April 18, 2009
Bose Pacia, New York
In his presentation Dr. Perrine will discuss language and certainty, weaving together the questions posed by philosophers from Western (e.g., Wittgenstein, Bateson) and Eastern (Mahayana Buddhism, Taoism) traditions regarding language and subjectivity, with his research findings from performing the Wada test in which a sedative is injected into one hemisphere of the brain at a time. The effect is to shut down all functions in that hemisphere in order to evaluate the capabilities of the other, “awake” hemisphere. During this period of anesthesia he probes the neural mechanisms of memory, language and thinking in each hemisphere separately. He also performs Cortical Stimulation during awake neurosurgery to localize language and other cognitive processes by selectively disabling small (1 cm) cortical areas during cognitive testing. These procedures allow testing of hypotheses relating the neural bases of language, certainty, self-awareness and other mental functions to the questions posed by philosophers for millennia.