The Evolution of Brain and Cognition

Dr. Hossein Esteky (University of Medical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti)
Saturday, 94/03/02 (May 23, 2015), 15:30


Brain is the most complex matter known to human. It emerged on Earth over 500,000,000 years ago and has now evolved into its most complex form: the human brain. A million years ago our ancestors thoughts, perception of the world, ideas, skills, problem solving abilities, dreams, … were different from what we have now because they had a different type of brain. How our cognitive abilities have emerged and how the characteristics of our cognition are related to the brains’ complex neural networks and its spatio-temporal electrical activities? In this talk I will briefly review the evolution of the human brain. Then I will present data from my lab indicating how perception and cognition are related to the brains’ spatio-temporal electrical activity. I will present data showing that by artificial electrical stimulation of cortical neurons perception of faces can be induced without presence of any real visual stimulus. This data establishes a causal relation between brain electrical activity and perception. I will also present evidence that shows how oscillatory neural activity guides attention and underlies conscious perception.