Launches SAGE Center for the Study of Mind at UCSB
Michael Gazzaniga, a top scholar who is widely regarded as the founder
of the cognitive neuroscience field, will direct a new interdisciplinary
research center for the study of the mind at UC Santa Barbara.
The SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind has been
funded with a $3.5-million contribution from SAGE Publications.
SAGE made the gift to commemorate its 40th anniversary as a leading
international publisher for scholarly, educational, and professional
markets. The new center will bring together UCSB scholars from a
broad range of academic disciplines—from the arts and humanities,
social sciences, the sciences, and engineering—to explore the nature
of the human mind.
Earlier this month, the pioneering effort was launched
with a special public event and panel discussion on the “Multidimensional
Aspects of Mind: The Interdisciplinary Approach” in Corwin Pavilion.
Gazzaniga moderated the discussion involving three distinguished
interdisciplinary scholars: Mahzarin R. Banaji, professor of social
ethics in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University; Patricia
S. Churchland, a philosopher of the mind and of neuroscience from
UC San Diego; and Marcus Raichle, a professor of radiology, neurology,
neurobiology, and psychology at Washington University in St. Louis.
Gazzaniga, currently a professor of psychology
and brain sciences at Dartmouth, directs that college’s Center for
Cognitive Neuroscience. In January, he will join UCSB’s Psychology
Department, where he began his academic career in 1967 as an assistant
professor. He has been a distinguished visiting professor at UCSB
for the past three years.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to return to the
place where I started my career and to build the mind sciences into
a wide-ranging program that is inclusive of the social sciences
and the arts and humanities,” said Gazzaniga. “It is an opportunity
to pull together those people on campus who are interested in interdisciplinary
work, which is rare at other universities.”
The new center will expand the study of the mind
beyond the traditional disciplines of biology, chemistry, psychology,
medicine, and neuroscience. It will be one of the first facilities
at a major university where researchers will collaborate across
disciplines to explore human mental processes from various perspectives:
analytical, cultural, historical, philosophical, mathematical, scientific,
SAGE’s gift will also establish a distinguished
visiting scholar program that will bring the foremost researchers
to UCSB to study the brain and the mind, and participate in seminars
and conferences. One possible topic for discussion, for example,
might be pain, which could be looked at neuro-biologically, psychologically,
culturally, or from a literary point of view, Gazzaniga explained.
“By examining every aspect of pain from different
angles, you gain greater insight into what it is and really does
to us as humans,” said Gazzaniga. “This approach can be applied
to anything you can think of.”
Chancellor Henry T. Yang thanked SAGE Publications
for its “vision and generosity in supporting this pioneering interdisciplinary
Said Alison Mudditt, executive vice president of
the Higher Education Group at SAGE: “This is an exciting opportunity
to take the study of the mind to a new level, to push the boundaries
of the field.” She said SAGE established the center “to support
basic research and further important fields of study.”
Sara Miller McCune is publisher and chairman of
Sage Publications. At UCSB, she serves as a trustee of The UCSB
Foundation, and has been a generous benefactor of the campus.
||Psychologist Michael Gazzaniga,
director for the new SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind,
moderated a Nov. 10 panel of experts who addressed the interdisciplinary
aspects of exploring the human mind. Panelists, from left, were
Washington University in St. Louis neurobiologist Marcus Raichle;
Harvard social ethicist Mahzarin R. Banaji; Gazzaniga; and UC
San Diego philosopher Patricia S. Churchland.