UA Mind and Brain Lecture Series: The Plastic Brain

Here's the second lecture from the UA College of Science's Tuesday night lecture series on "Mind and Brain," presented by Regents Professor Leslie Tolbert, vice president for Research, Graduate Studies, and Economic Development and professor of Neuroscience, and Cell Biology & Anatomy.

This week's lecture about the relative advantages and disadvantages of having a brain and learning was fascinating. Anna Dornhaus, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, told the audience that when you can separate smart fruit flies from dumb fruit flies and breed several generations worth until you have really smart fruit flies and really dumb fruit flies. But when you put them into a single community, the dumb fruit flies breed more effectively than the smart ones. Dornhaus noted: "Idiocracy in a petri dish."

No lecture next week because it's spring break. Here are more details on the series.

Here's a brief description of what you'll see if you watch Tolbert's lecture above:

The human brain is the most complex object known to us. It contains roughly