PEN Lecture Series
Academic Year 2018-2019
The Ph.D. in Educational Neuroscience (PEN) Program proudly presents the 2018-2019 PEN Distinguished Lecture Series in Educational Neuroscience.
"From Mirror Neurons to Society:
How the Brain and Experience Provide
New Insights into Learning"
Presented in conjunction with the PEN 701 Proseminar, the PEN Program's 2018-2019 PEN Distinguished Lecture Series in Educational Neuroscience honored world-renowned scientists and helped to form a bridge between science and society.
The 2018-2019 presenters have helped change the landscape of science. This year, each presenter shared their discoveries with attendees as we forge new links across research communities within Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C., and the world. Learn more about each presenter below.
View All Lectures
All lectures are available at Gallaudet University's Archive Media Channel. Additional lectures from 2008 to the present are also archived and available on this channel.
Where did language come from? Evolutionary precursor mechanisms in the brain of nonhuman primates
With all its uniqueness in humans, language and music must have its evolutionary origins in nonhuman animals. Dr. Rauschecker contends that it makes sense to search for traces of brain mechanisms supporting communication in our closest relatives, nonhuman primates. Monkeys have a well-developed system of communication calls and an auditory cortex that is organized very much like ours. Ventral and dorsal processing streams support similar functions in both the visual and the auditory systems of humans and monkeys. Where then is the difference that makes us human? It appears possible that nonhuman primates possess most of the necessary ingredients for successful communication, but have them to a lesser degree, so they do not reach the critical mass for a full-blown language system. Dr. Rauschecker states that studies using identical techniques in both species may help to bring us closer to an answer.