Neuroscience and History: The Mirror and the Mind

General Programming

  • Center for Science and Society
  • Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience
  • Free and open to the public
  • No registration necessary
  • First come, first seated

This talk brings the study of material culture to an unlikely object: the mind. Focusing on three episodes of mirror use in the medicine and science of the mind in the twentieth century, Professor Guenther analyzes the ways in which this simple piece of experimental equipment has been used to capture the mind’s workings. She examines the psychologist Gordon G. Gallup’s work on chimpanzee self recognition, the neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran’s use of the “mirror box” to treat phantom limb pain, and the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan’s formulation of the imaginary based on his theory of the “mirror stage.”

  • Katja Guenther Assistant Professor of History Princeton University