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How The Mind Works

Steven Pinker | 1:11:59


 Here for cognitive neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He's also the author of a previous book called The Language Instinct. He spoke at an event hosted by the MIT libraries and the MIT Press bookstore.

I was feeling pretty good when I came in, but I feel miserable now. There's a, I was sitting here and there's this kid sitting behind me and he says to me, uh, how long have I been at mit? And I said, since 1977. And he said, that's when I was born. Thanks a lot,

And then I thought to myself, MIT students really know how to hurt a guy. I've actually known. Uh, let's see, if you've been here since 77, that makes you 20. I've known, uh, I've actually known Steve Pinker all of your life. , uh, Steve, um, Let's see. I have some notes here so I wouldn't have to remember these details.

Steve was, uh, he did his, uh, BA at, uh, McGill in experimental Psychology. Uh, in psychology. And then he got his PhD from Harvard, uh, in 79, 79 to 80. He was a postdoc here at MIT in the Center for Cognitive Science. Then he went to Harvard, Stanford, and MIT was smart enough to get him back, uh, in 1982. And he's been here, uh, ever since.

Uh, he was, he has been during that time, um, um, the co the co-director of the Center for Cognitive Sciences and is currently director of the McConnell McDonald Pew Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at mit. He's had innumerable awards. I always remembered the flashy ones, like he was an Esquire, um, choice for one of the, what was it, 40 most promising young people in the United States.

And, uh, and that was, that's just one of them. He had a, from the American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Award when he was 84 in 1984, , that'll teach you. Uh, you should know a bit about his research interest. So I'm gonna tell you that his research includes empirical studies of linguistic behavior and theoretical analyses of the nature of language and its relation to mind and brain.

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