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GoMA Talks Mastering the mind | Do our brains control our behaviour?

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Published on Sep 15, 2011

During 'Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams', the entertaining evening discussion program GoMA Talks explores the mind, imagination and art from a range of perspectives. How is the mind's capacity evolving? What contributions do philosophy, science, art and literature make to new ideas and innovations?

Kate Evans (Host)
Dr Kate Evans has worked in radio, television, book publishing and universities, and spent many years in archives and manuscript collections immersing herself in traces of the past. She holds a Masters degree in Public History and a Doctor of Philosophy in Cultural History. Since the late 1990s, Evans has worked in the roles of producer, executive producer and presenter on a number of Radio National programs, including Hindsight, Life Matters, Religion Report, Comfort Zone, Australia Talks, The Book Show and Movie Time. In 2001 she researched the five-part television and radio series One Hundred Years: The Australian Story. She is currently presenter and researcher for ABC Radio National's Rear Vision program.

Nick Allen
Nick Allen is a clinical psychologist and a Professor at Orygen Youth Health Research Centre and Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Allen leads a large team of investigators in the area of clinical depression, focusing on the emergence of depression during adolescence. His research uses neuroimaging and psychophysiology to understand how emotion, attention, and social cognition are affected by depressed states and vulnerability to depression. This work explores a number of questions, such as: What is depression? How can we tell the difference between normal depressed moods and clinical depression? Why are some people more vulnerable to depression than others?

Wayne Hall
Professor Wayne Hall is a National Health and Medical Research Australia Fellow and Deputy Director of Policy at the Centre for Clinical Research, The University of Queensland, Brisbane. He was previously Director of The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Sydney, and with a career spanning over 20 years, Hall is among the most highly cited social science researchers in the world. His work focuses on behavioural addictions, addressing questions at the intersection between human biology and history. Hall's current research includes the ethical and social implications of 'neuroenhancement' -- the practice of using drugs to enhance human cognitive performance. Hall currently advises the World Health Organization, Geneva and is a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London. In 2000, he was awarded Member of the Order of Australia for service to community health.

Neil Levy
Professor Neil Levy is Deputy Director (Research) of the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics at the University of Oxford, UK, and Head of Neuroethics at the Florey Neuroscience Institutes, University of Melbourne.Levy's work explores free will and moral responsibility, and empirical approaches to ethics. He is the author of the monograph Neuroethics: Challenges for the 21st Century (Cambridge University Press, 2007) as well as editor in chief for the international journal Neuroethics. Levy holds an Australian Research Council Grant to develop a framework for the ethical regulation of technologies associated with sciences of the mind and to seek to understand the implications of these sciences for our conception of human agency. Levy won the 2009 Australian Catholic University Eureka Prize for Research in Ethics

Sue Woolfe
Dr Sue Woolfe is an award winning author whose novel The Mystery of the Cleaning Lady: A Writer Looks at creativity and Neuroscience (University of Western Australia Press, 2007) takes readers on a very personal search exploring the new discoveries in neuroscience that reveal what it is that we do with our minds in making stories -- and what we could do to tell stories that are more adventurously and uniquely our own. Woolfe's other writing includes her most well-known novel Leaning Toward Infinity (Random House, 1996), which has been translated into several languages, and The Secret Cure (Picador, 2003), which originally sparked the author's interest in the interplay between imagination, emotion and science. She has also written, directed and produced short documentary films. Woolfe is currently a Lecturer of Creative Writing at the University of Sydney.

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