24th June 2020 | Live Stream

Join us on the 24th June for the next in our Salon Lockdown series as the Professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester, Matthew Cobb, takes us on a monumental, sweeping journey from the ancient roots of neurology to the most astonishing recent research into the most mysterious object in the universe: the human brain.

Today we tend to picture it as a computer. Earlier scientists thought about it in their own technological terms: as a telephone switchboard, or a clock, or all manner of fantastic mechanical or hydraulic devices. Could the right metaphor unlock its deepest secrets once and for all?

Galloping through centuries of wild speculation and ingenious, sometimes macabre anatomical investigations, Matthew will reveal how we came to our present state of knowledge. Our latest theories allow us to create artificial memories in the brain of a mouse, and to build AI programmes capable of extraordinary cognitive feats. A complete understanding seems within our grasp.

But to make that final breakthrough, we may need a radical new approach. Where, he asks, might the next one come from? What will it be?

This Salon is free and open to all as part of our commitment to get us together with big ideas in lockdown but if you would like to support, please consider making a £7 donation below to help keep our speakers in cake or buy Matthew’s astonishing book, The Idea of the Brain described by Adam Rutherford as a 'masterpiece'  below. Alternatively, become a member and get unlimited access to all Salon events, live and online, across the year.