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Wolf Singer

Wolf Singer, a neuroscientist, is Emeritus Director of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Founding Director of the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, the Ernst Strüngmann Institute for Neuroscience in cooperation with Max Planck Society, and the Ernst Strüngmann Forum.

Titles by This Author

Conversations between Buddhism and Neuroscience

Buddhism shares with science the task of examining the mind empirically; it has pursued, for two millennia, direct investigation of the mind through penetrating introspection. Neuroscience, on the other hand, relies on third-person knowledge in the form of scientific observation.

Titles by This Editor

From Neurons to Mind

A fundamental shift is occurring in neuroscience and related disciplines. In the past, researchers focused on functional specialization of the brain, discovering complex processing strategies based on convergence and divergence in slowly adapting anatomical architectures. Yet for the brain to cope with ever-changing and unpredictable circumstances, it needs strategies with richer interactive short-term dynamics. Recent research has revealed ways in which the brain effectively coordinates widely distributed and specialized activities to meet the needs of the moment.

DECISION MAKING, the HUMAN MIND, and IMPLICATIONS FOR INSTITUTIONS

Conscious control enables human decision makers to override routines, to exercise willpower, to find innovative solutions, to learn by instruction, to decide collectively, and to justify their choices. These and many more advantages, however, come at a price: the ability to process information consciously is severely limited and conscious decision makers are liable to hundreds of biases. Measured against the norms of rational choice theory, conscious decision makers perform poorly.