Michael Gazzaniga

Most Influential Person

American neuroscientist

Why Is Michael Gazzaniga Influential?

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Michael Gazzaniga currently holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is the director of their SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind. Previously, Gazzaniga has held professorial positions at institutions including New York University, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, and University of California at Davis. Besides his professorial work, Gazzaniga has founded and directed numerous university research centers, as well as the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, and even served as a member of the Council on Bioethics under 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush. Gazzaniga completed his undergraduate studies at Dartmouth College in 1961, and his Ph.D. in psychobiology at the California Institute of Technology in 1964.

Gazzaniga is recognized as a pioneering figure in the field of cognitive neuroscience, and has significantly advanced our understanding of the functional lateralization in the brain, or in common terms, how the left-side and the right-side of our brains communicate with each other. Fortunately, his work has not been confined to the halls of academia; Gazzaniga is known for accessible popular science books, such as Social Brain: Discovering the Networks of the Mind, and the TV series The Brain and The Mind. In particular, Gazzaniga is probably most famous for his research into split-brained patients, i.e. patients in who (for a variety of reasons) their left and right brain halves operate separately from each other.

Other key works by Gazzaniga include, Who’s in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain and more recently, and The Consciousness Instinct: Unraveling the Mystery of How the Brain Makes the Mind.

For his work, Gazzaniga has received numerous awards and honors, including being made a fellow of the American Neurological Association, a fellow of the American Psychological Association, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, from the American Psychological Association, and a William James Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science.

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According to Wikipedia, Michael S. Gazzaniga is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the USA, where he heads the new SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind. He is one of the leading researchers in cognitive neuroscience, the study of the neural basis of mind. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences.

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