#TPOE (The Properties Of Events, June 17, 2017):
Did H. M. lead an eventless life? How was your last beach holiday? How do languages make events granular? Can events in texts be ‘inferred’ computationally? Do events always occur in the past? Is evental time modal? Are events objects? Are places facts? Is a decaying apple evental? Are all events spatiotemporal? How do recent events become long term episodic memories or facts? Are events and facts stored in the same region? Are space and time encoded differently? What is the role of relevance? Is the amount of encoding directly proportional to the amount of surprise? How accurately do we remember (or even annotate) orders and intervals? How do we relate to events in stories? Could certain events be like knots in time? What renders an event impossible? Do some surprises (trauma?) get encoded ‘elsewhere’? Do our brains work in reverse gear in a dream (generating images ‘from’ thoughts)? What would the new kinds of events in the future be? Will we get nothing from everything? How would we tend to the right signal? Will we en/de-code or summarize differently? Would a new ‘form’ find us? Is it already here? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from psychoanalysis & philosophy (Prof. Anup Kumar Dhar, Ambedkar University, New Delhi), neuroscience (Dr. Balaji Jayaprakash, CNS, IISc, Bangalore), & computational linguistics (Dr. Inderjeet Mani, Chiang Mai, Thailand).
SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TPOE show.
Prof. Anup Kumar Dhar (psychoanalysis, philosophy) is currently Professor at the School of Human Studies, & Director, Centre for Development Practice, Ambedkar University, New Delhi. He has also held positions at the Asiatic Soceity (Kolkata), Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS, Bangalore), Jadavpur University (Kolkata), Kalyani University (Bengal), & Christ University (Bangalore). He completed his M.B.B.S. & Ph.D. (Philosophy) from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He has been a medical doctor and now his research interests are at the interface of the political and psychoanalysis. He thinks about questions of ‘transformative social praxis’ in largely adivasi contexts in central India, and has also thought about interstices of Marxian and feminist perspectives. He has also researched in the histories of healing and philosophies of the body and mental health, especially post-Foucauldian psychiatry and post-Freudian psychoanalysis. He is editor, CUSP ( Journal of Studies in Culture, Subjectivity, Psyche) & a member of the editorial board of ‘Rethinking Marxism’ and the ‘Annual Review of Critical Psychology’. He has co-authored 2 books, ‘Dislocation and Resettlement in Development: From Third World to World of the Third’ (Routledge, 2009), and ‘The Indian Economy in Transition: Globalization, Capitalism and Development’ (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Some of his forthcoming books (as a co-editor) include, ‘Psychoanalytic Studies: Clinical, Social, and Cultural Contexts Series’ (Lexington Book’s, 2017), ‘Breaking the Silo: Integrated Science Education in India’ (Orient Blackswan, 2017) & ‘Clinic, Culture, Critique: Psychoanalysis and the Beyond’ (Orient Blackswan, 2018).
Dr. Balaji Jayaprakash (neuroscience) is Assistant Professor and Ramanujan Fellow at the Center for Neuroscience (CNS), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. His research areas are memory, problem solving, & behaviour. His research focuses on understanding remote memory – the ability to remember things that happened a while ago – and its role in creative problem solving. One of the mechanisms of memory storage is thought to be the formation of new and/or differential strengthening of existing neuronal connections. At his lab in IISc, he aims to develop methods that are capable of following these changes deep inside live mice brains following behavioural training. After doing his B.Sc. & M.Sc. in Chemistry from Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, he went on to do his Ph.D. (Chemistry) from TIFR, Mumbai. He doctoral research was focused on developing various optical tools to study the neurotransmitter dynamics in living systems. He then did his post-doctoral work with Prof. Timothy Ryan at Weil Cornell Medical College, Cornell University (USA), where he studied the mechanisms underlying synaptic vesicle recycling, endo and exocytosis in the central nervous system synapses. Later he moved to Department of Neurobiology at David Griffin School of Medicine, UCLA (USA) to work with Prof. Alcino J. Silva to understand the molecular and cellular basis for the allocation of memory in the mammalian brain. Recently optical development from his laboratory has resulted in a novel contrast that allows to imaging of the putative synapses deep inside the brain. In addition, research from his laboratory has shown that animals ability to retain food preference memory can be deduced by comparing the pattern of food consumption. He has authored nearly 25 research articles & reviews and a patent.
Dr. Inderjeet Mani (computational linguistics, narrative theory) is an independent writer & computer scientist currently based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. His research focus areas are computational linguistics and artificial intelligence. He has carried out research on automatic summarization, the representation of information related to time, space, and motion in natural language and its mapping to qualitative reasoning formalisms, as well as the computational modeling of narrative constructs in fiction. In the past, he has worked as a Principal Scientist (Senior Director) at Yahoo Labs, Head of R&D at Summly Ltd., a Visiting Fellow at the Computer Laboratory at Cambridge University (UK), a Research Scholar in Department of Computer Science at Brandeis University (USA), a (tenured) Associate Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University (USA), a Senior Principal Scientist at The MITRE Corporation and a Research Affiliate at CSAIL at MIT (USA), & a Member of the Technical Staff at The Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation and at Texas Instruments. He was educated at St. Stephen’s College (University of Delhi), the University of Sussex (UK), the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn, USA) and Georgetown University, obtaining undergraduate degrees in physics and psychology and graduate degrees in computer science and linguistics. He also studied creative writing at the UPenn, at Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English (USA), and at Harvard University (USA). His publications include 90 peer reviewed papers as well as seven books. He has been interested in fiction and the creative arts & has authored numerous award-winning short stories and travelogues.
Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.
#TPOE mentions: Thomas Bayes, Jacques Lacan, H. M. (Henry Molaison), Robert A. Rescorla, & Allan R. Wagner, among others.