National 14.9.2016 11:39 am

Why the brain matters

Director of Jias and professor of humanities at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Peter Vale. Picture: Sandton Chronicle.

Director of Jias and professor of humanities at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Peter Vale. Picture: Sandton Chronicle.

The brain is a complex organ and very little work has been done on it, says UJ professor.

If you’ve ever taken an interest in how the human brain functions and would like to know more about it, there’s an informative seminar taking place at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (Jias) in partnership with Nanyang Technology University, reports the Sandton Chronicle.

The seminar, Why the Brain Matters, runs from September 12 to 30.

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Director of Jias and professor of humanities at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Peter Vale, says the brain is a complex organ of the body and very little work has been done on it, compared to work done on other parts of the body.

“The seminar will be separated into four sessions over three weeks, and I believe people need to understand that brain studies cannot be for one single aspect,” says Vale.

“Many of us are from different cultural traditions and there are also different understandings of the brain. Part of the conversation will be around these distinct cultural understandings, trying to understand the physiological, emotional and spiritual dimensions of the brain.”

He adds that the first session will be on brain studies, the second session on the cognitive brain, followed by the creative brain and lastly, the social brain. “I will be coordinating the sessions, which are open to the pubic. Everyone who is interested in understanding how the brain works is welcome, because it is such an important, complex organ and stands at the centre of who we are.

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“It is good for society to try and understand how different people see things, how creativity works in people and also we want to have a sportsman tell us how the brain works while playing sport, which is different to how your brain works when driving a car, for example.”

Details: Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (Jias), ehprinsloo@uj.ac.za

Caxton News Service

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