Whitehead Lectures in Cognition, Computation and Culture

Goldsmiths' Departments of Computing and Psychology organise regular lectures by guest speakers throughout the academic year encompassing diverse aspects of cognition, computation and culture. All are welcome to attend.

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For enquiries related to the lectures, please contact Karina Linnell or Jamie A Ward.

Summer 2024

How Humans Came to Construct Their Worlds

Michael Arbib (UC San Diego and USC)

Time: 24 April 2024, 4pm
Location: Goldsmiths Cinema, RHB
Zoom link available after registering here

At a global level, Homo sapiens has reshaped the planet Earth to such an extent that we now talk of a new geological age, the Anthropocene. But each of us shapes our own worlds, physically, symbolically, and in the worlds of imagination. This Symposium focuses especially on one form of construction, the construction of buildings, while stressing that such construction is ever shaped by diverse factors from landscape to culture and the construction of history embodied in it - and more.

Please see more about How Humans Came to Construct Their Worlds event.

Spring 2024

The Neurocognition of Liveness

Guido Orgs, UCL
Time: 28 Feb 2024, 4pm

What makes live experiences special? Liveness is a central feature of music concerts, dance performances and theatre plays, but it is also relevant to political rallies, sporting events and meeing online. In this talk, I will discuss some of the theoretical and practical challenges for a neuroscience of liveness. I propose that live experiences can be conceptualized and measured as a form of sustained entrainment between the minds, brains, and bodies of at least two people in a defined here and now.

Please see more about The Neurocognition of Liveness event.

Bridging between micro and macro-level cultural dynamics of music: Advanced online experiments and big data

Manuel Anglada Tort, Psychology
Time: 13 March, 4pm

Music, like language, is a complex cultural system that arises from the interplay of human biology, cognition, and cultural transmission. However, explaining how these processes contribute to the emergence of musical systems remains a key challenge. In this talk, I will present research that addresses this gap by leveraging recent advances in computational and experimental techniques. 

For more information on this event, see the full event listing.

Latent Diffusion: Collaborator, Muse or Villain

Ira Greenberg (SMU, Dallas)
Time: 20 March 2024, 4pm

Latent Diffusion (‘LD’) presented as a recent advance in image generation, can be viewed as a logical extension of generative art, dating back to the 1950’s. Generative art, through the use of random algorithms, can approximate emergent properties of analog materials and practices. Prior to LD, most generative art was limited to mathematically derived geometric output, as algorithms to describe more figurative/natural forms exceeded most artists’ capabilities.

Please see more about Latent Diffusion: Collaborator, Muse or Villain event.

Previous lectures

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Wednesday 13 March 2024

Wednesday 28 February 2024