A Conversation With Robert Sapolsky

I first met Robert Sapolsky years ago at a research conference. My first impression was that he was quiet… too quiet. In a crowded hotel lobby with hundreds of scientists busily jabbering about themselves and their research, he seemed almost transparent. He didn’t talk much, took up very little personal space and seemed comfortable and…

Brainy Figuring

In pondering the possible relations between inventive thought in mathematics and bodily phenomena, the mathematician Jacques Hadamard (1865-1963) sounded a note of despair in his 1945 book The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field. “While mathematicians have not sufficient knowledge of neurology, neurologists cannot be expected to penetrate deeply (as would be necessary) into…

Bill Newsome’s Neural Basis of Behavior

Dr. William Newsome is sitting at his PC computer grumbling. “Do you know what IBM stands for?” Newsome asks in a slight Southern drawl. “It stands for ‘I’m Building a Mac’,” he quips, displaying quick-witted charm and ardent loyalty to the Macintosh operating system. Dr. Newsome, an associate professor of neurobiology at Stanford University, is…