The Photographer Brainwave
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Presented in partnership with The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives
Mary Ellen Mark discusses the power of the photographic image with memory specialist Daniel L. Schacter.
About the Speakers
Mary Ellen Mark is recognized as one of our most respected and influential photographers, having achieved worldwide visibility through her seventeen books, exhibitions and editorial magazine work. She is a contributing photographer to The New Yorker and has published photo-essays and portraits in such publications as LIFE, New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. For over four decades, she has traveled extensively to make pictures that reflect a high degree of humanism. Her images of our world's diverse cultures have become landmarks in the field of documentary photography. Her portrayals of Mother Teresa, Indian circuses, and brothels in Bombay were the product of many years of work in India. Among her many awards, Mary Ellen was presented with the Cornell Capa Award by the International Center of Photography in 2001; the Infinity Award for Journalism; an Erna & Victor Hasselblad Foundation Grant, and a Walter Annenberg Grant for her book and exhibition project on AMERICA; the Matrix Award for outstanding woman in the field of film/photography; and the Dr. Erich Salomon Award for outstanding merits in the field of journalistic photography. Her large retrospective book, Exposure (Phaidon Press) showcases 134 of Mary Ellen's best images, including both iconic and previously unpublished images.
Daniel L. Schacter is a preeminent researcher on memory and is Professor of Psychology at Harvard University.
His research uses both cognitive testing and brain imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging. Schacter has written three books, edited seven volumes, and published over 200 scientific articles and chapters. His books include: Searching for Memory: The Brain, the Mind, and the Past (1996); Forgotten ideas, neglected pioneers: Richard Semon and the story of memory. (2001); The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers (2001). He has also studied the effects of aging on memory and in this conversation will draw up on his study of the relationship of photographs to memory, in particular how reviewing photographs can both improve memory and sometimes lead to false memories.
Image: Ram Prakash Singh with His Elephant Shyama, Great Golden Circus, Ahmedabad, 1990
Photo courtesy of Mary Ellen Mark, from the portfolio Indian Circus
About Brainwave: Illusion
The Buddha said that everything is illusion. What did he mean by that? This sixth edition of Brainwave will enlist the aid of neuroscientists to help us understand how the perception of our world is shaped by the surprising adaptability of our brains. Brainwave includes talks, special film screenings followed by discussions, interactive workshops, and much more!
Presenting Sponsor of Brainwave 2013