Natural and Social Sciences Colloquium TODAY: ‘The Anatomy of Unconscious Bias’ TED Talk
Professor Maggie Wentzell of the Biology Department will give a preview of her TED Talk, “The Anatomy of Unconscious Bias.” She will speak at 4:05 p.m. on Monday, March 18 in the Sladek Distinguished Science Forum (DSC 163). All are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be served before the seminar.
In her talk, Prof. Wentzell will illuminate the biological origins of human bias. The composition of the human brain is dominated by the cerebrum, the most superficial layer of which — the cortex — is divided into discrete functional areas. Different portions of the cerebral cortex are responsible for data storage, emotions, decision making, and enacting behaviors — both conscious and unconscious. An understanding of the role of each area, and elucidation of the unique anatomical traits that lead to each structure’s development and plasticity, help explain our sometimes contradictory behavioral drives. This seminar will describe these functional areas and characterize the reasons why humans sometimes unconsciously behave in ways that are not in keeping with our conscious mores.