with a broken heart? Why is the enemy of memory not time, but other memories? How can a blind person learn to see with her tongue or a deaf person learn to hear with his skin? Why did many people in the 1980s mistakenly perceive book pages to be slightly red in colour? Will we one day be able to control a robot with our thoughts, just as we do our fingers and toes? Why do we dream at night, and what does that have to do with the rotation of the planet?

These are just some of the questions David Eagleman answered when he came to Intelligence Squared for this exclusive online event. Eagleman is a leading neuroscientist, as well as one of the world’s most dynamic and engaging science communicators. He specialises in brain plasticity – the idea that our brains are constantly changing and reconfiguring the world around us. The more experiences we have, the more the brain absorbs and the more it adjusts. In conversation with musician and producer Brian Eno, Eagleman discussed his latest findings which he outlines in his new book, Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain. And he showed that far from getting less malleable as we get older, our brains can continue to learn and absorb information quickly, if we keep on providing them with stimuli and new experiences.



David Eagleman

Neuroscientist and internationally bestselling author, whose latest book is Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain

Neuroscientist and internationally bestselling author. He teaches Brain Plasticity at Stanford University, is creator and host of the Emmy-nominated BBC television series The Brain, and is the Chief Executive Officer of Neosensory, a company that builds the next generation of neuroscience hardware. He is the author of eight books, including international bestsellers Sum and Incognito. His most recent book is Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain.

Brian Eno

Musician, record producer, visual artist and theorist

Musician, record producer, visual artist and theorist, generally considered to be one of contemporary music's most influential and innovative figures. After recording two albums with Roxy Music, he left the band in 1973. He began recording solo and developed what he called ‘ambient music’. He has worked with artists such as David Bowie, David Byrne, Grace Jones and Damon Albarn. In 1975 he co-created Oblique Strategies, a card-based method for breaking creative blocks by encouraging lateral thinking. He is a human rights campaigner and political activist.



Speakers subject to change.