UCSB will soon evolve from a place where minds can study to a place where researchers can also study the mind.
The recently founded SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind will offer faculty and students the chance to focus on and research the human mind from every discipline, said Michael Gazzaniga, future director of the center. When it opens Winter Quarter, the center will be housed in the new wing of the Psychology Building. Researchers will officially introduce the center to campus tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in Corwin Pavilion with a panel discussion.
“The last scientific frontier is understanding the human mind in its multi-dimensional way,” Gazzaniga said. “That is why this center is going to be so important.”
James Blascovich, Psychology Dept. chair, said most studies of the mind are connected to the neurosciences and biology. However, the center will encourage study from a variety of other disciplines, including philosophy, linguistics, anthropology, psychology and communication.
“This center is an interdisciplinary enterprise which will provide an overarching framework for our intellectual endeavors of studying the mind,” Blascovich said.
SAGE Publications, which publishes scientific journals and books, provided the $3.5 million needed to launch the center in honor of its 40th anniversary, according to a press release. Martin Moskovits, dean of mathematical, life and physical sciences, said UCSB’s history of interdisciplinary research was one of the reasons SAGE chose to fund the center.
“Santa Barbara was chosen for the SAGE Center because of our ability to work collaboratively across the disciplines” Moskovits said.
The students and faculty at UCSB will help define the SAGE Center as a leader in research of the mind, Moskovits said. He said he thinks UCSB will help to define and expand the mission of studying the human mind.
“The center will be a powerful mechanism for bringing together scholars from the entire intellectual gamut of the campus,” Moskovits said.
Gazzaniga will lead tomorrow’s discussion, titled “Multidimensional Aspects of the Mind: The Interdisciplinary Approach.” Gazzaniga has come to UCSB from Dartmouth College, and has been studying the human mind since 1967. Other speakers at the event include Mahzarin R. Banaji, Patricia S. Churchland and Marcus Raichle, all of whom study a different area or functions of the brain.
Gazzaniga said he hopes to have a cohesive program involving different disciplines up and running at the center by the 2006-07 school year. The center will also promote a visiting scholar program, he said, which will bring a variety of researchers to UCSB to study the mind and participate in seminars UCSB students can attend.
“My biggest responsibility will be to bring together members from various faculties who are interested in working together in studying the mind, not just from the viewpoint of their own specialty,” Gazzaniga said.
Though it will be housed in the new wing of the Psychology Building, the center is not affiliated with the Psychology Dept., Blascovich said. Two other research centers will also inhabit the new wing: the Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behaviorand a new Brain-Imaging Center.