Terry McDermott and Dr. Gary Lynch present How Memories Get Made.
The world-renowned neuroscientist Gary Lynch, subject of McDermott's new book, discusses his decades-long obsessive pursuit to uncover the mechanism by which the brain makes memories. This discussion is moderated by Dr. Larry Swanson, Milo Don and Lucille Appleman Professor of Biological Sciences, USC.
Dr. Gary Lynch is one of the most cited neuroscientists in the world and author of more than 550 scientific articles. He is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California at Irvine. He is the co-author of Big Brain: The Origins and Future of Human Intelligence.
Terry McDermott, a reporter for The Los Angeles Times, was skeptical of the way the Sept. 11 hijackers were portrayed. So he traveled to 22 countries to research their identities, motives and life circumstances.
He found that they weren't deeply disturbed. They came from intact families, most were middle-class, few were deeply religious, and none were abused or estranged. His new book is Perfect Soldiers: The Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It.
Louise Steinman is a writer and literary curator. Her work frequently deals with memory, history and reconciliation. Her book, The Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father's War was cited as “A graceful, understated memoir… that draws its strength from the complexities it explores.” (New York Times Book Review) and “…an intimate and powerful story of the effects of war.” (James Bradley, author, Flags of Our Fathers). The book won the 2002 Gold Medal in Autobiography/Memoir from ForeWord Magazine and has been the selection of several all-city and all-freshman reading programs. The book chronicles her quest to return a war “souvenir” to its owner and-- in the process-- illuminates how war changed one generation and shaped another.
Dr. Larry Swanson is Appleman Professor of Biological Sciences and a member of the Neuroscience Research Institute at USC, where he directs a laboratory investigating brain systems that control motivation and emotion. His recent book, Brain Architecture: Understanding the Basic Plan, presents a new theory of nervous system organization, and his atlas Brain Maps is in its third edition. He and his wife, Neely, have translated three classic works of Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1852-1934), the Nobel Prize-winning founder of modern neuroscience, including his 2,000-page masterpiece Histology of the Nervous System and Advice to a Young Investigator.
Dr. Swanson is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Neuroscientist Gary Lynch disagrees with Stephen Hawking's recent comments about not pursuing contact with alien lifeforms. "At the end of the day," says Lynch, "I have a terrible suspicion that all intelligence will be very similar."