III: RETHINKING


NO FACT IS SACRED

What is more important in science: facts or opinions? Students may find the answer surprising. Our educators present on how we’ve become progressively less wrong about the mind and brain by updating our opinions to better interpret observations, old and new. Students are given a multi-millenium tour of theoretical progress in understanding mental and neural function.

Activities:

1. To gain empathy for misguided theorists of the past, groups perform 19th century-style phrenology on a number of human skulls. Is phrenology science? How does phrenology compare to the theories and practices of modern neuroscience?

2. As a modern-day illustration of the discovery of electrophysiology, students make the leg of an insect dance with songs from their MP3 players. (Insects are anesthetized in line with contemporary ethical practice and will regrow their legs.)