ESP Biography

EMILY LYDIC, MIT junior studying Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Major: Brain and Cognitive Sciences

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: 2014

Picture of Emily Lydic

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I've loved the brain sciences for years. After over three years of college classes, I am particularly interested in understanding human cognition by looking at our closest living relatives, the great apes (bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans).

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

S7169: The Great Apes: Exploring the Roots of Human Cognition and Social Behavior in Spark! 2013 (Mar. 16, 2013)
Humans are separated from other great apes by only a few million years of evolution. What do humans share in common with our closest living relatives, and what is all our own? We'll start by answering "what is a great ape?", then focus on chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus). Because we'll cover scientific research on bonobo and chimpanzee sexual behavior, students must be 15 or older.

H3272: Minds and Machines in Spark! 2010 (Mar. 13, 2010)
How does consciousness relate to the physical body? Do we all experience sensations like "red" and "cold" in the same way? How important is language to the way we think? Could a machine be conscious? What prerequisites would such a conscious machine require - a robot body? a quantum CPU? emotions? These are the sorts of questions that are considered by philosophers of mind. In this class, we'll present some of their arguments and have a lively discussion about these kinds of questions and the intersection of philosophy of mind with current neuroscience.