Distinguished Visiting Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience
Michael Gazzaniga widely regarded as having founded the interdisciplinary field of cognitive neuroscience. Early in his career he made a mark by being the first neuroscientist to comprehensively investigate differences between the left and right hemispheres of the human brain.
Michael is the Director of the SAGE Center for the Study of Mind at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1964 he received a PhD from the California Institute of Technology, where he worked under the guidance of Roger Sperry, with primary responsibility for initiating human split-brain research. In his subsequent work he has made important advances in our understanding of functional lateralization in the brain and how the cerebral hemispheres communicate with one another. Michael’s teaching and mentoring career has included beginning and developing Centers for Cognitive Neuroscience at Cornell University Medical Center, University of California-Davis, and Dartmouth College. He founded the Cognitive Neuroscience Institute and the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, of which he is the Editor-in-Chief Emeritus. Michael is also prominent as an advisor to various institutes involved in brain research, and was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2001-2009. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science, the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.
He has published many books accessible to a lay audience, including: The Social Brain; Mind Matters; Nature’s Mind; The Ethical Brains; Human and Who’s in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain; and Tales from Both Sides of the Brain.