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Cambridge Neuroscience talks TED 2011

What is life? And how can it be better lived? Cambridge Neuroscientist Professor Daniel Wolpert joined esteemed scientists to take the audience on a journey of resources, technologies and skills that make life possible, and keep it going.

TEDGlobal is an annual event. For 2011 the event was hosted in Edinburgh, 11-15th July, with the theme The Stuff of Life.

Over four days 50-plus speakers and performers converged from all over the world to explore who we are, what we do, and how we relate to each other and to other living organisms. An audience of 900 or so high achievers attended, each paying a £5000 delegate fee.

Daniel Wolpert (right), a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge, UK, discussed our developing understanding of how the human brain controls movement. Computers can beat humans at chess, but understanding how a human picks up a chess piece is still utterly rudimentary - we simply don’t know the algorithm for dexterity. Wolpert’s approach is to examine how the brain combines expectations with sensory inputs – Bayesian hypothesis testing, in other words - in order to achieve a physical manipulation. Understanding the impact of noise in the system is crucial if such knowledge is to lead to the successful development of prostheses, for example.

To read the NatureBlog write up of the event please click here. Photo of Daniel from the NatureBlog site.

Posted on 19/07/2011

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